The Chicago Wolves are a professional ice hockey team playing in the Central Division of the Western Conference of the American Hockey League (AHL).
The Wolves play home games at the Allstate Arena in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois and are owned by Chicago business owners Don Levin and Buddy Meyers.
They are the minor league affiliate team of the St. Louis Blues.
Originally a member of the International Hockey League, the Wolves joined the AHL after the IHL folded in 2001.
History[edit | edit source]
The Wolves won the Turner Cup twice (1998, 2000) in the IHL and the Calder Cup twice (2002, 2008). They qualified for all but five postseasons (2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13, and 2015–16 seasons), appearing in six league championship finals (1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2008) in their 22-year history.
The team's great star was forward Steve Maltais (who until his retirement after the 2004–05 season) had played every season of the franchise and holds most of its scoring records.
The Wolves had their best season start in their 14-year history, during the 2007–08 season, winning 13 of the first 14 games, with an overtime loss. The Wolves finished the season with 111 points, and first in the Western Conference.
The Wolves were the AHL affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers from 2001 to 2011.
The Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg in June 2011 and added the St. John's IceCaps (formerly the Manitoba Moose) as their new AHL affiliate, leaving the Wolves and the NHL's Vancouver Canucks to find new affiliates. On June 27, 2011, the Wolves and Canucks agreed to a two–year affiliation agreement.
On April 23, 2013, the Wolves and St. Louis Blues reached a three-year affiliation agreement. The deal was struck after the Canucks decided not to renew their existing affiliation agreement and purchased the Peoria Rivermen franchise from the Blues creating the Utica Comets.
In November 2016, it was first reported the Blues would not renew their affiliation with the Wolves and were planning to move their affiliation to Kansas City for 2017.
However, this was unconfirmed and then denied by the announced potential owner in Kansas City, Lamar Hunt, Jr., in a press release from his ECHL team in the area, the Missouri Mavericks and further denied by AHL commissioner, David Andrews, after the January 2017 Board of Governors meeting.
Season-by-Season Records[edit | edit source]
|2012–13||76||37||30||5||4||83||.546||204||207||4th, Midwest||2013||Did not qualify|
|2013–14||76||45||21||5||5||100||.658||239||191||1st, Midwest||2014||W, 3–2, RCH||L, 0–3, TOR||—||—|
|2014–15||76||40||29||6||1||87||.572||210||198||3rd, Midwest||2015||L, 2–3, UTI||—||—||—|
|2015–16||76||33||35||5||3||74||.487||194||228||6th, Central||2016||Did not qualify|
|2016–17||76||44||19||8||5||101||.664||251||200||1st, Central||2017||W, 3–2, CHA||TBD, GR||—||—|
Team Captains[edit | edit source]
- Steve Maltais (1994–96, 1997–2000, 2001–05)
- Troy Murray (1996–97)
- Kevin Dahl (2000–01)
- Derek MacKenzie (2005–06)
- No captain during 2006–07 season
- Darren Haydar (2007–08, 2012–13)
- Jamie Rivers (2008–09)
- Jason Krog (2009–11)
- Nolan Baumgartner (2011–12)
- Taylor Chorney (2013–14)
- Brent Regner (2014–15)
- Pat Cannone (2015–16)
- Chris Butler (2016-17)
Retired Numbers[edit | edit source]
Honored Personnel[edit | edit source]
- Tim Breslin, LW, 1994–1999
- Dan Snyder, C, 2001–2003
- John Anderson, Head Coach, 1997–2008, 2013–16
- Kevin Cheveldayoff, GM, 1997–2009
Team Records[edit | edit source]
Single season[edit | edit source]
|Penalty minutes||390||Kevin MacDonald||1994–95|
|Power Play Goals||27||Steve Maltais||1995–96 & 1996–97|
|Short-Handed Goals||7||Ben Simon||2002–03|
Career[edit | edit source]
|Penalty minutes||1061||Steve Maltais|
|Power Play Goals||195||Steve Maltais|
|Short-Handed Goals||21||Derek MacKenzie|
|Game Winning Goals||67||Steve Maltais|
|Games played||839||Steve Maltais|
Television[edit | edit source]
The Wolves are the only AHL team with a full television package.
All 76 regular-season games (plus playoffs) are broadcast on Comcast Cable, WPWR-TV (channel 50) and WCIU-DT2 (26.2, U Too).
As the Chicago Blackhawks' late owner Bill Wirtz had refused to allow Blackhawks home games to be televised locally, the Wolves were viewed and embraced as an alternative; the Wolves took advantage of this, going so far as to promote themselves with the slogan: "We Play Hockey The Old-Fashioned Way: We Actually Win".
After Judd Sirott served as the team's play-by-play announcer for its first 12 seasons, starting in the 2006–07 season broadcast announcers were long-time Blackhawks commentators Pat Foley and Bill Gardner; Foley ultimately returned to the Blackhawks for the 2008–09 season.
Since 2008, Jason Shaver has handled the play-by-play duties for the Wolves, along with Gardner.