The era of the Peoria Rivermen serving as the AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues is officially over. The team's new three year affiliation with the Chicago Wolves has been officially announced.
Previously, the Wolves served as the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks between 2011 and 2013 and as the affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers between 2001 and 2011.
If you're confused by how this process works, it's actually pretty simple. All of the players under contract for the Blues at the AHL level will no longer call the Peoria Rivermen home. Instead, they'll now become Chicago Wolves while still playing within the St. Louis organization. All the players currently under contract by the Canucks skating on the Wolves will leave the team and join Vancouver's new affiliate.
You might already be familiar with the Wolves as they've had major success in the AHL. In 12 years, they've never had a losing season while making the playoffs in eight seasons. They've won the Calder Cup, the AHL's biggest prize, twice.
What does this mean for St. Louis prospects? Honestly, that's hard to assess. On the surface and on paper, not much. However, the Wolves have a bit of a history. They're known for working the team's prospects hard and pushing the player to achieve AHL success. Some fans have stated their concern that those involved with Chicago's management push the team too hard, but that might not necessarily be a bad thing. Personally, I want my team's prospects to be in hardened condition. Granted, I don't want them whipped to the bone and worthless if called upon, but I'd like them to be tough and in a strong mental place capable of handling what a call to the NHL has in store.
It's sad that the team's chapter with the Rivermen ends with the team leaving Peoria. No fan of any sports team should have to watch their team move or close up shop.
Interested in attending a Chicago Wolves game? You'll have to travel to Rosemont, Illinois which is roughly a four hour and 30 minute drive from downtown St. Louis.