Will Wolves be Affiliated with the Blackhawks Next Year?

A New Affiliation?

A New Affiliation?

Tonight, while watching the Wolves in an entertaining but meaningless win (in the standings anyway), a friend came over between periods and said,

“He’ll be gone next year.”

“Who? Granato?” I asked excitedly.

“Yes, um no, Yes.”

“What do you mean.”

“Atlanta won’t be here next year.  The Blackhawks and Wolves will be together.”

“How do you know?”

“They’re talking about it…”

I couldn’t get a direct confirmation of who “They” is, but it’s intriguing and in some ways it makes sense.

The new Wolves President Mike Poliskyand Blackhawks President John McDonough seem to have similar approaches to marketing their products and both organizations are 100% committed to winning.

Beyond the obvious advantage of having the Wolves closer to the Blackhawks, the other positives are:

  • Common fan base energizes both clubs
  • Newly energized Hawk fanbase provides cashflow to help Wolves (and then vice-versa)
  • Unites those fans (which I think are in a minority) who claim that one can’t be a Hawks fan and Wolves fan because the Wolves support Atlanta(?! – Yes I’ve heard that argument)
  • Good AHL players who are unaffiliated will prefer coming to (or staying with) the Wolves as they now have a crack at being called up by a contending team and have a shot at a Stanley Cup and Calder Cup.  No offense to the Thrashers. (Though I think next season the Thrashers will make the playoffs.) 

Downsides?

  • Still don’t think Hawks GM Dale Tallon really knows what he’s doing, but then, maybe he could learn something from Wolves GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

A few years back I would think such a move would be stupid as the Hawks were dragging down everything they touched. 

Now, I kinda like the idea.

Remember, you heard it here first!

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Explore posts in the same categories: AHL, Calder Cup, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Wolves, Dale Tallon, John McDonough, Kevin Cheveldayoff, Mike Polisky, Stanley Cup

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6 Comments on “Will Wolves be Affiliated with the Blackhawks Next Year?”

  1. 1hockeychics Says:

    I’m not really sure that Dale Tallon will allow an affiliation. Economically it makes sense, but the Wolves and the Blackhawks have competed for the same market for ages. I sense some competitive rivalry which is making this possible future agreement difficult to carry out. http://www.chicshockey.com

    • betweenthepipes Says:

      Thanks for the response!
      There is a competitive rivalry of sorts, not the least of which comes from the treatment various members of the Wolves Front Office and players received from the Hawks of old. But, I figure if Bobby Hull can come back to the Hawks, anything is possible.

      I’m also not 100% sure that Chicago and the environs can’t support two teams. Heck I know folks who go to Rockford already, why not make it even easier? I’ve seen times where the Hawks are in town and the Wolves (depending on the year), outdrew,drew the same as, drew less than the Hawks; even this year I’ve seen games where the Wolves had quite decent crowds on nights the Hawks played in town.

      In other words, I’m not sure it makes a difference. The cost of going to a Hawks game is prohibitive for many families. Once or twice a year, maybe, but multiple times a season? No way. On the other hand, at the Wolves games you get closer to the ice, cheaper tix, family friendly atmosphere, and usually competitive and exciting hockey- it’s a huge bang for the buck.

      Having familiar faces on the ice can only help both teams’ causes.

      Thanks again for the comment and love your blog!

  2. Jane Rickard Says:

    I understand your thinking and longing for the union of the Wolves and the Hawks but I just don’t see it happening. Yes, I observed the very same meetings you did during the last games of the season that you did and came to different conclusions. That that they were social and not a public courtship.

    What may happen Hawks wise it wouldn’t surprise me to hear K-Zoo to become the Hawks affiliate of the ECHL. That falls into place, K-Zoo, Chicago and Rockford a nice tight package within four hours travel. Much more logical than Chicago, Chicago and Georgia.

    • betweenthepipes Says:

      I’m not sure I would say I long for the union. Speculatively speaking I was thinking that I could see a certain logic to it.

      I totally agree that there is a level of social courtship. Too many people think that the Wolves can’t survive when the Blackhawks are successful and that just isn’t true – last season proved it.

      Your scenario about getting K-Zoo into the fold makes alot of sense; let’s hope the Hawks front office is listening!

      Thanks Jane for your insights!

      • Jane Rickard Says:

        Chevy moving to the Hawks is right on so many levels, for everyone involved. OK, now after talking to a friend I’m open to hearing argument regarding the possibility of a union between the Hawks and Wolves. However, still I’m not convinced, just willing to listen to argument mind you.

      • betweenthepipes Says:

        You’re totally right!

        I was so shocked that was announced today as we had just discussed this this morning….

        The plot thickens….


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