The plan is still to wait until the Chicago Wolves season ends to make the announcement that the Golden Knights will become their new parent club, but sometimes hockey logistics get in the way of a good plan.
With Reid Duke’s WHL season ending last week, we have explored opportunities and options for him to play additional games this year. The Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League – who are currently the AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues – agreed to take Reid on a professional tryout agreement. Reid will be available to play for Chicago beginning Friday. We are appreciative of the Wolves organization for affording Reid this opportunity, which will be beneficial for his development as a player -George McPhee in Press Release
Duke’s WHL season wrapped up on the 29th of March when the Wheaties were swept by the Medicine Hat Tigers. Duke scored three goals and racked up eight penalty minutes in the four game series.
But now, the 21 year old is left with no where to play. Normally, an undrafted free agent like Duke would find his way to the AHL or ECHL for the final few games of the season. If he’s promising enough, he may even find his way on to the NHL team. Well, Vegas doesn’t have any of those, so they had to find something to do.
It was originally reported back in January that the Golden Knights and Chicago Wolves were in discussions. Then in February a team source told us the deal is done but nothing could be confirmed until the AHL season ends. Finally, during George McPhee’s Q&A with the fans in March the GM confirmed Vegas would have complete hockey control over their AHL affiliate.
Add it all up, and this is not a favor the Chicago Wolves and St. Louis Blues are granted the Golden Knights. This is the first transaction Vegas is making with it’s AHL club… despite what the team says.
The Golden Knights AHL affiliation discussions are still ongoing. We will announce those details after the affiliation agreement has been finalized and confirmed. -McPhee in Press Release
This is a move any NHL club would make with their minor league affiliate, just Vegas has to call it something different… for now.
So is the plan down the line for the Knights to create a new AHL team? Or is the arrangement with Chicago now to the Knights liking so that’s no longer necessary? The Blues are still out next year right?