AHL team makes surprising announcement cutting ties from all NHL teams for next season

Published April 5, 2023 at 2:49 PM
For as long as most fans can remember AHL teams have partnered with NHL organizations to create unique partnerships to help develop players. However, that wasn't always the case. Back in the days of the IHF, teams used to be independently owned and would often sign players to exclusive contracts.

On today's edition of the Jeff Marek Show, Elliotte Friedman revealed that the Chicago Wolves intend on going back to that system for next season.

Friedman on TJMS says the Chicago Wolves of the AHL sent out an email to all the agents yesterday saying they are planning to become independent next season, not having any NHL affiliate.

For those who may be younger, the AHL used to have a mix of NHL affiliated teams and independent teams competing against each other. I believe the old IHL had several independent teams and a few NHL affiliated teams competing against each other, so this is not entirely new.

The Wolves will sever ties with the Carolina Hurricanes, their current affiliate. The Wolves are one of the only privately funded teams in the American Hockey League and have a unique financial setup allowing them to do so. This move also creates a situation for the Hurricanes who will be forced to partner with another NHL team to have an AHL affiliate.

The Wolves will likely use this opportunity to target older players and possibly some high end ECHL talent to fill out their entire roster. The Wolves have always been a desirable location for players and not having to worry about being shuttled back and forth could create a very unique opportunity for teams.
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