With season over, Wolves’ focus shifts to finding new parent club
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media April 21, 2013 9:53PM
Chicago Wolves Vs Rockford Ice Hogs. Rockford IceHogs No.17 Brandon Bolling checks Chicago Wolves No. 21 Guillaume Desbiens. October 13, 2012 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
Updated: April 21, 2013 10:16PM
The Wolves, who failed to advance to the AHL playoffs, finished their season with a 3-1 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday at Allstate Arena. Now that the team has concluded play, the front office might be entering its most exhaustive month of the year.
A two-year affiliate contract with the Vancouver Canucks ended Sunday, and Wolves general manager Wendell Young said the agreement will not be renewed.
So Young and the rest of the Wolves’ executives are tasked with finding an affiliate for next season. Young said the search is down to two teams.
The deal needs to get done in a timely fashion because the Wolves have to begin the process of signing players for next season.
“We really have to see what our inventory is, and then we have to see what our affiliate is and see what they have in their inventory, and then we kind of go from there,” Young said. “I can’t sign a right winger if they’ve got five right wingers.”
The expiration of the affiliate contract with the Canucks also means that the Wolves’ coaching staff will not return next season. The coaches are employees of the Canucks.
It is unclear whether the Wolves’ next affiliate contract will allow them control of the coaching staff or whether that will rest with the parent club. Regardless, it is an issue that can’t be resolved until the team comes to an affiliate agreement.
For this year’s Wolves team, which will be disbanded, it was a disappointing end to a season that once looked to have the potential for a deep run into the playoffs. The Wolves finished 37-30-5-4.
“This team was real tight and we won’t be playing together as a group again” coach Scott Arniel said. “It would have been nice to get in the playoffs and try to have some success there.”
The Canucks’ prospects will remain together wherever they play, but the future of Wolves captain Darren Haydar remains in doubt.
“I don’t if they’re interested,” said Haydar, 33, who was the team’s top points producer with 20 goals and 37 assists in 71 games. “I love it here. The organization has been great to me and my wife.”