Wolves, Canucks announce affiliation deal

The AHL’s Chicago Wolves announced today that they have agreed to a two-year affiliation deal with the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks through the 2012-13 season.

“We are very excited as an organization to be affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks,” said Wolves general manager Wendell Young. “Their organization has a track record of wanting their players to both develop and win while with their AHL affiliate. Our two clubs are united by a tradition of excellence and a passion for winning, and we hope that this partnership will lead to the continued success of both organizations.”

“We look forward to this new venture with the Chicago Wolves,” said Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis. “The Canucks have placed great importance and resources in developing prospects and have seen positive results to date, including the likes of Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler and Chris Tanev. The two organizations will work closely to ensure our goals are one in the same and continue to work on developing a strong relationship with our prospects.”

Chicago was previously affiliated with the Atlanta Thrashers from 2001 to 2011. That team was purchased by True North Sports and Entertainment in June and relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba, which had been the home of Vancouver’s former AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose.

Vancouver recently completed its 40th season in the NHL and was awarded the NHL’s President’s Trophy as the team with the best regular-season record (54-19-9). The Canucks also made their third appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals this year, falling to the Boston Bruins in seven games.

The Wolves have won four league championships in 17 seasons of competition: the International Hockey League’s Turner Cup in 1998 and 2000, and the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup in 2002 and 2008.

Vancouver’s previous affiliate in Manitoba reached the postseason in nine of its 10 seasons in the AHL, including a trip to the Calder Cup Finals in 2009.