The Chicago Wolves will be the AHL affiliate for the new Las Vegas NHL franchise

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CHICAGO – The Windy City will have a bit of a Vegas feel on the ice for the next few seasons.

On Tuesday the Chicago Wolves announced a multi-year partnership with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights to be their American Hockey League affiliate. Previously the team served as the primary affiliate of the St. Louis Blues.

The Golden Knights will start play in October of this year and will send their best prospects to Allstate Arena to get some experience before heading up to the NHL.

“We’re starting from the ground up with a new franchise,” said Wolves general manager Wendell Young in a statement released by the team. “It will be exciting to build both franchises together with the same philosophy.”

St. Louis had the Wolves as an affiliate since April of 2013, having taken over from the Canucks who were connected with the team since 2011. From 2001 till that year, the Wolves were the affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers until they made the move to Winnipeg.

Wolves owner Don Levin said in the team’s release on the move that they “have it written into the teams’ agreement that the goal is to win championships at the AHL level.”

“If you look at George McPhee’s history, he has always been a general manager who believes that winning is an important part of developing players,” Levin said. “Professional playoffs are different than the regular season and he understands that and he wants his players to be ready to win.”