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Sweet AHL home, Chicago: Wolves become first Golden Knights affiliate

The Vegas Golden Knights have entered into a multi-year affiliation relationship with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, according to the team’s news release. (Photo provided by Golden Knights)

The Vegas Golden Knights have a minor-league affiliate in a major-league city.

The club has entered into a multi-year affiliation relationship with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, according to the team’s news release. Under the terms of the affiliation arrangements, the Golden Knights will be able to transfer players to and from Chicago during the 2017-18 season.

"American Hockey League affiliates play a significant role in the success of all NHL clubs and are we are proud to have the Chicago Wolves as our first in team history," Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee said in a statement.

“Chicago is without question one of the strongest, most passionate hockey communities in North America. This is a relationship that we truly believe will be mutually beneficial."

The Wolves finished first in the 2016-17 Central Division and made it to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs before falling to the Grand Rapids Griffins. The team finished with its best regular-season winning percentage (.664) since 2008.

The Golden Knights' first signee, Reid Duke, joined the Wolves on April 7 after signing a professional tryout contract.

"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," said Wolves owner Don Levin. "Professional playoffs are different than the regular season and he understands that and he wants his players to be ready to win."

Founded as part of the International Hockey League in 1994, the Chicago Wolves have enjoyed two decades of consistent success on the ice as home to some of the most prominent names in American hockey, like Chris Chelios, Troy Murray and Rob Brown. When the IHL folded in 2001, the franchise joined the AHL.

The Wolves compete at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., a city just northwest of Chicago.

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