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Examiner
  • Mavericks announce AHL affiliation

  • For the first time in the three-year history of the Missouri Mavericks, the Central Hockey League team will have an affiliation with an American Hockey League team – the Chicago Wolves.


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  • For the first time in the three-year history of the Missouri Mavericks, the Central Hockey League team will have an affiliation with an American Hockey League team – the Chicago Wolves.
    The announcement was made before more than 1,500 fans who attended Saturday’s Fan Fest at the Independence Events Center.
    “This is huge – a big, big deal,” Mavericks president and general manager Brent Thiessen said. “The Wolves have been a very successful franchise and have won several championships. We believe this affiliation will help make our product even stronger. We are excited for our players, our fans and our franchise.”
    The Mavericks signed a one-year deal with the Wolves, who are the primary affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks.
    The American Hockey League is the main developmental league of the National Hockey League, and Missouri will be the primary AA affiliate for Chicago.
    “This will allow us to get players we might not have been able to get before,” Thiessen added. “We may lose some players to Chicago who are fan favorites – but it won’t be that many players – and we will get exciting young players here in Independence as part of our team.
    “This is a win-win situation for both franchises.”     
    The affiliation agreement allows Maverick players to compete in the Chicago Wolves training camp, and it also allows for a limited number of players to be signed to two-way contracts between the Mavericks and the Wolves.
     Mavericks coach Scott Hillman will attend the Wolves training camp in Chicago along with select Mavericks players, including goaltender Charlie Effinger.  
    “For the Wolves to trust us with some of their young, talented players is very gratifying,” Hillman said. “For our franchise, this is a big day. This is a day you can say, ‘It’s great to be a Maverick,’ because it really is.”
    Wolves assistant general manager Bill Bentley made the trip to Fan Fest and came away with a new appreciation for the Mavericks franchise.
    “I have been to AHL games that didn’t have as many fans as the Mavericks have here for Fan Fest – when the season doesn’t even start for more than a month,” Bentley said. “That speaks volumes of the hard work Brent and his staff have done, and of the passion of the fans in Eastern Jackson County.
    “This is a deal where both teams really sought each other out. It is going to be good for the Wolves and the Mavericks.”
    When asked if this was a money-making deal for the Mavericks, Thiessen explained, “Say we have a player who has a two-way contract who makes $800 a week.
    “We are responsible for $500 of that and the Wolves are responsible for $300. But we pay for all travel expenses between here and Chicago, so it is not a real money maker – it is a way to make our franchise stronger.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The Mavericks could have between three and five players with two-way contracts, with most going to younger talent.
    Although he was not in attendance at the Fan Fest, Wolves general manager Wendell Young is also excited about the new affiliation with the Mavericks.
    “The Missouri Mavericks are a very professional and well-run organization,” Young said. “Their organization shares our perspective when it comes to running a hockey team and we are proud to partner with such a successful franchise. I think this will be a great relationship.”
    The Wolves began operations in 1994 in the International Hockey League and joined the AHL in 2001. Chicago has never had a losing season in its 17 seasons and the team has won four league championships with two in the IHL and two in the AHL.
    Their last championship came in 2008. The Wolves are coached by Craig MacTivish, a 19-year veteran in the NHL and four-time winner of the Stanley Cup. He most recently served as the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers head coach from 2000 to 2009.
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