Ready or not, here comes more hockey.
The Golden Knights purchase of an American Hockey League franchise means there will be twice as many professional teams in Las Vegas Valley next season. That’s undoubtedly good news for local rink rats, but how will it all come together?
Here’s some answers to some key questions about the Knights’ AHL team:
How did this happen?
The Knights purchased the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage on Feb. 6 and applied to move the franchise to the Las Vegas Valley. Those moves still have to be approved by the AHL’s Board of Governors, but that’s expected to happen.
What will happen to the Chicago Wolves?
The Knights’ current AHL affiliate will have to find a new NHL partner. That shouldn’t be a problem.
The Wolves have been in the AHL since 2001, long before the Knights even existed. The two enjoyed three seasons together and a run to the Calder Cup Final in 2019, but having a local AHL team has always been the Knights’ goal.
So, what happens to the Wolves players?
Most of the current Wolves’ players are under contract with the Knights. That means when the season is over they will turn in their Wolves’ sweaters for good and be given new fresh ones by the new franchise.
In other words, Knights prospects with the Wolves like Nic Hague, Keegan Kolesar and Lucas Elvenes aren’t leaving the organization. In fact, it should be easier for fans to follow them than ever before.
So where will they play?
The Knights’ new AHL franchise will play at Orleans Arena for at least the 2020-21 season. Long-term the team will get its own 6,000-seat arena on the site of the Henderson Pavilion at the intersection of Paseo Verde and Green Valley parkways.
Will they practice in Henderson too?
Yes, but not at their new arena. The team will be headquartered and practice at the Knights’ Lifeguard Arena complex on Water Street in Henderson.
How can I get tickets?
Fans can place a $50, refundable season-ticket deposit here.
So what will the team be called?
All that’s known for sure is the name will include “Henderson.” But Silver Knights seems to be a strong possibility.