At the beginning of the AHL season, every team in the league set out with the aim of getting into the Calder Cup Finals and winning the biggest prize in the American Hockey League. The Carolina Hurricanes AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves will get a chance to prove themselves as the most complete team in the league as both the best regular-season team and the best postseason team.
For the Finals, games one and two, as well as six and seven will be played in the Windy City if they are needed. After running through the Rockford Icehogs, the Milwaukee Admirals, and the Stockton Heat on their route to the Calder Cup Finals, the Wolves have moved into this final having lost three games total on this run so far. This doesn’t mean the Calder Final will be easier, but it is worth noting.
Many of us hoped for a Chicago-Laval series to pour fuel on the Hurricanes-Canadiens feud but it is what it is as the Wolves will instead take on the St Louis Blues AHL affiliate and that is by no means an easy task. We know the sheer pedigree of the St Louis organization means that there are going to be talented kids and nice depth players on that Thunderbirds roster. This is going to be a challenging series.
Chicago has been one of the highest-powered offenses in this AHL postseason, but that doesn’t mean anything now. All that matters is the next four-to-seven games. If the Wolves win four games, the Hurricanes organization will win back-to-back Calder Cups with two different affiliates four years apart. A neat trick, I know, but it is important for all involved that the Wolves can finish the job they started.
If you think back to the 2018-19 Charlotte Checkers roster that beat these very same Chicago Wolves in the final, you’ll realize how many of them are now in the NHL and what that can do to a player’s career. Development is huge and winning a championship while developing and starting to learn how to win at a young age could be massive for the Hurricanes. This Wolves team can do it.
Games will be at 7 PM local time in every game barring game one. That will be a 4 PM EST start in Chicago to get this series underway on Sunday, June 19th. I’ll leave the tweet from the Chicago Wolves’ Twitter account below so that you can see for yourself when the times are. This is a huge series for some of these Hurricanes’ prospects and four more wins for them could be monumental.
We know that the Thunderbirds aren’t going to roll over and let the Wolves have their way. But Chicago seems to be the heavy favorite going into this one. We’ll see what happens. As for a second consecutive Calder Cup Final, the AHL affiliates of the Carolina Hurricanes and the St Louis Blues will go toe to toe for the pride of the AHL, and the Calder Cup.