The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers have both officially announced their new AHL affiliates, continuing the domino-effect changes that have followed the relocation of the Henderson Silver Knights. Carolina, who had been affiliated with the Charlotte Checkers, has now signed a three-year agreement with the Chicago Wolves starting in 2020-21. The Panthers, who previously used the Springfield Thunderbirds as their AHL affiliate, have inked a multi-year agreement with the Checkers.
When the Vegas Golden Knights purchased the San Antonio Rampage and moved them to Henderson, the St. Louis Blues were without an AHL affiliate and the Wolves were without an NHL parent. The Blues then affiliated with Springfield, continuing the musical affiliate chairs and forcing the Panthers to look elsewhere.
The biggest shock is still the breakup of the Hurricanes and Checkers after the two had been so closely linked by affiliation and obviously geography for so long. The Checkers owner, Michael Kahn, even invested in the Hurricanes and became an ownership partner back in 2011.
In terms of details, the Hurricanes announced that Ryan Warsofsky will continue to serve as AHL coach, moving over to lead the Wolves after the new agreement. His entire staff will come with him to the new organization. The move to Charlotte is a big first announcement for new Panthers GM Bill Zito, though the agreement was in place long before he came on board earlier this month.