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CHICAGO (CBS) – The Chicago Blackhawks don’t really look at the minor league Chicago Wolves as a rival in the local hockey marketplace, but as CBS 2’s Jill Carlson reports, that might change now that the Wovles are an affiliate of the hated Vancouver Canucks.
The one constant for the Wolves during the last offseason has been change. They’ve got a new coach, a host of new players and a new parent club: the Vancouver Canucks.
“It’s been interesting going through the process,” said Wolves general manager Wendell Young. “Everyone’s new and it’s like a new relationship.”
Even though the Vancouver Canucks have become a rival that Blackhawks fans hate as much as the Detroit Red Wings, Young said, “That had no effect.”
“We don’t play the Hawks, we don’t play in the NHL,” Young said.
Head coach Craig MacTavish said, “We’re not the Vancouver Canucks, we’re the Chicago Wolves and that’s definitely a message that our players and I want to impart upon our faithful.”
Like it or not, Vancouver is a quality organization which made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year.
The Canucks have a lot of young prospects close to making the jump to the next level and coach MacTavish has instant credibility after eight years as the Edmonton Oilers’ head coach and an 18-year NHL playing career.
“I think everybody believes in what he says and listens to his feedback, because he does have a lot of knowledge and he’s won some Stanley Cups,” said Wolves winger Darren Haydar.
While the Wolves have embraced all the newness, they were not about to forget their past as four time league champions.
With all of the change, the Wolves have gotten off to a bit of a slow start this season, but they’ve won three of their last six games. And after missing the playoffs two of the last three years, the belief is the Wolves will be back to their winning ways again soon.