Features

The Wolves’ hunt begins…at Gibsons?


April 22, 2014

The American Hockey League schedule says the Chicago Wolves start their hunt for the 2014 Calder Cup championship on Friday night at Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena.

A fine Chicago Wolves tradition declares otherwise. The team’s postseason actually began on Monday night at Gibsons Bar and Steakhouse. The players and coaches and broadcasters and the rest of the hockey operations department — as well as their significant others — shared a private room to enjoy dinner together.

“You go into Gibsons and get any steak on the menu you want,” said team captain Taylor Chorney, a sixth-year pro who just capped his first regular season in Chicago. “It’s a first-class setup. It speaks volumes about the Wolves organization. You hear about it when you’re on different teams — about how first-class it is here — and (Monday) night was a prime example.”

As delicious as the thick filets and the flabbergastingly large desserts happened to be for the party of 72 at Gibsons, the food actually served as a sidelight to the evening. The point is to forge every part of the Wolves organization even closer for the task at hand.

The tradition began in 1995 after the Wolves wrapped up their first regular season. At the behest of Wolves owners Don Levin and Buddy Meyers, everyone gathered for the pre-playoff feast. Meyers and a few others stood up and said a few words about the team before every single player did the same.

That’s the format that remains in effect today. Some players reminisce about something funny that occurred during the season. Others are as earnest as can be. The same 50/50 ratio happened Monday night with the Midwest Division champs.

“A lot of good and different responses,” said center Pat Cannone. “It was cool to see guys open up. It was pretty special.”

“It’s fun,” said head coach John Anderson, who has been a part of 11 such dinners during his Wolves tenure. “It’s nice to appreciate what has happened during the year and builds a little good feeling about each other and brings the team together.”

“It’s rare to get everyone together like that,” Chorney said. “We took a step back and reflected on the regular season and all the things we did to put ourselves in this position. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for as a team moving forward.”

NEWSSTAND

Wolves unveil schedule for 25th anniversary season

The Chicago Wolves enter their 25th anniversary season with four league championships, six conference titles, nine division crowns and more ...

MORE

Where are They Now: Player Tracker

The place to find the latest Chicago Wolves-related personnel transactions for players rostered during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons....

MORE

Wolves reveal foe for 25th anniversary season home opener

When the Chicago Wolves host the home opener of their 25th anniversary season at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Allstate Arena, they’ll fa...

MORE
Chicago Wolves vs. Grand Rapids Griffins

Dansk re-signs with Vegas

The Vegas Golden Knights announced Friday that goaltender Oscar Dansk has signed a two-year contract to stay with the organization....

MORE
Oscar Dansk

Wendell Young wins AHL’s Thomas Ebright Award

Thank American Hockey League president and CEO David Andrews announced Thursday that Chicago Wolves general manager Wendell Young has been s...

MORE