The Chicago Wolves announced Tuesday that the organization has signed a partnership deal with the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets that begins with the 2018-19 season.
The Komets also will be affiliated with the Vegas Golden Knights, who are in their second year as the Wolves’ NHL partner.
During the first five seasons of the Wolves’ existence, Chicago and Fort Wayne battled in the International Hockey League with the Wolves claiming a 13-6-2 record against the Komets. Fort Wayne shifted to the United Hockey League in 1999 and the Wolves moved to the American Hockey League in 2001, but the organizations have maintained a strong relationship despite going in different directions.
“David Franke has served as Fort Wayne’s general manager for nearly 30 years and he built their last six league champions,” said Wolves general manager Wendell Young. “We’re excited to be affiliated with such a storied franchise. Just like the Wolves and the Golden Knights, the Komets always have high expectations. Our relationship ought to pay dividends for all three organizations.”
Fort Wayne has collected nine league championships and 12 regular-season titles since the franchise was founded in 1952. The Komets are starting their seventh season in the ECHL after skating 47 seasons in the old IHL, eight in the UHL, three in the new IHL and two in the Central Hockey League. Franke enters his 29th season as GM while head coach Gary Graham starts his sixth season behind the Fort Wayne bench.
The Wolves are celebrating their 25th anniversary season throughout the 2018-19 campaign and host their 25th home opener on Saturday, Oct. 13, against the Grand Rapids Griffins at Allstate Arena.