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Wolves unveil 2021 schedule

The Chicago Wolves announced Friday they will play 30 games during the American Hockey League’s abbreviated 2020-21 regular season. New head coach Ryan Warsofsky and his squad open the organization’s 27th season by hosting the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5.

The Chicago Wolves training facility at Triphahn Ice Arena in Hoffman Estates will serve as the site for all home games. Fans cannot attend home games in accordance with the Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 safety protocols, but all Wolves games will be available via AHLTV.

The Wolves’ schedule consists exclusively of Central Division foes as the franchise chases its fourth division title in the last five years. Chicago will play 10 games against Grand Rapids, eight games against the Iowa Wild and the Rockford IceHogs and four times against the Cleveland Monsters. The Texas Stars round out the six-team division, but the Wolves and Stars won’t meet.

Since playing their last game of the truncated 2019-20 season on March 8, the Wolves have welcomed a new NHL partner in the Carolina Hurricanes as the teams signed a three-year contract in September. The Wolves also forged a one-year affiliation with the NHL’s Nashville Predators earlier this month. This agreement provides a home for the Predators’ prospects after their longtime AHL partner, the Milwaukee Admirals, could not field a team this season.

Warsofsky and assistant coaches Patrick Dwyer and Bob Nardella will lead a roster split between players from the Charlotte and Nashville organizations. The 36-man preseason roster features several rookies selected early in recent NHL Entry Drafts — a group that includes Dominik Bokk, Seth Jarvis and Ryan Suzuki — along with 14 players who own NHL experience.

The Wolves roster also boasts a handful of professionals with Chicago-area roots. Twenty-one-year-old defenseman Joey Keane, an AHL All-Rookie Team honoree last year, was born in Chicago and grew up in Homer Glen. Forward Dave Gust hails from Orland Park while forward Lukas Craggs was born and raised in Elmhurst. All could make their local professional debut during the Wolves’ lone exhibition — a 2 p.m. game on Wednesday, Jan. 27, vs. Rockford.

For just $34.99, fans can watch all 30 Wolves games this season on AHLTV. Subscription packages can be purchased at AHLTV.com, but Wolves season-ticket members can get an even better deal by contacting their ticket representative, visiting ChicagoWolves.com or calling 1-800-THE-WOLVES.