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Season opener Feb. 5!

Welcome to Wolves Insider: the report presented by Power Crunch that gives you a taste of all Chicago Wolves developments as the organization enters its 27th season.

WOLVES HOST SEASON OPENER FEB. 5

After nearly 11 months away from the ice thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chicago Wolves make their triumphant return on Friday, Feb. 5, by hosting the Grand Rapids Griffins in the 2020-21 season opener. The Wolves will play 30 games this season — all of them against Central Division foes.

Nearly everything has changed for the Wolves since Dylan Coghlan’s overtime goal gave Chicago a 3-2 victory over the Rockford IceHogs on March 8, 2020, at Allstate Arena. Before the Wolves could play again, the 2019-20 AHL season was suspended March 12 and canceled May 11.

Since that time, the Wolves have signed a three-year deal to become partners with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes — ending a three-year run with the Vegas Golden Knights. The Wolves also signed a one-year affiliation agreement with the Nashville Predators. The latter deal filled a need created when the Milwaukee Admirals, Nashville’s traditional affiliate, become one of three AHL teams unable to field a team for this season. At any given time during this year, the Wolves roster will be split roughly evenly between Carolina’s prospects and Nashville’s prospects.

When the Wolves announced their partnership with Carolina on Sept. 10, Ryan Warsofsky was named the new head coach and Patrick Dwyer (a former Wolves forward) as an assistant coach alongside returning assistant Bob Nardella. Warsofsky, at 33 the AHL’s youngest head coach, served as the Charlotte Checkers’ boss last year and as the top assistant when Charlotte rallied to beat the Wolves in the 2019 Calder Cup Finals. Rocky Thompson, who served as the Wolves’ head coach the last three years, moved to become a San Jose Sharks assistant.

Last, but not least, this season marks the first time the Wolves will not play their home games at Allstate Arena. All 15 home games will be played at the Chicago Wolves training facility at Triphahn Ice Arena in Hoffman Estates. In observance of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 safety protocols, fans will not be permitted to attend games or practices.

BE A PART OF THE CHICAGO WOLVES FAN GALLERY!

While fans are not allowed to attend Wolves home games this season, that doesn’t mean their smiling faces can’t be inside Triphahn Ice Arena for every game! How do fans get inside the building? By joining the Chicago Wolves Fan Gallery, presented by Hefty, with a purchase of their own personalized cutout for just $50.

Each cutout will “attend” every home game. Then, at the end of the season, each cutout will be autographed and sent to fans as a permanent souvenir of the 2020-21 season. To learn how to submit your picture and purchase your cutout, click here.

JOIN US FOR PROJECT THRIVE

Together with the #SameHere Global Mental Health Movement founded by veteran sports executive Eric Kussin, the Chicago Wolves have launched Project Thrive — a multi-faceted plan designed to change the conversation about mental health in Chicago and provide opportunities for people everywhere to learn from national experts in integrative health.

Starting Feb. 4, the Wolves will host one-hour Zoom sessions every other Thursday night. Each session will be led by a national expert in integrative health, which is a 360-degree, patient-focused approach to health care and wellness. The topics include Sleep 101, Benefits of Connecting with Nature, Stress and Diet, and The Power of Being Active: To learn more or to sign up for the Zoom sessions, visit the Project Thrive page here. You can also contact Wolves Group Event Specialist Leslie Metcalf at lmetcalf@chicagowolves.com.

WOLVES ON AHLTV THIS YEAR

This season’s Wolves games will be available exclusively on AHLTV. It’s just $34.99 for a subscription package to see all 30 games — visit AHLTV.com to learn more.

Wolves Season Ticket Members can get a much better deal by contacting their ticket representative or calling 1-800-THE-WOLVES.

TOP LINE

KASIMIR KASKISUO

When the Wolves signed a one-year affiliation deal with the Nashville Predators earlier this month, that meant goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo gets to return to Chicago. He helped the 2017-18 Wolves capture the Central Division title as he posted a 13-13-0 record with a team-leading 2.38 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage.

DAVID GUST

This Orland Park native signed a two-way contract during the offseason to stay with the Carolina Hurricanes. The 26-year-old Ohio State graduate has spent the last three seasons in the AHL and racked up 42 goals, 46 assists and a +11 plus/minus rating while playing for the Bakersfield Condors and Charlotte Checkers.

JOEY KEANE

Keane, the New York Rangers’ third-round pick in 2018, grew up in Homer Glen. The 21-year-old defenseman started his pro career last year and earned AHL All-Rookie team honors playing for Hartford and Charlotte. He notched 8 goals and 22 assists for Hartford before posting 1 goal and 6 assists in 7 games for the Checkers.

NEXT FIVE GAMES

Wednesday, Jan. 27 vs. Rockford (exhibition) 2 p.m. Triphahn Ice Arena TBA
Friday, Feb. 5 vs. Grand Rapids 7 p.m. Triphahn Ice Arena AHLTV
Thursday, Feb. 11 vs. Grand Rapids 2 p.m. Triphahn Ice Arena AHLTV
Saturday, Feb. 20 vs. Iowa 7 p.m. Triphahn Ice Arena AHLTV
Sunday, Feb. 21 vs. Iowa 3 p.m. Triphahn Ice Arena AHLTV