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Report Claims St. Louis Blues AHL Franchise May Move to Kansas City

Hockey fans in Kansas City may have something to celebrate if a report published yesterday proves to be true.

Lou Korac has covered the St. Louis Blues since 1997 and is currently the Blues beat writer for NHL.com. He publishes a blog over at http://lkorac10.blogspot.com/.

Yesterday, he published a post that claims a source said it’s pretty much “a done deal” that the NHL Blues AHL farm team, the Chicago Wolves, will be moving to Kansas City and play at Sprint Center.

He goes on to say that Lamar Hunt, Jr., current owner of the Missouri Mavericks ECHL franchise, is looking to start a UHL franchise that would also play at Sprint Center.

There’s quite an extensive history of hockey in Kansas City. In total there has been 50 seasons played of some level of semi-professional to professional teams dating all the way back to the Kansas City Pla-mors who first took the ice in 1927. The teams that have played here include the Pla-mors (1927-33 & 1945-49), the Greyhounds (1933-40), the Americans (1940-42), the Mohawks (1949-50), the Royals (1950-51), the Blues (1967-72), the Scouts (1974-76), the Blues (1976-77), the Red Wings (1977-79), the Blades (1990-2001), the Outlaws (2004-05) and the Mavericks (2009-present).

Pro-hockey in Kansas City has had an up and down history throughout the last few decades. The most successful pro-team to take the ice was the Kansas City Blades who played in the IHL at Kemper Arena. The Blades won one IHL Turner Cup in 1991-92. Later years saw the Blades struggle and crowds dwindled.

Interestingly the Blades were owned in their later years by the DeVos family. If that name sounds familiar to those that follow the news, Betsy DeVos was just recently named the next Secretary of Education by Donald Trump.

The DeVoses were not well liked by Kansas City fans due to attempts to move the team to Oklahoma City during the 2000 season.

The IHL, which was a competing league to the AHL, folded in 2001 due to financial difficulties. Many of the teams, including the Chicago Wolves were moved into the AHL. The Blades were not due to an AHL ownership rule that required that owners only own one team. The DeVoses elected to shutter the Blades and maintain the existence of the other team they owned in their home town, the Grad Rapids Griffins.

The current Missouri Mavericks play in the Silverstein Eye Center in Independence, MO and do have a working relationship with the St. Louis Blues. The ECHL is a mid-level professional ice hockey league with 28 teams. It is one tier below the AHL.

The report may turn out to just be a rumor as the Mavericks issued a statement denying Korac’s report.

 

 

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