When news broke that three AHL teams would be pulling out of the 2020-21 season, it left a question of what the NHL affiliates would do with their minor-league players and prospects. An early report had the St. Louis Blues sending players to the Utica Cometa, while just Wednesday it was announced that the Florida Panthers will be sharing the Syracuse Crunch with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now, a similar agreement has been formed between the Nashville Predators, who are normally affiliated with the opting-out Milwaukee Admirals, and the Carolina Hurricanes who will share the Chicago Wolves.
Admirals GM Scott Nichol explained the confidence the organization has that their prospects will still have a strong developmental season:
"We want to thank the Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Wolves organizations for the opportunity to partner with them for this coming season. With our players skating for Chicago in the AHL and others competing in European leagues and with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades, we are confident about where our prospects will continue their development during this unprecedented season. We look forward to resuming our relationship with the Admirals in the 2021-22 campaign."
The Wolves and the rest of the AHL are set to begin in early February if all goes according to plan. They’ll have quite the squad this year after picking from two NHL organizations, an easy explanation of why the independently-owned franchise would be interested in a situation like this. It’s not ideal for the Hurricanes or the Predators, but sacrifices have to be made in this unique season.