What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, they say. That is, unless a Vegas NHL team repeatedly steals your minor league hockey team. That shit stings and hangs around for a second helping of stress-induced decision-making.
Thursday, The Vegas Golden Knights purchased Spurs Sports and Entertainment, which owned the St. Louis Blues’ minor league AHL affiliate, The San Antonio Rampage. After this season ends, the Blues will need another AHL city to place their young players at for the 2020-21 season.
This is one of those situations where something happens and you immediately let your imagination take over. I picture a group of hockey players passing the puck around in an empty parking lot waiting for the pay phone to ring at the corner of the parking lot.
Doug Armstrong sounded confident, saying they will immediately begin looking for another spot for the minor league team. Before San Antonio, it was the Chicago Wolves acting as the Blues landing spot. The Blues didn’t own the Wolves, and their hockey marriage didn’t end on exactly good terms. When you don’t own your own minor league affiliate, things get murky and confusing.
While the Blues could easily re-negotiate with Chicago, let me throw a hat into the ring that may be dismissed as pure bullshit and nonsensical. Let me start out by saying I don’t have a business degree, so save your calculator ninja talk for somewhere else.
What if ... the Blues placed their AHL team in Kansas City?
Theoretically, it’s extremely sexy. There’s been rumors and ideas for decades about having the Blues minor league team in state, but it never really came together. You also factor in the connection between the Kansas City Chiefs and Blues over the last year, with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kolce going to Blues game and Jordan Binnington rocking his Chiefs attire. Not that you can attach a financial value to that, but if you ever needed support for such a dramatic venture, having the reigning Super Bowl champs and Super Bowl MVP in your corner helps with marketing.
There is a hockey team in Kansas City, or at least near it. The Kansas City Mavericks are a Calgary Flames affiliate and play in Independence, Missouri (25 minute drive in between). There’s a couple options that spring to my head. The Mavericks are an ECHL team, which is a lower level than the AHL. But the Blues could perhaps The Blues could move to buy the Mavericks and put their team there, which is a shorter trip than it was from Texas. The Mavericks would move to the AHL with the Blues current minor league roster.
According to a Twitter follower who commented on my KC idea post, it’s happened before.
They could buy the Mavericks, I would think the process would be similar to Colorado Eagles going from ECHL to AHL— Nicholas (@Smittttttttty) February 6, 2020
The Blues would be in state and the synergy between the two cities would grow stronger. The Seattle hockey team is coming soon, which will add another AHL team and city to the mix. That could push the Blues to simply move back to Chicago with the Wolves, or they could be bold and try to find placement in Kansas City, a town that would really embrace the opportunity to see the future of the Blues develop right before their eyes.
Maybe there’s another spot to place an AHL team. I can only imagine Armstrong’s phone right now.
It all sounds good, but business limitations and hoops to jump through could prevent it. There’s language here that simply prevents easy connections to take place without due diligence and alternate options being pursued. Kansas City and St. Louis haven’t connected on recent sports franchise partnerships, so it may be a larger field to survey than one would initially think.
But it would be a great development and would be so easy to market. Think about it for a minute. The home of the Stanley Cup Champions partnering with the home of the Super Bowl Champions to produce an AHL franchise.
Let that ruminate. In the mean time, let’s retain the Cup just in case that marketing tool is truly required.
Thanks for reading and goodnight.