The Blues may want to start planning for next AHL season right now, as in “planning to get a new team.”
Spurs Sports & Entertainment has announced the sale of the San Antonio Rampage to the Vegas Golden Knights. The Blues, who had a five-year agreement with the Rampage, will be looking for a new AHL affiliate. #stlblues— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) February 6, 2020
This is less than ideal for the Blues, who were not at the end of that five year stretch. The Rampage were more dedicated to developing Blues prospects than the Chicago Wolves were, though that was because the Wolves were their own independent franchise who controlled most aspects of the on-ice product.
One of the perks of owning your own team is that you have control over every aspect of the on-ice product and development of players. The other perk is that you don’t have to worry about losing your AHL team.
Obviously, there’s a city that just won a Super Bowl and that has a very nice hockey-ready arena that the Blues could consider for a permanent partnership. Having a team in Kansas City would make calling a player up much easier and would allow for Blues fans to easily road trip to see their prospects.
If the high-speed train rail ever gets built between STL and KC, the fans of the AHL team could go see the NHL team play and make it home for bed on a school night with minimal effort. A quick half-hour jaunt from one end of the state to the other would be a boon for both teams.
The issue is that the Blues would have to own it outright - either by starting a new franchise or purchasing a team and relocating, which is what Vegas is doing to the Rampage.
That kind of move is much easier said than done.