According to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St Louis Blues and San Antonio Rampage will begin a five year affiliation deal beginning with the 2018-19 season.
Teams haven’t commented, but Rutherford pieced his story together from numerous sources around both the NHL and AHL, confirming what we at Running With the Herd speculated about on our mid-summer show. When reached, the Rampage politely declined to comment.
Still, there are questions galore regarding this situation.
Is Colorado the mystery team vying for the AHL’s 31st team? They make the most sense, to me, as they have an interested ECHL team, that team is 90 minutes away from Denver, and they could slot perfectly into the Pacific.
The biggest question for Rampage fans, what about this year? Rutherford states that the Blues will use this season to spread around their 16 or so prospects. He further speculates that upwards of six Blues prospects could find themselves in San Antonio for this coming season.Who those six players are, and what their role on the Rampage will be is still in question, and we may not know the answers until training camp.
One name we’ve seen circulated for weeks, and which seems to be backed up by the Avalanche’s lack of activity on the goalie free agent market is goalie Ville Husso. Husso was drafted 94th overall in the 2014 draft and is entering his second season in North America. In 22 games with the Wolves last season, Husso registered a .920%. The Blues will want to get him plenty of games, and with only Spencer Martin and Joe Cannata under contract, San Antonio is as good a place as any to do so.
Other names to consider, former Rampage center Wade Megan, who led the AHL with 33 goals last season and veteran Dman Chris Butler, a dependable veteran blue line presence and captain of the Wolves.
Many questions still remain to be answered, but one thing is certain; this summer has been a bizarre ride of speculation and rumor. This season figures to be even wilder.