After weeks of speculation and rumors, the news has finally become official: The San Antonio Rampage will be the top American Hockey League affiliate of the St. Louis Blues.
Both Spurs Sports & Entertainment and the St. Louis Blues both announced the news today, the agreement will see the affiliation come into effect beginning with the 2018-19 season.
The Rampage will close out their affiliation with the Colorado Avalanche after the current 2017-18 season, ending their affiliation after three years.
“Partnering with St. Louis will be a great win for the future of Rampage hockey based on the historical success and terrific reputation of the Blues,” said Rick Pych, president and co-CEO of SS&E through a team press release. “We want to thank the entire Colorado Avalanche organization for the terrific partnership we continue to share and their commitment to San Antonio Rampage hockey, which allows for this unique opportunity in 2017-18 to provide more top-notch prospects from both NHL teams in San Antonio.”
The Blues are currently sending select players to the Rampage including, forwards Sammy Blais, Klim Kostin and Adam Musil, defensemen Chris Butler and Jordan Schmaltz and goaltender Ville Husso.
“We are excited to partner with San Antonio for the next five seasons,” said St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong in a press release. “With this agreement, the Blues will control all of the hockey operations for the Rampage, enabling us to develop our prospects with the same philosophies we use at the NHL level.”
St. Louis will send players, coaches and hockey operations staff to San Antonio beginning next season. The Blues will be the fourth NHL affiliate for the Rampage in team history after previously being affiliated twice with the Florida Panthers from 2002-05 and 2011-15, as well as the Arizona Coyotes from 2005-11.