RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Rapid City Rush will have a new affiliate for their 10th anniversary season.

After a two-year partnership with the Arizona Coyotes, the Rapid City Rush this afternoon announced a new NHL & AHL affiliation with the Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild.

“The Wild have a tremendous fan base in Rapid City and in the state of South Dakota, so we know this will be great for our loyal fans and corporate partners as they watch their favorite NHL team’s prospects develop through the Rush organization in the hopes that they achieve their ultimate goal to play in the NHL with the Wild,” says Rush General Manager Joe Ferras. “We’re looking forward to partnering up with ‘The State of Hockey’, and can’t wait for our 10th anniversary season to begin.”

“We are excited to announce a new affiliation agreement with the Rapid City Rush,” said Minnesota Wild Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations and Iowa Wild General Manager Brent Flahr. “Rapid City is a terrific hockey market that includes a lot of Minnesota Wild fans that provides our organization with another great opportunity for developing our players.”

The Minnesota Wild began play in 2000. Its parent company, Minnesota Sports & Entertainment, is a premier sports and entertainment provider with several different avenues of business operations headquartered in downtown Saint Paul, Minn. Its subsidiary, the Saint Paul Arena Company, manages the state-of-the art Xcel Energy Center, home ice of the Wild, and the Saint Paul RiverCentre, which includes the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium. MSE also owns the Iowa Wild franchise in the American Hockey League, the primary development affiliate of the Minnesota Wild based in Des Moines, Iowa.  Driven by a mission to “Create a Greater State of Hockey,” MSE and the Minnesota Wild Foundation also strongly support community causes, primarily in the area of pediatric giving.

The team made the announcement on Facebook Monday afternoon, here it is:

4 COMMENTS

  1. I wish Rapid City better luck with the Wild than was enjoyed by Quad City. The Wild affiliation was seen as a detriment by the Mallards fans, with duds dumped on the team and other players parked there until their contracts expired.

  2. I know the Orlando Solar Bears were also mixed about their Iowa affiliation a few years back. Their affiliation with Toronto (Maple Leafs and Marlies) has worked much better. Question: Common wisdom is that it is advantageous to have affiliates located close together, but can that closeness also have down-sides? To take the Toronto Marlies-Orlando Solar Bears as a counter-example, it seems like the distance between the clubs (and the fact that there’s a Canada border crossing involved) has served to make call-ups and send-downs more measured and thoroughly considered. It also seems to stabilize things for the ECHL team–Marlies players tend to be down here for longer segments.

    • Robbie, thanks for the interesting question. In my conversations with teams, the sense I get is that the closeness is an added bonus at this level, and it’s more about connections and fit than anything else. As it relates to player movement, it seems, to me anyway, that distance really does not have a bearing in sending players up or down.

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