The St. Louis Blues have announced an agreement with a minor league team — just not in the American Hockey League.
On Tuesday, the Blues announced a one-year affiliation agreement for the 2017-18 season with the Tulsa Oilers in the ECHL.
“We are proud to extend our footprint to Tulsa and partner with the Oilers for the 2017-18 season,” said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said in a press release. “The Oilers are a strong organization from top to bottom and will provide a great opportunity for our young prospects to continue to develop their game.”
The Blues will play this upcoming season without a true AHL affiliate after the Vegas Golden Knights signed a multi-year deal with the Chicago Wolves, who had previously been the farm team for St. Louis.
This season, the Blues will send some of their players to Chicago, last season’s AHL affiliate, though the Wolves will now be the affiliate of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. The Blues will also loan some players to San Antonio and to other AHL teams if needed.
The ECHL is the Class AA level of minor-league hockey, so it’s not an option for players who figure in the Blues immediate plans, though it would give the Blues a place to put a young goalie to get some work.
It was, however, reported last week that the Blues are set to announce a five-year agreement with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, currently the minor league team for the Colorado Avalanche.