The Chicago Wolves have won the 2022 Calder Cup, winning their series against the Springfield Thunderbirds in five games. This is the first Calder Cup to be won since the Charlotte Checkers captured the honor in 2019. The Wolves are the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, making the Hurricanes the first team to have their affiliate win back-to-back Calder Cups since the Washington Capitals’ affiliate, the Hershey Bears, won in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
The Wolves were a high-scoring, high-flying machine for most of this season. They went 50-16-10, and led the AHL with 110 points. The Wolves are an independently owned team that prioritizes winning above all else in a league where player development is for many the number-one goal. That strategy has led them to success this year, and it’s their veterans that have led the way for them.
Forward Andrew Poturalski, the Wolves’ captain, won the Calder Cup with the Checkers in 2019 and led the Wolves in scoring with 101 points. Former New Jersey Devil Stefan Noesen potted 48 goals in the regular season and Josh Leivo, a veteran of 214 NHL games, scored 15 goals in the Wolves’ playoff run to capture the Jack Butterfield Trophy for AHL playoff MVP.
This victory over the Thunderbirds undoubtedly puts Wolves coach Ryan Warsofsky in the spotlight, as he’s now won two Calder Cups since becoming an AHL coach in 2019. He won his first as an assistant on the Checkers’ 2019 staff. Warsofsky has a 105-47-10 record as an AHL head coach and a 88-44-12 record as an ECHL coach. While it’s unlikely that he gets one of the current head coaching vacancies, he’s definitely a candidate to keep an eye on for next year’s cycle.
This is the Wolves’ third Calder Cup. They last won in 2008 and also captured the 2001-02 Calder Cup.