A look back as Wolves hit the ice for 1,000th home game
What a long, fun ride it's been.
Debuting in 1994 after joining the International Hockey League, the Chicago Wolves are still going strong a quarter century later.
Tuesday night, they'll hit the ice at the Allstate Arena for their 1,000th home game.
"Think about it, that's a lot," said chairman of the board Don Levin, who founded the Wolves with Buddy Meyers and Grant Mulvey. "It's amazing how long it's been and I've loved it."
Winning breeds happiness, and that's why the Wolves always seem to have an extra bounce in their step.
Not only did they capture two Turner Cups while playing in the IHL, they won a pair of Calder Cups after shifting to the American Hockey League in 2001.
Heading into Tuesday night's milestone game against San Antonio, the Wolves are 588-304 at home.
"The winning has been great," Levin said. "The more you win the more fun it is."
Here's a look back at 10 memorable moments in Wolves history:
On Oct. 1., 1994, the Wolves hit the road for the first game in franchise history, a 6-5 shootout loss to the Detroit Vipers at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Under head coach Gene Ubriaco, Ted Crowley scored the first goal for the Wolves.
Game 1 on the home slate was on Oct. 14 of '94, and a capacity crowd of 16,623 packed the erstwhile Rosemont Horizon to witness a 4-2 win.
Wayne Messmer, the Wolves' senior executive VP, sang an emotional national anthem before the inaugural game six months after suffering a gunshot wound to the throat.
Light the lamp:
On April 12, 1997, Wolves legend Steve Maltais set the franchise record with 60 goals.
It was the third straight season the winger scored 50 or more, and Maltais came back with 56 goals in 1998-99.
Hoist the Cup:
In their fourth season (1997-98), the Wolves rallied to defeat the Detroit Vipers in seven games to claim their first Turner Cup.
Do it again:
After posting the best record in the regular season, Derek Plante scored 2 goals in 26 seconds and the Wolves beat the Grand Rapid Griffins 3-1 in Game 6 on June 5, 2000, to win their second Turner Cup in three years.
On June 4, 2001, the Wolves joined the American Hockey League following a seven-year run and two championships in the IHL.
The Wolves debuted in the AHL as the Atlanta Thrashers' affiliate.
Back to winning:
In 2001-02, the Wolves made it to the playoffs for the eighth year in a row.
They went on to win the Calder Cup in their first season in the AHL.
Maltais retired after the 2004-05 season and remains the Wolves' most prolific scorer.
Over his 11 seasons, Maltais piled up 454 goals and 497 assists in 839 games.
Four on the floor:
On June 10, 2008, Jason Krog's hat trick in Game 6 lifted the Wolves to a 5-2 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Allstate Arena.
The victory gave the home team their second Calder Cup trophy.
On May 16, 2017, the Wolves became the affiliate of the NHL's upstart Las Vegas Knights.
After winning a franchise-record 13 home games last season, the Wolves fell to Charlotte in the Calder Cup finals.