According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Wild is expected to announce within the next few weeks that it will be moving its AHL affiliate to Des Moines, Iowa.
There has been much speculation with the Houston Aeros struggling to come to terms with the Toyota Center. Another location with big Minnesota Wild connections is Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where construction has begun on a 12,000 seat arena modeled after the Winnipeg Jets’ MTS Centre. The Stampede, Sioux Falls’ USHL team is owned in part and run by Tom Garrity, former President of the Houston Aeros and current President/CEO of Sioux Falls Sports.
With how often minor league affiliates move locations the move by the Aeros to Des Moines could be a temporary situation until Sioux Falls’ Denny Sanford Premier Center is fully operational. However, Des Moines’ Wells Fargo Arena could certainly be the final destination for this move. Not unlike the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg Jets, this move will likely not only change the location, but the team name, as well. One thing is for sure, Wild fans are going to be able to keep closer tabs on top prospects like Zack Phillips, Brett Bulmer, Erik Haula, Tyler Graovac and Johan Gustafsson next year.