Rapid City Rush "Excited" For New Partnership With Minnesota Wild
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The Rapid City Rush are now a professional ice hockey affiliate of the Minnesota Wild. They play in the East Coast Hockey League, and their new NHL partnership is comparable to the AA level of Major League Baseball.
Rush General Manager Joe Ferras believes Rapid City is a natural fit for an affiliation, because of the passion the community has for the sport of hockey.
“Our fans watch the Wild on a nightly basis. We watch the wild on a nightly basis, and to see that future members of the Minnesota Wild are going to be playing in Rapid City is very exciting – there’s no doubt about it,” explained Ferras. “It’s the tenth year of our organization, which is huge in any pro sport to get to that ten-year mark. That’s when tradition really starts.”
Additionally, the Rapid City Rush just signed an extension on their lease. This agreement will keep Rush Hockey at the Ice Arena of the Rusmore Plaza Civic Center through the 2026-27 season.
“It’s such a great facility, and the noise level is fantastic,” said Ferras. “Every season we’re ranked first or second with the best ice [venue] in the league.”
Because of this newly formed relationship between the Rush and the Wild, it’s possible that a future Minnesota Wild preseason game could take place in Rapid City.
“The best case scenario would be to host a Minnesota Wild vs Colorado Avalance preseason game,” said Ferras. “I think it would be the perfect way to cap off the overall hockey experience in the area.”
While it remains unknown if Rapid City will ever get the opportunity to host an NHL preseason game, Ferras said it’s the ultimate goal.
The affiliation option became available for the Rush after the Quad City Mallards changed their partnership by becoming an affiliate team of the Vegas Golden Knights - the newest expansion team in the NHL.
Players of the Rush can now be called up to the Iowa Wild (which is comparable to a AAA minor league team), and from there could find their way up to the Minnesota Wild.
Not only will Rapid City fans be able to attend a high level of professional hockey, but they'll be able to witness some of the best up and coming players the world has to offer in the sport.