The Rapid City Rush and the Minnesota Wild have ended their affiliation after just one year of the partnership.
On Friday, the Rapid City Journal reported that “after weeks of negotiation,” the Rush and Wild have mutually agreed to part ways at this time.
Rapid City Rush President Joe Macdonell released this statement regarding the affiliation.
"After weeks of negotiations, we collectively decided to mutually part ways in our affiliation with the Minnesota Wild. I would like, on behalf of our organization, to thank the Wild for their partnership this last year, and for allowing us to aid in the development of some of their top prospects. At this time, we are continuing to evaluate our options regarding NHL affiliation for next season."
Prior to the 2017-18 season, the Rapid City Rush spent two years as an affiliate team to the Arizona Coyotes (NHL). The path for an affiliation opened when the Rush joined the East Coast Hockey League in 2014.
Via his statement, Rush President Joe Macdonell said the team is currently exploring options for a future affiliation with an NHL team. Currently, there are five teams in the National Hockey League are without an ECHL affiliate team. They are the Vegas Golden Knights, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, Anaheim Ducks, and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Could one of these five teams partner up with the Rapid City Rush? Only time will tell...