(Editor’s Note: This story was updated on May 31 with new information.)
At a time when Chicago’s pro sports teams are removing games from over-the-air broadcast television for one reason or another, the Chicago Wolves have decided to go the opposite route when it comes to their team in the Calder Cup finals.
The American Hockey League franchise announced Thursday it has struck a deal with WCIU and its sister station The U Too (WCUU/WMEU) to carry the entire series against the Charlotte Checkers, the Carolina Hurricanes’ farm team.
On Friday afternoon, the NHL Network announced they are carrying all Calder Cup games using the Wolves’ feed, with the series also being streamed on TheAHL.com. Games two and three and five through seven are also being carried on SiriusXM’s NHL Network Radio on channel 91.
Locally, the first game is Saturday at 5 p.m. Chicago time at Charlotte on WCIU. The rest of the series will be on The U Too as scheduled:
Game 2: June 2 at Charlotte 5 p.m.
Game 3: June 5 vs. Charlotte 7 p.m.
Game 4: Thurs, June 6 vs. Charlotte 7 p.m.
Game 5: Sat, June 8 vs. Charlotte 7 p.m.*
Game 6: Thurs., June 13 at Charlotte 6 p.m.*
Game 7: Fri, June 14 at Charlotte 6 p.m.*
*= if necessary
The U Too is carried on over-the-air Channel 26.2 and 48.1 (in HD.) and on all cable and satellite carriers with the notable exception of DirecTV.
Founded in 1994, The Wolves have been one of the most successful minor-league franchises in hockey, being successful at a time when the cross-town Chicago Blackhawks stumbled on the NHL stage. The Wolves have won two Calder Cups (in 2002 and 2008) and also won two Turner Cups in the former International Hockey League.
The Wolves were also instrumental in putting their games – especially home contests on television at a time when the Blackhawks weren’t doing so, striking a deal with WCIU to carry Saturday night games during the franchise’s first two seasons. Since then, the Wolves have been carried on Comcast and in the last few years, rights have been split between Fox’s My Network TV affiliate WPWR and The U Too.
This fall, WCIU becomes a CW affiliate and The U Too is being rebranded as “The U”, WCIU’s current moniker.