Golden Knights purchase San Antonio Rampage, apply for relocation of AHL franchise to Southern Nevada

Vegas will move the AHL franchise closer to home

The Vegas Golden Knights have purchased the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL and have reapplied for relocation to bring the franchise to Southern Nevada to begin play next season, the team announced Thursday.

The deal comes after the Golden Knights announced that this would be their last season affiliated with the Chicago Wolves, where prospects like Keegan Kolesar, Cody Glass and Nicolas Hague have played before coming up to the NHL.

The purchase is still subject to approval from the American Hockey League Board of Governors.

Golden Knights owner Bill Foley said “We could not be more proud to bring a second professional hockey club to the Valley to accelerate [the growth of the Las Vegas market] evern further.”

The team would begin to play in the Las Vegas area starting in 2020-21, as the Rampage finish out the 2019-20 season in San Antonio and fill out their affiliation with the St. Louis Blues. The move leaves the Blues without an AHL affiliate, although they were the Wolves’ NHL mate before the Golden Knights came into existence.

This will likely be a transition year for the rest of the season, as Rocky Thompson is on the last season of his contract and will likely move on to an NHL team, being one of the hottest potential new coaches on the market. The Golden Knights will also likely call up a few players from the new AHL team before they come into existence next year, as players like Ryan Reaves and Nick Holden reach free agency.