We’re at the point in the offseason where there aren’t many teams left playing. It’s really the window where you start to see announcements and preparations for next season on the hockey side as all but four organizations prepare for the NHL Draft and new to this year, the Vegas Expansion Draft.

So this blog will announce things, or if they’ve already been announced, we’ll provide some context. You may only want food lists and that’s fine, but as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.

Now for the blog…

Vegas announced that they will be the primary affiliate of the Chicago Wolves. St. Louis announced that they will provide players to play in Chicago, but not be their primary affiliate. Confused? Let me help. As Blues GM Doug Armstrong said, St. Louis “looked into options that included having their own AHL affiliate for this season, but those options did not work out.”

This goes along with what AHL President and CEO David Andrews told us during an interview back in February here in Bakersfield. I’m generalizing, but his message was “it’s 50/50 that we get to 31 teams next season.” Reading into that, St. Louis clearly tried to get a 31st team to materialize, it didn’t work, and this is the situation.

What does this mean for the Condors? Nothing, other than you’ll see the Wolves this season. With Vegas firmly in Chicago, I would expect St. Louis to find a place for either an expansion team in 2018-19 or a situation where they go into an existing AHL market and then that NHL team finds a spot for team number 31. Either way, I think it’s safe to say you’ll see 31 teams in 2018-19, just not sure if it’ll be a western team.

Holty I saw the divisions aren’t balanced out West now with Charlotte moving… Yeah, the AHL Board of Governors will vote on that in July, but I’d expect a crossover again, meaning the fifth place team in the Pacific, if they have a better record than the fourth place team in the Central, would crossover into that division for playoffs. Don’t expect the playoff format to change. It’s too convenient and let’s be honest, you want to play out of your division for ease of travel.

Players weren’t the only ones banged up from last season. Head coach Gerry Fleming had to have some offseason surgery on his arm after he got back from Edmonton. He’ll be good to go for next season though. Along with Tony Borgford and JF Houle, they’ll head up to Edmonton again in late June/early July for development camp. Had a chance to golf with Tony recently and let’s just say we saw every bit of Stockdale Country Club.

If you missed it, Jere Sallinen and Jonas Gustavsson both signed in Sweden. Joey Benik signed in Norway.

The Oilers signed 2016 Draft Pick Dylan Wells. He had a very good year in net for Peterborough in the OHL. He’s not eligible for the AHL full time next year.

Holty, announce your Preakness winners already. Listen, we all know the Derby is a crapshoot and if you bet the favorite and won, congrats. Life’s too short to bet the favorites. Always Dreaming, the Derby winner is trained by Todd Pletcher. Todd Pletcher never wins the Preakness. Let me say that again, Todd Pletcher never wins the Preakness. Because of that, and because I think with the fewer horses, there will be a better trip, I’ll put the 5 Classic Empire with the 3 Hence and 6 Gunnevera. 5-3-6. Cash the ticket, sit back and enjoy.

You have to mix food in here somehow right? Yeah, well Dunkies is officially open. It’s on the clear west side of town, but you’ll enjoy it. When I moved here six years ago, I never thought I’d see the day. But here we are. You’re welcome.

Until next time Condorstwon…

Ryan Holt aka Holty is the Voice of the Condors and enters his seventh season in 2017-18. His favorite donut is Boston Creme. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense or shoot him an e-mail to rholt@bakersfieldcondors.com with questions, comments, or blog ideas.