The Vancouver Canucks announced today they have bought the American Hockey League’s Peoria Rivermen from the NHL’s St. Louis Blues.

"This is an exciting opportunity for the Canucks,” Canucks owner and chairman Francesco Aquilini said in a statement. “The purchase of the Peoria franchise allows us to take an important step and assume full control of our minor-league development program.”

The move, if approved by the AHL, would spell the end of the Canucks' two-season affiliation agreement with the Chicago Wolves.