Andrews: “Can’t lose franchises as solid as St. John’s”

It’s still not a done deal, and a Thunder Bay news outlet’s poll showed citizens who voted are against a new event centre, but should the Winnipeg Jets move their affiliate west, the American Hockey League will do whatever they need to keep a team in Newfoundland’s capital.

In an interview with TimesUnion.com sports reporter Pete Dougherty, AHL President Dave Andrews said the league would be looking for a solution should the IceCaps move on.

“That’s another one of those markets that there’s a tremendous amount of interest,” Andrews told Dougherty in the interview posted today.

“That Thunder Bay story is preliminary to say the least,” Andrews added. “There’s no biulding there, and the financing of the building is not yet in place. So the intent (of the Jets) is to move the team into a more approximate location like Thunder Bay.”

The potential move to Thunder Bay from St. John’s is a situation where the AHL and its teams are beholden to the desires of the clubs in the NHL, something Andrews briefly touched on in his talk with Dougherty.

“We certainly need to support the desire on part of the NHL clubs to have their AHL affiliates closer,” said Andrews.

However, he added that the AHL can’t afford to “lose franchises that are as solid as St. John’s”, speaking at length about the incredible fan support the team has had since the return of the AHL to the Rock.

Andrews also answered some questions about Glens Falls, where the city will be losing Adirondack Phantoms as they move on to Lehigh Valley.

“We definitely got one more year out of the Phantoms up there than we expected,” said Andrews, adding that the league and Glens Falls mayor Jack Diamond have a search for a new team well under way.

“We think there are perhaps a couple of options,” Andrews told Dougherty. “I would give it some reasonable prospect of success.” Andrews added that it’s “not out of the realm of possibilty” that there will be a team in Glens Falls as soon as next season.

The full interview is below.

Dave Andrews one-on-one with TimesUnion.com’s Pete Dougherty

Adirondack celebrates 25 years and pushes for more

The Adirondack Phantoms unveiled a logo to commemorate the 25th season of the Adirondack region hosting the American Hockey League, but a cloud of uncertainty hung overhead.

Adirondack 25

The Phantoms will wear a jersey with this commemorative crest on Nov. 23 to celebrate 25 years of hockey in Adirondack.

At the end of this year, the Phantoms will be leaving Glens Falls, N.Y., for Allentown, P.A., a move that brings them closer to their parent club in Philadelphia. The move from Glens Falls to Allentown doesn’t come as much of a shock — for 14 years the Flyers kept their affiliate in the same city before the team left for Adirondack — but it does signal an unceremonious end to the quarter century of AHL hockey in the region. However, during a press conference today to unveil the celebratory logo, the mayor of Glens Falls,  Jack Diamond, made a point of saying the wheels were in motion for a team to return as soon as the 2014-15 season.

Diamond said the city jumped at the opportunity to bring the Phantoms to Glens Falls in 2009 — he said they “immediately reached out” upon hearing the team could be on the move — and it appears he’s prepared to do that if any AHL team becomes available.

“We anticipate some movement [of teams in the league],” said Diamond. “We want to make sure we get out ahead of that. We are dedicated and committed to bringing the AHL back to Glens Falls.”

Peter Aust, the President and CEO at Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce, added that he could, “almost assure [another team will be coming].”

The logo, designed by Glens Falls native Jesse Tyree of black dog DESIGNS, celebrates the city, the game, and the “rich history” of Adirondack in the AHL. The Phantoms will wear jerseys with the logo on Nov. 23, and fans who have bought a special ticket package will receive a pint glass with the logo.

But at the end of the day, while the logo is a nice touch, you’d have to imagine the fans would give it up for another year of hockey.

On The Bus: Devils host birthday bashes, Barons paint ice, and other news and notes

With the AHL season right around the corner, and rookie camp already underway, it’s time to get ready for another year of following the future stars of the National Hockey League in our favourite small towns. Below is a collection of links of some stories from around the AHL. If you have any tips, news, or notes you’d like to see, reach us at americanhockeyblog@gmail.com.

  • The Albany Devils have selected a couple season ticket holders to celebrate their birthdays with the team:
  • …and the Oklahoma City Barons are bringing a few fans along to help in the painting of the rink. [OKC Barons]
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins, and, in turn, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, are getting a look at some fresh blood between the pipes. [masslive.com]
  • Finally, the Adirondack Phantoms have given the following silhouette to try to pique your interest about the coming special logo unveiling on Monday:
    Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 5.56.45 PM

 

Adirondack To Unveil 25th Anniversary Logo

The Adirondack Phantoms have announced that they’ll unveil a special logo in commemoration of the 25th season of AHL hockey in the region.

The unveiling of the special logo, which hasn’t surfaced online as of this writing, will be accompanied by a discussion with members of the Phantoms inside the Glens Falls Civic Center on Monday, Sept. 9 at 2 p.m.

After the Adirondack Red Wings left the Civic Center in 1999, the building was without an AHL tenant for a decade. However, it was announced in February, 2009, that Philadelphia Flyers had reached an agreement to move their AHL operation from Philadelphia — which was the home of the Phantoms for 13 seasons — to Adirondack.

In the combined 25 seasons of AHL hockey played at the Civic Center, the faithful saw four Calder Cups awarded to their home team (’80-’81, ’85-’86, ’88-’89, ’91-’92), but haven’t watched playoff hockey since the Phantoms moved to town.

The celebrations will be short lived, however, as the Phantoms will be heading to Allentown, Pennsylvania to become the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in 2014-15.