Welcome aboard to the New Jersey Devils!
The Binghamton Devils will begin their inaugural season for the 2017-’18 campaign in a little over three and a half months from now as opening day is slated for October 7th and there is excitement in the air.
Believe me when I say this - as many fans will find it hard to disagree - that we are absolutely thrilled with the new arrival of the New Jersey Devils’ organization to Binghamton. It was a nice run with the Ottawa Senators and the BSens, but many felt like the time had come for a change on both fronts.
The fans have spoken out
I am super excited about the potential that the new organization will bring. It was time for a change. LET'S GO DEVILS!! #AHLAAtJ— McSkatKat (@enker1700) June 25, 2017
The draft knocked me out of my hockey funk and sparked some excitement to see a new era of players develop here in Binghamton #AHLAAtJ— Erin Lynn (@Bing_da_Bling) June 25, 2017
Season ticket sales and packages are on the rise over previous seasons as I have heard many are included from the Tri-City Area of Albany that are willing to make the three hour plus drive. We inherit an Albany Devils team that reached the AHL playoffs last season, but ended up losing in four games in Round I to the Toronto Marlies that included a final triple overtime game that could’ve gone either way.
A little history is in order
I’ve been a hockey fan here in Binghamton for over 40 years and this has not been the first affiliate change I’ve been a part of.
The AHL has been here since back in the late 70’s (that’s 1970!) when it was the Broome (Binghamton) Dusters (1977-1980), which was later followed by the Whalers (1980-1990) and then the Rangers (1990-1997) that brought fans to their feet for the popular vote with a record setting season in 1992-’93 that still stands today in the AHL with 124 points in 80 games (57-13-10-0). Unfortunately, they fell short in the post season with little results.
After a five year hiatus (1997-2002) to the UHL known as the Iceman, the Senators brought AHL hockey back to the City for the 2002-’03 season that began a run that lasted for 15 years, and the first and only Calder Cup Championship in the spring of 2011 and let me tell you, what a run that was for myself and the passionate fanbase that we’ll never forget.
However, with Ottawa pulling out early with two years remaining to the five year extension they signed in 2014, there were rumors floating around with several NHL clubs knocking on the door, but New Jersey seemed like the perfect fit as they have reached an agreement for the next five years as the primary affiliate for the BDevils.
As far as where they will play
The Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena will be the home for the upcoming club at 1 Stuart Place, in the midst of downtown Binghamton, NY. The ‘Floyd’ underwent extensive renovations and improvements within the past five years that included new seating, energy-efficient LED lighting, concessions, dasher boards, locker rooms and a brand new video board. It’s an old barn that has a unique hockey game experience that is something to partake in.
The other professional team in town is the Double AA baseball club for the New York Mets newly renamed the Rumble Ponies. The Mets have been affiliated with Binghamton for over 30 years and has three Championships to show for. The University of Binghamton is a Division I college for sports and with hockey on the horizon according to some.
What’s in store following the team’s coverage
As Alicia and myself embrace our new surroundings here at AAtJ, over the course of the summer I will familiarize myself with the Devils’ Organization and how the Binghamton club will shape up during the offseason.
As far as the upcoming season, I will have BDevils’ game recaps along with Alicia’s top notch pics for all home games (and most away games), a few Prospect Profiles to fill in as well as a frequent feature I call Bingo Bites with bits and pieces concerning the club, and Quarterly Grades reports with assistance from The Panel, a group of knowledgeable fans that cast their votes and provides player opinions you don’t want to miss!
Thanks for reading & we’ll see you soon!