It was only a matter of time before this topic came up, the affiliation between the Rochester Americans and the Florida Panthers. The divorce word has been mentioned and we’re now looking at a year of distractions as this affiliation comes to a close.
Over at Hockey O-Zone the blog post by Kevin titled “An Amerk-Panthers divorce could be in the works” is getting it all started. Take a few minutes to read it through.
Here’s my thoughts, just say this is the last season of the affiliation and let it end. Curt Styres and Lewis Staats had no choice but to sign an agreement with the Panthers when they bought the Amerks. I think it’s been pretty clear that very few people like the Florida Panthers and enough people have probably put it in their heads that the Panthers are the problem for low ticket sales. I have no idea what else at this time will be available, but with the way things work in the AHL it seems like nothing is ever set in stone no matter what is reported.
The Amerks have not even met with the Dale Tallon yet, the Panthers new GM. It seems to me like common business sense would be to hold off on the words said and say they’re going to meet and try to work out their differences and make things work. Or, just say they’re going to explore all other options and say they’re going separate ways.
What we have instead are some more wacky discussions in the middle of May and not anything that will try and build any new fan interest for next season. These are real issues, you just have to question the way in which the organization goes about talking about them.
One thing is for certain, for the rest of the summer and then all season unless something new is worked out this will be the topic of discussion with just about everyone saying the Amerks need to get back together with a team down the thruway. That’s a completely different discussion because everyone who says that seems to forget about what they did to harm the value of the Amerks.
The AHL and NHL do not provide a list of current affiliation lengths between teams so there’s no real way to say what other team would be available.
Get ready for another lame duck season and world of distractions. I feel sorry for the ticket reps who have to try and build new ticket sales, it’s probably not easy with all of this going on.