This story confuses me, but it was only a matter of time before these rumors started popping up now that the Rochester Americans ownership has stated they’re unhappy with the Florida Panthers. The Biz of Hockey is reporting that according to their source the New York Rangers are unhappy with their relationship with the Wolfpack and are “very interested in becoming the parent club of the Americans.” The article was written by Matthew Coller who also reported the news this morning on The Blue Line Show which airs weekly on 950AM in Rochester.
The question I have would be that if the Rangers own the Wolf Pack, how can a team be unhappy with another team that they own? If anything they’re not unhappy with the Wolf Pack, they’re unhappy with Northland AEG, the company that operates the XL Center, the arena the Wolf Pack play in. Northland AEG is responsible for the day-to-day business operations of the Wolf Pack, including marketing, sponsorship and ticket sales. Madison Square Garden and the Rangers take care of on ice decisions including coaching and player movement.
MSG had run operations at the XL Center until the Connecticut Development Authority (CDA) selected Northland AEG in May 2007 to run the business side of the hockey team.
If the Rangers are not happy the way another company is handling the business side of the team, what’s to say they’d be interested in coming to Rochester where they still would not have control over such things? The Amerks front office is one of the biggest in the American Hockey League, would they accept the staff in place or be looking to clear house and run things their own way? What about being able to show games on MSG? Would they be able to kick the Sabres off the air or would they be ok with televising games on Time Warner?
Apparently there are more Rangers fans in Rochester than I knew of because it seems like with this news they’re all popping up and saying they’d love to see this happen.
In the 10 years that the Rangers have operated the Wolf Pack, this was the first season that they did not make the playoffs. The Wolf Pack won the Calder Cup for the 99/2000 season when they defeated the Amerks in six games.
Earlier this spring it was also reported that Albany and Syracuse were both trying to court the Rangers into moving their affiliation, neither stories had any weight behind them. I think every team would like to have the potential drawing power of the New York Rangers so I think it’s obvious an AHL team would say they’re interested in the Rangers. We’ll have to wait and see, I myself have not heard anything like this.
If the Amerks were looking to try and increase attendance for the upcoming season they’re going to have a lot of work ahead of them. The current AHL season has not even come to an end and with news the Amerks would be potentially be looking elsewhere no one cares about the 2010/2011 season, it’s all about the 2011/2012 season.
Get ready for more stories like this to start popping up in the coming months and continue to be a distraction.