The NHL and AHL seasons have not ended yet but that doesn’t mean we can start looking towards the Rochester Americans 2010/2011 season that will start in just over four months. It’ll be here before we know it.
I’ll get right into the news that Lewis Staats shared with me on Wednesday…
* The American Hockey League will open their 75th season the weekend of October 8-10th. The final details of the opening weekend are being worked out and could be announced as early as the end of this week. Because it’s the 75th season the hope is to have the Rochester Americans and Hershey Bears, two of the leagues oldest franchises, to play a home and home series. Both sides are trying to work out arena conflicts to make this happen.
Hopefully the Amerks home opener is not October 8th, the same night as the Roger Waters concert in Buffalo (I say that only because I have tickets).
* The Amerks only had to get on a plane once during the 09/10 season but will likely be taking two plane trips this upcoming season. A trip out West to play the Moose and Heat for one trip and another trip is likely to just play the Moose.
* The rest of the schedule will likely be similar to last season. Some year the AHL will figure out scheduling to balance the schedules out more.
* The Amerks will stay in the Western Conference again for the upcoming season and said he does not think anything will be changing in the North Division. At the recent governors meeting he said that everyone agrees that the Amerks should be in the Eastern Conference but with the layout right now he said it just hasn’t been worked out.
How these conferences and divisions are setup is a great big mystery and anyone who follows this league will probably agree that it’s not worth trying to figure out because it does not make any sense.
* Every American Hockey League team evaluates their options when an affiliation agreement is nearing an end. That’s how the business works and that’s exactly what the Rochester Americans will be doing. Teams will evaluate how things have been and how things are looking and then weigh the options on the table.
Staats said that the Amerks do have a list of expiring affiliations provided by the AHL and he said he believes there’s about 6 or 7 that are going to be expiring, the Amerks and Panthers being one of them. He did not have the list of teams available.
Just because they’re looking at options it does not mean everything is over with the Florida Panthers. There’s also absolutely no indication that anything is “confirmed” in any way with the New York Rangers as previously reported.
More on the relationship with the Panthers in the next article!