Posts Tagged ‘Amerks’

The Tank is over….and in Rochester….shouldn’t have ever been

April 17, 2015 - By
The Tank is over….and in Rochester….shouldn’t have ever been

This wasn’t a fun season.  The Buffalo Sabres tanking negatively affected the Amerks roster and as a result we had to suffer through a plethora of meaningless games down the stretch.  And…..no playoffs.  Again.  So, this will be the 10th consecutive season our beloved Amerks don’t get out of the first round and the 5th time in that same stretch that we don’t get to see any playoff games at all.

For most hockey fans – playoffs are what matters…and if you’re an Amerks hockey fan who followed the team in the 60’s or the 80’s&90’s – well, this is just intolerable right now.   AAA hockey is not like AAA baseball where winning is minimized.  In baseball, rosters expand for the big club before the season is even over.  In hockey – they freeze.  In baseball, the season ends a month earlier.  In hockey – it goes later.  Hockey IS playoffs.  And Amerks hockey even moreso.  It is built into the soul of the franchise.  Those banners over the ice and in the Hall of Fame upper atrium area shouldn’t be decorations – they should be the mission.

I am of the opinion that the Amerks didn’t need to be [...]Read More

Steve Donner Interview – Part IV

January 16, 2015 - By
Steve Donner Interview – Part IV

In today’s AHL, it’s getting harder and harder to achieve the string of successful seasons that we orchestrated here, and I’d like to think that that strengthens the legacy of what we accomplished.”

 LGA:  It seems unfair that your legacy is what happened at the end vs. bringing a Cup here and having several successful seasons generated in your vision.  What do you say about that?

Donner:  “True Amerk fans know my accomplishments.  In today’s AHL, it’s getting harder and harder to achieve the string of successful seasons that we orchestrated here, and I’d like to think that that strengthens the legacy of what we accomplished.  Curt would ask me how I did it for all those years.  And I would never trade it for anything.  The negative stuff … that’s just public life.  The media does what it wants to.”

LGA:  Do you think there is a place for you in the Amerk Hall of Fame?

Donner:  “I hope so.  We had the best winning percentage in the AHL over that first 10 year period.  We won the franchise’s last Calder Cup and had 2 other final appearances.  I’m very proud of it (his ownership tenure).  It’s the [...]Read More

Steve Donner Interview – Part III

January 14, 2015 - By
Steve Donner Interview – Part III

“We weren’t asking for handouts – we just wanted to keep some of our own revenue that we were generating.”

 

LGA:  On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being extremely difficult and 10 being extremely easy) how was the city of Rochester to work with regards to the War Memorial lease?

Donner:  “A rating is tough.  Maybe a 3-4 … overall.  Johnson was better to work with.  His administration was more like a 5-7.  Also the County Executive at the time was good to work with – Jack Doyle.  After Johnson, an extraordinarily hard line was taken. There were a lot of politics going on behind the scenes.  They weren’t going to not appease the only billionaire in town.  The only way to keep up was a better lease.  The city said no.   If you look around, how do you think Utica got a team back?  Binghamton…they got a sweet heart of lease.  Those communities want their team.  You know, we weren’t asking for handouts – we just wanted to keep some of our own revenue that we were generating.”

“In the beginning, profits were invested 100% back into the team.  Because….pride in the city and to win championships.  Even [...]Read More

Steve Donner Interview – Part II

January 13, 2015 - By
Steve Donner Interview – Part II

“I wanted to make Rochester proud”

LGA: What do you miss the most about owning the Amerks?
Donner: “The People! I miss the fans the most – their happiness after a win. The joy of watching the clock count down on a game day. I was a fan first, so being able to do that in my home town – well – it was a passion more than a job. I wanted to make Rochester proud. I gave it all I had. I hate to see the franchise struggle. I really did give it everything I had. In the first 10 years of my ownership we had the best winning percentage in the AHL”

LGA: Who were some of your favorite players during your tenure as owner?
Donner: “Frawls, Metter, Sharky….Dane Jackson. Sharky (Craig Charron) was my first signing…EVER. Very proud that I gave him a chance when no one else would – and look what he accomplished here! And also a great community guy. Jody of course, too. Became a great GM…for TWO teams. The guys you win with always remain special, of course. Still talk with Torts and Boxie now.”
This segued into a great [...]Read More

Steve Donner Interview – Part I (Intro)

January 12, 2015 - By
Steve Donner Interview – Part I (Intro)

“They were the love of my life.”

In 1994, the Buffalo Sabres needed to divest money losing entities like the Rochester Americans – to be scuttled or sold – in order to finance and build the Marine Midland Arena, now known as the First Niagara Center.

Steve Donner had already made it known to close friend and former boss Seymour Knox as well as Gerry Meehan that owning the Amerks would be a dream come true. While he enjoyed his time as VP with the Tampa Bay Lightning, his wife missed WNY and he really had a strong desire to test his own philosophies on a franchise he owned. While a deal was going to take a little time, Donner took a chance and returned to Rochester to be President of the Amerks (with an option to buy) where he worked as marketing director in the early 80’s. So on a Wednesday night, watching a lackluster performance in front of a nearly-empty arena, then-Sabres President, Doug Moss said, “Are you SURE you want to buy this team?

With that, the Cinderella story of the 1995-1996 Calder Cup Championship team was born, and the growing development-only philosophy of the previous 2 [...]Read More

Here’s Why I Think The 2013-14 Season Was A Success

May 10, 2014 - By


Unlike Eric I’m a relatively green Amerks fan. While Eric has admirably supported the team for more than 3 decades I’ve spent less than a decade as a fan. I discovered the Amerks after moving to Rochester for college and I only became a season ticket holder in 2011. My interest in the team coincided with the discovery of accounting discrepancies involving then team owner Steve Donner. Countless changes resulted. An awkward dual affiliation with the Florida Panthers was signed along side the existing Buffalo Sabres affiliation. This dual affiliation coupled with continued financial woes resulted in the loss of the Buffalo Sabres affiliation. The Amerks were sold. The new owner, Curt Styres, bailed the team out of its financial situation and negotiated with the city of Rochester to keep the team in Rochester. The future looked brighter…for a moment. The lack of a local affiliation and the turmoil in ownership eroded the fan base. Moral among everyone–fans, players, and staff–was at an all time low. Even for a newer fan like myself the change in attitude was evident everywhere…from the parking garage to the arena. The eroding fan base led to an increase in promotions. So [...]Read More

Video: Frozen Frontier Shootout (Amerks vs. Monsters)

December 14, 2013 - By


If you missed last night’s game at Frozen Frontier, you missed a magical event. It was cold. It was snowy. It was the perfect setting for a winter classic. The Amerks almost etched out a 4-3 win but the Monsters managed to tie it all up with 1/10th of a second remaining in the 3rd period. After an uneventful overtime period the game was decided in a shootout. Ultimately the Amerks prevailed and won Frozen Frontier!

Eric Bourgeois adds “Major kudos need to be given to the Amerk front office for collaborating with several partners to organize and make this game possible. The amazing atmosphere of this game is a shining moment for this storied franchise – and ideally will spark the team on and off the ice. A sincere thank you to all involved”.

About The Author
Chris Schiffner is a New Yorker turned Rochestarian who loves the Amerks, is passionate about the success and development of Downtown Rochester, and celebrates all things local. He maintains a blog at Schiffner.com. You can find him on Twitter at @ChrisSchiffner.

Amerks, Playoffs and Darcy

April 11, 2013 - By
Amerks, Playoffs and Darcy

After a second frustrating trade deadline in a row, Eric Bourgeois and Jason Bonno discuss the Amerk playoff roster (who’s on it, who is not), playoff chances……..and Darcy Regier.

Kevin Porter

Eric: He was clearly very important to the team in many ways as its captain and is sorely missed. Good for him in getting NHL time, but I think he would have cleared waivers so that he could have played with us in the playoffs.

Jason: This was a tough blow to the Amerks. Porter’s speed and puck possession were elite at the AHL level, and are two things the Amerks severely lack currently. He was the backbone of the Amerks forwards. Beyond his offensive abilities, he was also responsible defensively and was a key PK’er. I can’t say 100%, but my guess is he would have cleared waivers. His 1-way deal next season was a nice security blanket and probably would have scared off teams from claiming him.

Cody Hodgson and Marcus Foligno

Eric: I’m okay with considering them “graduated” and therefore not eligible for the playoffs here, but boy does the Buffalo organization need some playoff experience for its young players. And it’s not like Hodgson [...]Read More

Does Buffalo care about winning in Rochester?

December 9, 2012 - By

-Written by Jason Bonno

Buffalo Sabres management is failing the Rochester Americans. The season, which arrived amidst much hoopla with the NHL lockout, is starting to come off the rails by the middle of December, with apparently no help in sight. To the contrary, the positive is just that, it’s only the middle of December and there are 55 games remaining. However, one has to wonder if Sabres GM Darcy Regier and Kevin Devine, who oversees Amerks hockey operations, really have any pulse on what is happening to the Amerks – and if they do, do they care?

It didn’t start well on the injury front, with the Amerks losing Corey Tropp for the season during their very first game. Many fans hoped for a replacement player right away. That the Sabres management would recognize losing their top winger in the first game could be a devastating blow, especially in a league with so much talent. But nothing happened. It was understandable, especially when Brian Flynn capitalized on his new opportunity. He has, perhaps, become the Amerks’ best forward and arguably MVP to date.

However, it didn’t end there. As it seems to happen to every year to the Amerks, [...]Read More

Survey for Hockey Fans About an App to Be Released Soon

August 13, 2012 - By
Survey for Hockey Fans About an App to Be Released Soon

I think it’s safe to say that just about every hockey player, fan and anyone in the media has HockeyDB set as one of their bookmarks or can type the name of the site faster than just about any other site.  A few professional hockey players are trying to take a piece of that pie by developing an app for our smartphones with an expected release date before the season starts.

(Side note: If you don’t have it installed  already, download the LetsGoAmerks.com app on to your iPhone, Android or Blackberry phone immediately by visiting the apps page here!)

The project involves former Rochester Americans defensemen Kyle Hagel (a whopping 3 games), Dustin Sprout and Cam MacIntyre.  Kyle Hagel reached out to me over the weekend to help spread the word and ask for feedback from others.

Here’s the description given about the application:

Shnarped is an iPhone application – created by three players that have recently played in the AHL – that will aggregate information (stats, news/blogs, videos, twitter) about all professional hockey players onto a player page. Players will have access to these profiles and will be able to customize them with unique content. It [...]Read More

Weekend Home Games: Amerks vs Crunch and Marlies

November 6, 2009 - By

After what seems like an eternity since last weekends road win in Binghamton the Amerks are finally back to action tonight against the Syracuse Crunch.  On Saturday night they’ll take on the Toronto Marlies.

The last time the Amerks and Crunch played was October 25th when Amerks shutout the Crunch 3-0.  That same game ended with a total of 54 minutes in penalties in the last 10 seconds of the game.

Rochester is currently tied for first place in the league with the Manchester Monarchs at 19 points.  The team certainly does not take their eight game winning streak for granted and they’re certainly not acting over confident.  That will be tested tonight when they play a Syracuse Crunch team that is short on players.

Derek MacKenzie and Alexandre Picard were called up this week by the Columbus Blue Jackets and center Jared Aulin is out of the lineup with a hand injury.  Simon Ferguson was signed to a PTO by the Crunch to join the team for some needed help.

During the 2008/2009 season some teams seemed to take the Amerks lightly and the games were close, that’s something that could happen in reverse [...]Read More

Panthers Call up Oreskovich and Ellerby

October 31, 2009 - By

The Florida Panthers booked Victor Oreskovich and Keaton Ellerby on a plane this morning to join the team in St Louis to increase the recent callups from the Rochester Americans to five players.  Earlier in the week Kenndal McArdle, Michal Repik, and Jeff Taffe were called up.

Ellerby was called up to play in place of Bryan Allen who has not played consecutive nights as he recovers from his knee surgery.  No idea if Allen is ever going to be 100% to play consecutive games this season.  Keaton has been playing some great hockey lately, possibly his best since turning pro.  He’s skating fast and smooth and controlling the puck as well.  He’s stopping shots and clearing the puck without turning it over.

Oreskovich being called up was a bit of a surprise.  He’s a great player and you’d never know watching him that he took two years off.  Oreskovich had two assists in Saturday nights Amerks 4-2 win over the Binghamton Senators.  He’s a hard hitting player who has great control of the puck once it’s on his stick.

No idea at this time who he’s being called up to replace, but it’s obvious the [...]Read More