Posts Tagged ‘DonCherry’

Sabres Respond to Reports of Amerks Moving to Another Arena

February 28, 2017 - By
Sabres Respond to Reports of Amerks Moving to Another Arena

As another lousy season heads into the home stretch and another year without a long term lease it’s time for some more rumblings and rumors about the future of the Rochester Americans in Rochester. Unless a long term lease was never reported the Amerks have been running on one year lease extensions based on the terms of a lease that expired in 2013. In the late spring of 2015 it was confirmed that the Sabres had thought about playing up to half of the Amerks games in Buffalo before backing away from that.

Here’s what developed on Monday (Wednesday afternoon update down farther):

Rumor is the Sabres have reached out to other arenas to house their AHL affiliate next season. Their lease with the BCA is up this year

— Comets Army (@CometsArmy) February 27, 2017

Report: Sabres look beyond BCA for Amerks, Russ Brandon “Nothing to that. Always need to keep options open but no plans to be anywhere else.

— Mike Catalana (@MikeCatalana) February 27, 2017

Update 3/1 – From D&CAmerks officials in Rochester referred questions to Buffalo. In a statement Wednesday, Pegula Sports said that ownership “has been engaged in [...]Read More

No excuses this season

April 18, 2016 - By
No excuses this season

It’s over.  One of the more disappointing seasons of at least the past 35 years has mercifully finished.

This isn’t last year’s team who could say Buffalo’s tanking devastated their roster.  It’s not a season like 2008-2009, 2010-2011, 2011-2012 or 2013-2014 where significant injuries both here and above (Florida+Buffalo) led to too many ECHL’ers playing each night.  There is no dual affiliation excuse or financial issues hanging over our head excuses.  There was no revolt against a coach like in 2009-2010 (allegedly).  There was a great veteran core ON PAPER.  There were legit prospects.  There was an experienced coaching staff.  We had strong depth right down 390 in Elmira.   There are NO excuses.  This team didn’t play to expectations and ended up 26 out of 30 teams in the AHL.

And it didn’t just end…it ended with some of the most miserable, disinterested and embarrassing play I’ve ever seen from a professional team – especially at home:

  • Lost their last 6 home games by combined score 38-10.
  • Lost 8 of their last 10 at home by a combined score of 54-21.
  • 7x in those last 10 home games they had a 4+ goal deficit at some point.  Seriously?
[...]Read More

Frustration

March 30, 2016 - By
Frustration

Playoff wins by era this century:

  • Last 5 years of first Buffalo era:  (2000-2001 – 2004-2005) = 15
  • 3 years of dual:  (2005-2006 – 2007-2008) = 2
  • 3 years of Florida:  (2008-2009 – 2010-2011) = 3
  • First 5 years of second Buffalo era/Buffalo owned (2011-2012 – 2015-2016) = 2

And compared to:

Last 5 years of last century:  (1995-1996 – 1999-2000) = 47

Any question as to why long-time fans are frustrated?

Open Letter to the AHL President – 60th Anniversary night

January 11, 2016 - By
Open Letter to the AHL President – 60th Anniversary night

Written by LGA contributor Ted Cichanowicz

 

Mr Andrews….if you weren’t doing anything special on this night, perhaps you should have made a visit to Rochester, NY to take in the festivities at the Blue Cross Arena. And if you had come, it may make you painfully aware of how you have so devalued, besmirched, and destroyed the integrity of this once well respected league. By caving into a few NHL bullies, you and your colleagues have turned the American Hockey League into joke, a cartoon, a caricature of its former self.  By allowing a small number to convince you that it is OK to play fewer games than the rest of your teams; that practice is more important than competition; that so-called development trumps winning despite still charging admission to watch these lifeless contests, you have succeeded in making a mockery out of a well established and storied institution.

Come to Rochester and talk to the former players who wore the Amerks crest; who won Calder Cups; and who said, in many cases that their time here was a highlight of their hockey careers. The pride of team; the work ethic of striving for excellence; and the ultimate goal of [...]Read More

Amerks 60th begins

October 8, 2015 - By
Amerks 60th begins

Typically, I don’t consider a hockey season to be a success unless the team gets out of the first round.  Sometimes that’s a reasonable goal and sometimes it’s not.  This season with the Amerks, it’s not only completely reasonable, but it may be a low expectation.  In fact, anything other than getting out of the first round should be considered a complete failure.

 

There are three main reasons for this opinion:

 

  1. Hockey is measured by winning in the playoffs. And this is the 2nd best league in North America and one of the best leagues in the world.  The Amerks are the 8th oldest professional hockey team in North America and one of the most storied hockey franchises in the world.  So, those who want to focus only a prospect development might not like this  – but too bad.

 

  1. It’s the Amerks 60th anniversary season AND it’s been 10 years without a playoff series win.

 

  1. No expense was spared in bringing in high level AHL talent this season. For example, Cal O’Reilly is being paid $700k to play here.

 

 

What I really want is a new [...]Read More

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 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