Posts Tagged ‘NHL’

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

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

Hockey players wear sweaters, not jerseys

October 18, 2009 - By

I read this about a month ago and it means more now than ever.  It’s easy to just write the word jersey when talking about a teams uniform but it’s a lot more than that, it’s a sweater.

This years Rochester Americans team is playing for that sweater, they’re playing for the logo, they’re playing for this city.  They aren’t playing for anyone else.  They aren’t playing for the team that originally drafted them.  They’re playing for what it means to be a Rochester American.

I originally found this article on Kuklas Korner, take a few minutes to read…

from Don Barrie at the Peterborough Examiner,

The Petes unveiled their new hockey sweaters last Thursday. The new design and material are part of a move the OHL and the CHA are taking to tap into the endorsement money for sweater exclusivity as their NHL counterparts.

Unfortunately many of the reports and the Petes’ actual press release referred to the new hockey apparel as a jersey, not the sweater that it is.

Here in Canada there are three accepted definitions for “jersey” according to my Funk and Wagnall Dictionary.

Jersey is a breed of a top [...]Read More

Dadonov Practicing In South Florida

September 2, 2009 - By

That status of Evgeni Dadonov has gone back and forth this summer with all of us wondering if he was going to be playing in North America or if the threats of the KHL were going to keep him in Russia.  It looks as if it’s North America for Dadonov as he’s in Florida and working out with the team.  Assuming nothing strange happens we’ll be seeing Dadonov in Rochester this season.  When I say strange I mean the KHL dropping a massive law suit or Dadonov having an amazing camp and blowing everyone away.

I was critical of Dadonov in a previous article this summer so I’m really curious to see him play as well as get the chance to talk directly with him.  Here’s the article from the Panthers site:

Dadonov Practicing In South Florida
Koistinen ready for new start
Tuesday, 09.01.2009 / 7:00 AM / News
Florida Panthers

By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

Panthers prospect Evgeni Dadonov, the subject of rumors this summer that he wouldn’t be able to leave Russia and his team in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), is not only in South Florida but working out with the rest of the [...]Read More

Updated: Dadonov Contract Approved by NHL

July 13, 2009 - By

It was recently mentioned that Russian prospect Evgeni Dadonov of the Florida Panthers had signed a deal and would be a part of the Rochester Americans in the upcoming season, but Dadonovs coach thinks differently.

Earlier in the Spring of 2009 it was announced that Dadonov had signed a 2yr deal with Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL, so the idea of him suddenly signing a deal to comeover to North America to play seemed odd.

Nothing official announced by the Panthers, the only mention of Dadonov to North America seems to be from a conversation that occured between Jack Birch (Florida Panthers director of player personnel) and Kevin Oklobzija of the Democrat and Chronicle.

Kevin Oklobzija followed up with Jack Birch who said:

“We’ve heard no issue with it; his entry-level contract was accepted and approved by the league last week,” Birch said. “If there was a problem, they wouldn’t have approved the contract.”

The web site RussianProspects.com had posted the following:

As reported by North American sources, Evgeni Dadonov  (Florida Panthers) might have signed an entry-level contract with the Panthers. But the situation is tricky because not more than two months ago Dadonov signed a two-years deal [...]Read More