Tag Archives: Schedule

2015-16 Schedule Revealed

This summer has been a lot of waiting.

We waited as the ECHL and NHL all released their schedules.

We waited as new divisions, playoff setups, and complaints about the shorter California 5 schedule were announced.

But today, finally, plans for the fall and winter can be made.

This afternoon the AHL finally released the full 2015-16 schedule.  A total of 1,120 games will be played between Friday, October 9th and Sunday, April 17th.  25 teams will play 76 games, while the infamous California 5 (San Jose, Stockton, San Diego, Bakersfield, and Ontario) will play 68.

Let’s take a look at the full Albany schedule, followed by a breakdown of opponents, numbers, etc.:

OCTOBER

10–at Binghamton

17–at Toronto

18–at Toronto

23–at Portland

24–PORTLAND

25–BINGHAMTON

30–BRIDGEPORT

31–UTICA

NOVEMBER

1–TORONTO

6–at Syracuse

7–at Hartford

13–at Providence

14–at Lehigh Valley

15–at Springfield

20–SPRINGFIELD

21–W/B-SCRANTON

25–BRIDGEPORT

27–BINGHAMTON

28–at Springfield

DECEMBER

2–ST. JOHN’S

5–ROCHESTER

6–SYRACUSE

11–SYRACUSE

12–at W/B-Scranton

15–at St. John’s

16–at St. John’s

19–at Rochester

26–PROVIDENCE

30–UTICA

31–at Utica

JANUARY

2–at Hartford

8–SYRACUSE

9–LEHIGH VALLEY

10–at Hartford

13–ROCHESTER

15–at Providence

16–at Utica

20–HARTFORD

22–ST. JOHN’S

23–ST. JOHN’S

27–HERSHEY

29–UTICA

30–at Bridgeport

FEBRUARY

5–at Providence

6–HARTFORD

9–PROVIDENCE

12–at Rochester

13–ROCHESTER

14–BRIDGEPORT

20–at Utica

21–at Bridgeport

24–ST. JOHN’S

26–at Springfield

28–at Bridgeport

MARCH

1–at Toronto

4–at St. John’s

5–at St. John’s

11–at Binghamton

12–UTICA

13–TORONTO

16–PROVIDENCE

19–at Utica

20–at Bridgeport

22–SPRINGFIELD

25–at Syracuse

26–at Hershey

29–HARTFORD

1–at Binghamton

2–SPRINGFIELD

3–BINGHAMTON

8–at Syracuse

9–at Binghamton

10–TORONTO

13–BINGHAMTON

15–at Rochester

16–BRIDGEPORT

(home games in CAPS)

The breakdown:

-For the first time since the 2011-12 season, all 38 home games will actually be played in the Capital District.  No Atlantic City or Newark.  With the city on a mission to keep hockey at the Times Union Center, this is a great start.

-By day: Sunday 13, Monday 0, Tuesday 5, Wednesday 10, Thursday 1, Friday 20, Saturday 27.

-By opponent: Wilkes-Barre, Lehigh Valley, Hershey, Portland 2; Rochester, Syracuse, Toronto, Providence, Springfield, Hartford 6; Binghamton, Utica, St. John’s, Bridgeport 8.  No Western Conference at all.

-The Devils begin the season with a 4 game road swing through Binghamton, Toronto, and Portland, before hosting the Pirates on October 24th.  They do play 3 out of their final 4 games at home in mid April.

-Home game times are the same as last season: weeknights at 7:00, Saturdays at 5:00 (except for 1/23, a 2 PM start due to the annual RPI/Union doubleheader), and Sundays at 3:00.

-Albany gets one school day game, an 11 AM start in Toronto on March 1st.

-Longest homestand is 5 games, which happens twice: October 24th-November 1st and January 20-29th.  Longest road trip is 6 games from February 26th-March 11th.

-Only 8 3 in 3 weekends this year.  I’m good with that.

Now all that is left to do is wait out the last few weeks before training camp and preseason, then the fun begins.

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Sign on the Dotted Line…

Finally, the news most of us locally have been waiting for to become official has come.

Earlier today it was announced that the Devils have agreed to a new lease with Albany County and the Times Union Center.  What was hopefully going to be a multi year agreement is rumored to only be for the 2015-16 season.  I’m trying hard not to read too much into that, but with the recent upheaval of several AHL teams to be closer to their parent club (most recently Winnipeg moving their AHL team from St. John’s to Manitoba and bringing back the Moose), you have to at least think about what the future of professional hockey in the Capital District beyond next season will look like.  There are so many variables that will come into play for season #6 that could determine that, like on ice performance, marketing, visibility in the community, the arena itself, etc.  With the recent changing of the guard in New Jersey, one also wonders what kind of influence that will have on the roster.

Also announced in the press release: this year’s home opener, coming up on October 24th.  Judging by how late in the month that is, it appears the team will be starting the season on the road for the third straight year.  The awkward WP countdown square returns for the next 5 months!  Or, 169 days, 24 weeks, etc.

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2014-15 Schedule Revealed

Finally, finally, finally (and did I mention finally?) the day has arrived.

After waiting for the NBA to get their schedule finalized (since a few Western Conference teams share the building), the AHL released the full 2014-15 schedule this morning.  Here is the full Albany schedule, followed by a breakdown:

(all home games in CAPS)

OCTOBER

11-at Adirondack

17-at Bridgeport

18-BRIDGEPORT

21-WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON

24-at Hartford

25-HARTFORD

NOVEMBER

1-BRIDGEPORT

2-PORTLAND

5-at Hartford

8-at Bridgeport

9-at Bridgeport

12-SYRACUSE

14-at Portland

15-at Portland

21-WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON

22-at Binghamton

23-BRIDGEPORT

26-HARTFORD

28-LEHIGH VALLEY*

29-UTICA

DECEMBER

2-SPRINGFIELD

5-at Providence

6-PORTLAND

7-ADIRONDACK

11-at Hartford

14-LEHIGH VALLEY*

19-at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

20-at Syracuse

26-at Syracuse

27-SPRINGFIELD

30-PROVIDENCE

JANUARY

2-SYRACUSE

3-at Bridgeport

4-at Bridgeport

9-HERSHEY

10-BRIDGEPORT

11-at Springfield

14-SPRINGFIELD

16-at Lehigh Valley

17-at Hershey

21-BRIDGEPORT+

23-at Worcester

24-WORCESTER

29-at Lehigh Valley

30-ST. JOHN’S

31-ST. JOHN’S

FEBRUARY

4-at Manchester

6-at Springfield

13-HERSHEY

14-at Hartford

15-HARTFORD

20-at Syracuse

21-at Utica

22-at Springfield

27-at Syracuse

28-at Hershey

MARCH

1-BINGHAMTON

6-at St. John’s

7-at St. John’s

13-WORCESTER

14-SYRACUSE

15-SPRINGFIELD

18-NORFOLK

21-NORFOLK

22-HARTFORD

27-at Norfolk

28-at Norfolk

APRIL

1-MANCHESTER

3-at Springfield

4-BINGHAMTON

10-at Binghamton

11-at Hartford

12-at Worcester

15-SYRACUSE

17-at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

18-HARTFORD

*at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City

+at Prudential Center, Newark

Looking at the numbers:

First, the opponents…

36 intra-division games, with Bridgeport and Hartford 10 times apiece, and Springfield and Syracuse 8 times.

20 games against the East Division (Binghamton, Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Norfolk, Wilkes-Barre), evenly split with 4 games each.

16 games against the Atlantic: 4 each with Worcester and St. John’s (back on the schedule for the first time in 2 seasons), and 2 each with Manchester and Providence.

Only 4 games in the Western Conference: 2 with Adirondack, 2 with Utica.  No Rochester yet again.  It’s actually going to be nice not having to see Adirondack 20 times this year (okay, it just seems that way but still).

3 neutral site home games, with 2 back in Atlantic City on November 28th and December 14th…and both against Lehigh Valley.  Great idea Lou, you just gave up two home crowds to Philly with that one!  And again, no one was told about this happening.

However, there is a game at the Rock on January 21st against Bridgeport.  About time the AHL Devils returned to the NHL home!

Only 9 3 in 3 weekends this year, but a majority of them are in the second half of the season.

Longest homestand comes in March, a 6 game stretch from the 13th-22nd.  The longest road trip comes just before that, a 5 game trip from February 20th-28th.  St. John’s and Norfolk two game swings are both in March as well.

Breakdown by day: Sunday 13, Monday 0, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 8, Thursday 2, Friday 23, Saturday 26.  Very weekend heavy schedule as usual.  And a couple of Tuesday home games, which I find rather weird.

Once again this season, all Saturday home games with the exception of January 24th (a 2 PM start to accommodate the annual RPI-Union matchup) will start at 5 PM. Look at it this way…if New Jersey plays the same night, you can get dinner and still catch at least half the game afterwards!  Sundays are at 3 PM, while all other start times are at 7.

The All Star Classic is scheduled for January 25th and 26th.  More information, including format and location, to come.

One more scheduling note to pass along, as a second preseason game was announced last week: the team will travel to Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, Connecticut, on October 1st to take on the Wolfpack.

 

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There’s Actual News!

We interrupt a lovely summer day with…actual updates!  To get caught up:

-Two more restricted free agents have re-signed with New Jersey:

In a move that some found, well, interesting, Brandon Burlon was signed a 2 year, 2 way contract.  The defenseman has yet to play more than 57 games since turning pro in 2011, mostly because of the logjam of prospects in the organization (Gelinas, Merrill, Larsson to name a few).  He did manage to set a career high in goals this past season with 5 in 54 games, while mostly being used in even strength and power play situations.  Unless Dan Kelly re-signs, he will be the most experienced A-Devil defenseman to return this season in terms of years played.

Also returning is forward Scott Timmins, signing a 1 year, 2 way contract.  Acquired in late September from Florida for Krys Barch, Timmins was a pleasant offensive surprise from the start.  In his fourth pro season, he set a career high in points with 39 (13 goals and 26 assists) in 70 games (he did miss time due to a knee injury in November/December).

The updated free agent tracker will be out on Friday at noon.

-And the first preseason game has been announced, via Lehigh Valley, who announced their full preseason schedule earlier today.  The Devils will travel southwest to the new PPL Center on Saturday, October 4th for a 7 PM faceoff.  Hopefully the first of many game announcements to come (one local game other than in Adirondack would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath).

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New Divisions, New Rules

The AHL just wrapped up its annual meetings in South Carolina this week…and with it, came a few big changes for the 2014-15 season:

-Yesterday, the divisional alignment for the season was announced, and with Lehigh Valley joining the lineup and Abbotsford moving east to Glens Falls, it’s an interesting setup:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic: Manchester, Portland, Providence, St. John’s, Worcester (no change)

East: Binghamton, Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Norfolk, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Northeast: Albany, Bridgeport, Hartford, Springfield, Syracuse

WESTERN CONFERENCE

North: Adirondack, Hamilton, Rochester, Toronto, Utica

Midwest: Chicago, Grand Rapids, Lake Erie, Milwaukee, Rockford

West: Charlotte, Iowa, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Texas

The Phantoms move from Adirondack in the Northeast to the East Division, Syracuse moves from the East to the Northeast Division.  Abbotsford leaves the West with Adirondack going to the North.  Lake Erie moves from North to Midwest, and Iowa moves from Midwest to West.  Got all that?

Now, with Albany and Adirondack in different conferences, I’m hoping this means there’s a slight reduction in the season series.  Yeah, who am I kidding, I’ll still see them 20 times…

The playoff format remains the same from last season: Division winners will comprise the top 3 seeds, while the top 5 non division winners earn a spot.

Also from the meetings came some rule changes:

-Overtime periods are extended from 5 minutes to 7 minutes, starting as a 4 on 4 for the first three minutes, then going to 3 on 3 for the rest of the session.  If it gets to a shootout, it’s 3 rounds instead of 5 (like in the NHL).  Teams will change sides before the period begins, and also a full dry scrape of the ice surface will precede the start.

-If a player assesses two major penalties for fighting or three non-fighting majors in a game, they will receive a game misconduct.

-If a player loses his helmet during play and does not leave the ice immediately or put the helmet back on properly, they will receive a minor penalty.

And finally, mark your calendars: This year’s home opener will be on Saturday, October 18th.  With the season beginning on October 11th, it appears Albany will begin the season on the road for the second straight year.

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News of the Week

Yeah, it’s about time I updated this thing…

-The 2013-14 hockey season officially ended on Wednesday evening in St. John’s, as the Texas Stars took the Calder Cup title by finishing off the IceCaps in overtime, winning the series 4 games to 1.  There was one River Rat connection to the new champs, and it’s actually off ice: broadcaster Owen Newkirk, who was in the booth for the River Rats (during the Carolina days) for 2 seasons.

Meanwhile, in Devils land:

-Two unrestricted free agents returned to the fold, as Mike Sislo signed a 2 year, 2 way deal on Wednesday.  A well deserved contract for the 3rd year pro, who made his NHL debut back in January and lead Albany in goals this past season.

Then early Friday morning it was announced that Cam Janssen had signed a new 1 year, 2 way contract, which made everyone on my Devils Twitter feed curse under their breath.

And a third Devil has left for Europe, as Mattias Tedenby has joined Lev Praha of the KHL.  Not surprised by that move at all, unfortunately.

-Earlier today New Jersey announced their 6 game exhibition schedule…and sadly no games in Albany again this season.  Their only home game on neutral ice comes September 26th against the Islanders at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

-The annual rookie camp will take place July 13-18.  More info on that to come.

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Old Stuff and a New Look…

Now that we’re getting close to the start of training camp (once I get the list of participants I’ll have something up), time to start prepping for season 4!

As you can see, a slight makeover on the blog, as I have discovered WordPress’s editing tools. Okay, just changed the background color, not a big thing. But the team links at the top of the page have also been updated for this season’s opponents (to be edited as the season goes on).

I’m also working on how I’ll be covering things as the season progresses, as far as posts, Tweets, etc. Once I make the final decisions I may have something up on that before the season begins in exactly 4 weeks (!!).

Anyway, there is some old news to catch up on:

-Announced by Hartford just before Labor Day weekend, the Devils will be traveling to the XL Center on September 26th to take on the Wolfpack. There has been no formal announcement of a full preseason schedule, but it’s most likely that local fans will not be getting any home games before October.

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