Tag Archives: Schedule

Offseason Notebook #4

This week in the Notebook:

-The first hint of Albany’s preseason schedule was announced on Wednesday: they will travel to Wilkes-Barre on October 6th to face the Penguins.

And two new sets of birds have joined the AHL fold:

-On Wednesday, the Springfield Thunderbirds, formerly the Portland Pirates,  were introduced to the world.  The name (and in my opinion, the logo) comes from a combination of previous AHL franchises (the Indians, then the Falcons) and a tribute to two local Air National Guard bases.  The bird looks like a newer, more dressed up version of the Falcons previous mascot Screech (who may or may not be previous?  We shall see).

-Yesterday, the former tenants of the Mass Mutual Center, the Falcons, were re-introduced as the Tucson Roadrunners.  Personally I’m a fan of the new logo, reminiscent of former Roadrunner teams that played in Arizona since the mid 1960s, through the old Western Hockey League, the WHA, the Pacific Hockey League, the IHL, and the ECHL.  Then there are the many Looney Tunes puns that could come out of this (Acme sponsorship, anyone?)…

The notebook may be closed for the next two weeks, as I plan on a separate draft entry (which I hope to have out by next Sunday afternoon/evening), followed up by the first Free Agent Tracker of the summer July 1st.


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First Round Mystery: Solved

After trying to guess and waiting out nearly a full Sunday afternoon slate of games to close the regular season, we now finally know who Albany will be facing in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs…our friends to the west of us, Utica.  Despite a loss to Binghamton in their season finale, a Bridgeport loss to Providence sealed the deal earlier this afternoon.

With that said, here is the official first round schedule:

Game 1 at Albany, Friday at 7:00 PM

Game 2 at Albany, Saturday at 5:00 PM

Game 3 at Utica, April 26th at 7:00 PM

Game 4 at Utica, April 28th at 7:00 PM*

Game 5 at Albany, April 30th at 5:00 PM*

*if necessary

Yes, there are still 5 PM Saturday starts.  But look at it this way: if the game should go to multiple overtimes, you can get out at a decent hour!  Or, finish up on time and head out to watch all the 7 PM & 8 PM NHL starts (or even follow along with another Calder Cup series).

As for my coverage, here’s the plan for the next two weeks:

Monday Part 1 of my year end review will be up at 7 PM, covering all the final regular season stats.  Pregamer for the series will be out Friday at noon.  I will be on hand for Games 1 and 2 at home.  As of now I’m not planning on any travel due to my work schedule (and the fact every ticket will probably be sold out in 10 minutes…it is Utica after all), but that can change.  Game 3 I will be able to cover from home, as of now I will be unable to do Game 4 if needed.  If Game 5 is necessary I will be at the arena.

As for the rest of the Eastern Conference: Portland will face Hershey beginning on Friday in Maine; Providence will face Wilkes-Barre beginning Wednesday in Pennsylvania; and Toronto will face Bridgeport beginning on Saturday in Connecticut.  You can find the full league schedule here.

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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.:


10–at Binghamton

17–at Toronto

18–at Toronto

23–at Portland







6–at Syracuse

7–at Hartford

13–at Providence

14–at Lehigh Valley

15–at Springfield





28–at Springfield






12–at W/B-Scranton

15–at St. John’s

16–at St. John’s

19–at Rochester



31–at Utica


2–at Hartford



10–at Hartford


15–at Providence

16–at Utica






30–at Bridgeport


5–at Providence



12–at Rochester



20–at Utica

21–at Bridgeport


26–at Springfield

28–at Bridgeport


1–at Toronto

4–at St. John’s

5–at St. John’s

11–at Binghamton




19–at Utica

20–at Bridgeport


25–at Syracuse

26–at Hershey


1–at Binghamton



8–at Syracuse

9–at Binghamton



15–at Rochester


(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)


11-at Adirondack

17-at Bridgeport



24-at Hartford





5-at Hartford

8-at Bridgeport

9-at Bridgeport


14-at Portland

15-at Portland


22-at Binghamton







5-at Providence



11-at Hartford


19-at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

20-at Syracuse

26-at Syracuse





3-at Bridgeport

4-at Bridgeport



11-at Springfield


16-at Lehigh Valley

17-at Hershey


23-at Worcester


29-at Lehigh Valley




4-at Manchester

6-at Springfield


14-at Hartford


20-at Syracuse

21-at Utica

22-at Springfield

27-at Syracuse

28-at Hershey



6-at St. John’s

7-at St. John’s







27-at Norfolk

28-at Norfolk



3-at Springfield


10-at Binghamton

11-at Hartford

12-at Worcester


17-at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton


*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:


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


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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