I thought I would put a few notes from Adirondack out in between the hoisting of The Cup and the news that the draft and free agency will deliver in the coming weeks. It has been a very exciting month up here, and there is only 118 days (approximately) till puck drop.
The Terms – The City has stated that they have entered into a contract similar to the one they had with the Phantoms. It is a three year deal with an option for an additional two years. In the Mayor’s comments after the news conference, he referenced an incentive in the Flames contract for making the playoffs (which was not in the contract with the Phantoms). Although the details were not provided, it apparently would be a reduction to the team for some of the marketing costs offset by the revenue to the City from the increased dates and concessions.
Ticket Sales – I have stopped down to introduce myself to the new Flames front office staff (and check on my seats). Brian Petrovek, Adirondack Flames President, is utilizing some temporary help from Calgary initially as he hires some local staff. When the announcement came that the team would be relocating to Adirondack, the reality was that they were two months behind schedule on a typical ticket sales drive. In speaking with some of the staff in the last couple days, it appears that 85% of Adirondack Phantoms season ticket holders have already purchased their seats for this coming Fall. When asked how new sales were progressing, comments like "boarder on overwhelming" and "crazy" were used.
Conference and Divisional Alignment – The divisional (re)-alignment has already been determined by the AHL, but will not be announced until after the Calder Cup Finals. Teams are restricted from giving details, even though they are aware of the structure. During the press conference last month, Brad Treliving stated "fans will see a lot of teams coming to Glens Falls that you haven’t seen before". This has initiated the typical speculation. The comment would lead one to believe that Adirondack will be moving to the Western Conference. The two rumored options that are discussed most often are an all New York team division [Adirondack, Albany (Devils), Binghamton (Senators), Syracuse (Lightning), Rochester (Sabres), and Utica (Canucks)] or a move the North Division [Toronto (Leafs), Rochester (Sabres) Utica (Canucks), Lake Erie (Avalanche) and Syracuse (Lightning). It will be interesting to see if the league uses the Phantoms and Flames relocations to conduct a major realignment or just tweaks from last season’s structure.
Season schedules are typically released by the league in mid August.
Brad Pascall – The hiring of Brad Pascal as one of Calgary’s new Assistant GM’s with responsibility for player development has sent a clear message to the fans that the organization has a keen focus of building from within. His experience with Hockey Canada and the World Junior teams speaks for itself – and fans are very excited that our new team will be guided by such a talented front office presence.
The old logos have been removed from the ice, the offices are being redone, and there is a lot of exciting work to be done in the next three and a half months.