Binghamton Devils

The Binghamton Devils were a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL) that played from 2017 to 2021 as the top minor league affiliate of the National Hockey League (NHL)'s New Jersey Devils. Based in Binghamton, New York, the Devils played their home games at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. The team began play in Binghamton during the 2017–18 season. For the 2020–21 season, the team temporarily relocated to the New Jersey Devils' practice rink for home games in Newark, New Jersey, during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the team did not return to Binghamton and the franchise was approved to relocate as the second incarnation of the AHL Utica Comets beginning with the 2021–22 season.

Binghamton Devils
Binghamton Devils logo.svg
CityBinghamton, New York
Newark, New Jersey[1]
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
DivisionNorth
Founded1998
Operated20172021
Home arenaFloyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena
Barnabas Health Hockey House[1]
ColorsRed, black, white
     
Owner(s)Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment
MediaPress & Sun-Bulletin
WICZ, WENE, WINR, WBBI, AHL.TV (Internet)
Affiliate(s)New Jersey Devils (NHL)
Adirondack Thunder (ECHL)
Franchise history
1998–2006Lowell Lock Monsters
2006–2010Lowell Devils
2010–2017Albany Devils
2017–2021Binghamton Devils
2021–presentUtica Comets

HistoryEdit

On September 26, 2016, shortly after it was announced that the Binghamton Senators were being purchased by their parent club and would relocate to Belleville, Ontario, for the 2017–18 season as the Belleville Senators,[2] the Senators' management reaffirmed that they were working hard to keep AHL hockey in Binghamton for 2017–18 and beyond.[3]

On January 25, 2017, the Times Union reported that the Albany Devils would move to Binghamton for 2017–18, citing the Devils' average per-game attendance of 2,888 being last in the AHL,[4] although the Binghamton Senators' attendance had been second-to-last at 3,666.[5] The official announcement of the team's relocation (and the Binghamton Devils name) was made on January 31, and noted that the organization had signed a five-year operating agreement.[6][7][8] Over their first two seasons in Binghamton, the Devils' attendance increased to 3,896[9] and 3,471[10] per game.

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Jersey Devils chose to move their AHL affiliate to their practice rink for home games in Newark, New Jersey, for the 2020–21 season. In April 2021, it was reported there was an ongoing dispute between the local operators of the Binghamton Devils and the New Jersey Devils over moving the team to Newark for the season. On April 5, a trademark was filed for the brand "Utica Devils" by Robert Esche, the operator of the Utica Comets, with the Comets' franchise license owned by the Vancouver Canucks.[11] According to the B-Devils vice president of operations Tom Mitchell, on April 14, 2021, he was informed by the New Jersey Devils that they planned to relocate the franchise for the 2021–22 season.[12] On May 6, the AHL approved of the relocation to Utica, but retained the Comets branding already used by Esche with his current AHL club.[13]

Season-by-season resultsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Games Won Lost OTL SOL Tied Points PCT Goals
for
Goals
against
Standing Year 1st
round
2nd
round
3rd
round
Finals
2017–18 76 25 38 9 4 63 .414 193 247 5th, North 2018 Did not qualify
2018–19 76 28 41 7 0 63 .414 201 278 8th, North 2019 Did not qualify
2019–20 62 34 24 4 0 72 .581 189 182 4th, North 2020 Season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2020–21 35 7 20 5 2 1[a] 22 .314 89 127 7th, North 2021 No playoffs were held
  1. ^ A game between the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Devils was suspended while tied and not completed, resulting in a 1–1 tie and a point for each team.[14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Location during the 2020–21 season.
  2. ^ "Sens Owner Purchases AHL Team Partners W/ Belleville". Ottawa Senators. September 26, 2016. Archived from the original on September 27, 2016.
  3. ^ "A Statement from the Binghamton Senators". OurSports Central. September 26, 2016. Archived from the original on January 13, 2018.
  4. ^ Dougherty, Pete (January 25, 2017). "Sources: Albany Devils leaving for Binghamton". Times Union. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  5. ^ "2016–17 AHL attendance". HockeyDB. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  6. ^ Kilgannon, Trish (January 31, 2017). "Binghamton Secures New AHL Team as Devils Relocate Franchise". Time Warner Cable News. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  7. ^ "NEW JERSEY DEVILS TO RELOCATE AHL AFFILIATE TO BINGHAMTON N.Y. FOR 2017-18 SEASON". Binghamton Senators. January 31, 2017. Archived from the original on February 19, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  8. ^ "Devils moving affiliate to Binghamton in 2017-18". American Hockey League. January 31, 2017. Archived from the original on January 31, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  9. ^ "2017–18 AHL attendance". HockeyDB. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  10. ^ "2018–19 AHL attendance". HockeyDB. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  11. ^ "Potential move of AHL teams puts future of hockey in Binghamton in question". WBNG. April 16, 2021. Archived from the original on April 16, 2021. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  12. ^ Menner, Nicole (April 17, 2021). "NJ Devils inform Binghamton ownership AHL team will be relocated". WBNG. Archived from the original on April 17, 2021. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  13. ^ "Board of Governors Approves Franchise Relocations". American Hockey League. May 6, 2021. Archived from the original on May 6, 2021. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  14. ^ "Game Preview – Phantoms at Devils – Game #22". Lehigh Valley Phantoms. April 26, 2021.