BINGHAMTON, NY = For the first time in 20 years, the American Hockey League will no longer have a team located in Binghamton come the end of this season.
Over the weekend, it was released that the New Jersey Devils will be moving their A-H-L affiliate out of Binghamton following the conclusion of this season.
Binghamton’s Executive Vice President of Operations Tom Mitchell says that New Jersey’s demands became too high and unrealistic for Binghamton to handle, thus leading to the separation.
While being unable to go into detail about those demands, Mitchell did say this decision is incredibly disappointing, and that he feels especially bad for the city and its die hard fans.
“I think Binghamton’s been a great home for an American League team for the better part of 50 years, and to lose that affiliation with the American League like this is, you know, the community didn’t deserve it. It’s obviously been a tough pill to swallow,” says Mitchell.
Before the decision, the Devils and Broome County had one more year left on their lease agreement, which allowed the B-Devils to play at the recently renamed Visions Veterans Memorial Arena.
Binghamton has not been without an A-H-L level hockey team since 2001, a year before the Senators moved their A-H-L team to the city.
Despite the current state of affairs, Mitchell is hopeful that hockey will return to the area sooner than later.