BINGHAMTON, NY – This was not the way local hockey fans wanted, or even anticipated, the New Jersey Devils and the city of Binghamton’s relationship to end.
In a sudden and disappointing decision, Binghamton front office staff were notified last week that New Jersey will be relocating their American Hockey League team at the conclusion of this season.
Binghamton Devils Executive Vice President of Operations Tom Mitchell spoke with me earlier today to give some insight as to where things stand at this moment.
Mitchell said that the decision came after the parent club began demanding too much of their Binghamton affiliate, although Mitchell declined to elaborate what those demands were.
Mitchell added that he was extremely disappointed in New Jersey’s decision, and that the Binghamton fans and the city itself didn’t deserve this, as everyone anticipated the return of the BDevs to Binghamton come the fall.
Having had pro hockey in Bingo dating back to the Dusters in the 1970’s, Mitchell says they are currently examining the possibilities of bringing an AHL team back to the city as quickly as possible.
“We’re looking at all our options. I think it’s a good possibility that, down the road, I can’t say this fall or even next year, but I’ve got to bet that the American Hockey League will be back in Binghamton at some point. And if I have anything to do with it, it’s going to happen,” he says.
Mitchell feels good about Binghamton’s chances of regaining an AHL team given it’s history with the league, as well as the city’s geographical location amongst other AHL teams throughout the Northeast.
This is a story we’ll be keeping a close eye on as it continues to develop.