Sunday, September 25, 2016
Senators Preparing for 2017-2018
Whether or not the hockey faithful in the Quinte area will subscribe to this move is anybody's guess. It will be good for the city. There are always spinoffs from such a venture. But there is a little cloud hanging over the move. The Senators are preparing to move downtown, in Ottawa in the not-too-distant future. That would leave their current location free for the Baby Senators. The Toronto Maple Leafs enjoy having bot the NHL and AHL teams in the same city, for obvious reasons.Would that happen? Your guess is as good as mine.
The city should certainly try to get a long-term commitment out of the Senators. That would help smooth the feathers of those who are opposed to paying for the renovations at the Yardmen.
"The Ottawa Senators have called a news conference for Monday morning at 11 o’clock at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre. A Press Release states the NHL team and the City of Belleville will make a signifcant hockey announcement. Dignitaries will include Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, Senators Assistant General Manager Randy Lee as well Belleville Mayor Taso Christopher.
The Senators American Hockey League affiliate has been located in Binghamton New York since 2002," as reported by Quinte News.
Furthermore, it was reported that, "Belleville Council will meet in open session tomorrow morning at 8 to consider a 20 million dollar upgrade to the 39 year old Yardmen Arena. The most significant changes include reducing the ice surface from Olympic size (200×100) to a regulation NHL size of 200 x 85 and adding 1400 seats to bring the total to 4200."
The relocation of the Belleville Bulls to Hamilton last season was a real kick in the head to the hockey public in the city. It came completely by surprise, and was obviously done for financial gain.
There are many truly bitter fans in the city who will have to be coaxed back to the Yardmen.
Personally, I am excited by the prospect. AHL hockey is a small step below the NHL. That just happens to be the best hockey league in the world. Quite often, players are called up to the NHL from AHL affiliates. Without question, this will be the best hockey ever played on a weekly basis in the city of Belleville.
Agreed, the McFarlands' brand of hockey was superb. but there was an American League when the Macs played, and it was also superior hockey.
I can't wait for the puck to drop.
Where: Main foyer of the Quinte Sports & Wellness Centre, 265 Cannifton Rd., Belleville, Ont., K8N 4V8.