The Ottawa Senators AHL affiliate has been the Binghamton Senators or the B-Sens since 2002, but the franchise was recently purchased by Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk and will be moved to Belleville, Ontario. The AHL team will stay in Binghamton until the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.
So what does that mean for Vegas? Well, quite simple, Binghamton, New York, which has had an AHL organization for the last 14 years, is in need of a new parent club. They have a nearly 7,000 seat arena and an organization who claim to be actively seeking a solution for the 2017-18 season. That season just so happens to be the first for the Las Vegas Something Knights.
I don’t want to say something that’s construed in violation of some non-disclosure agreement or one of them that’s out there. The only thing guess I can really emphasize is that I can’t tell you who it is, but there will be an American League team in Binghamton in 2017-18 and quite a few years after that. –Tom Mitchell, Binghamton Senators, Executive VP of Operations
Attendance wise they are near the bottom of the AHL, seeing about 3,500 fans per game, but they have the infrastructure Las Vegas may just be looking for.
Of course, Binghamton, New York (2,450 miles from LV) is not the ideal location to set up shop, but it could simply be a temporary fix until The Creator is ready to purchase an AHL team of his own.
The Creator is still paying off his $500 million to the NHL, so it’s completely understandable that he’s not quite ready to pull the trigger on an AHL team as well.
Other AHL teams moving for 17-18 are the St. Johns IceCaps (Canadiens) who are moving to Laval and the Springfield, Massachusetts Falcons (Coyotes) moving to Tuscon.
It’s been widely speculated that if Las Vegas opts for a new franchise it would be placed in Salt Lake City, Reno or Fresno. Senior VP Murray Craven, who is in charge of the AHL and ECHL affiliates denied any involvement with Binghamton when we asked for this article. Last month he said they expect to be able to announce the AHL affiliate by Christmas.
Binghamton may not be the perfect scenario for 2017-18, but it would make sense for the short-term. Mitchell’s comment of “and quite a few years after that,” may indicate that it’s not Las Vegas, but rest assured, the situation in Binghamton will most likely have an impact on what happens here, whether they are the affiliate or they are the new home for a moved team Vegas takes over.
And just remember, you heard it here first… unless you read this article that gave us the idea.