Points in season series (Tiebreaker #2): - Albany vs. Portland: POR 5, ALB 3 - Albany vs. Springfield: SPR 12, ALB 8 - Portland vs. Springfield: POR 6, SPR 2 - Worcester vs. Springfield: WOR 8, SPR 6 - Worcester vs. Portland: WOR 9, POR 7 (1 game remaining)
At this point, they cannot catch Worcester, but the #8 spot is still within reach. They need to get at least 5 of their remaining 6 possible points and hope both Portland and Springfield stumble big time. Any of the following will end Albany's playoff hopes: - a loss in regulation - two points by Portland - three points by Springfield - two points by Springfield combined with a failure by Albany to gain at least one regulation win
Bottom line: They need to win, and they need a lot of help.
Also, with Ducks moving to left coast, and an ECHL coming here (Norfolk), there's no other teams in close proximity. They're going to be spending a lot of time on buses. Reading PA (6 hrs), So. Carolina (7 hrs away)
It's too bad you guys couldn't get Richmond back in the ECHL, or, even though it's allegedly worse hockey, ended up with a SPHL team.
The thing with Evander Kane is, you won't know whether he's the type of guy who's going to be a cancer no matter where he goes or he simply needs a change of scenery until he gets that change of scenery. I don't remember if he got into any trouble when the Jets were still in Atlanta, but it's pretty clear that the move to Winnipeg has not suited him. By the same token, it's hard to predict how Kane would deal with the expectations and restrictions inherent with being a Devil. Much like a certain other Thrasher before him, a little bit of structure and discipline might do him good and enable him to thrive... or he could be unable or unwilling to adapt to this environment, cementing his reputation as a problem child and (hopefully) leading to a quick exit from New Jersey. I don't know if he's high-risk, high-reward, but he's probably at least a medium-risk, medium-reward player.
Also isn't the other part of the end-game to this where they re-organize the AHL and ECHL into a more direct farm system like baseball where every team has a A, AA and AAA affiliate? Right now the Devils have a AAA affiliate in Albany but no clear AA affiliate as they are not connected to a single ECHL (or similar level team). Instead from what I understand the Devils have players in a few ECHL team and I believe they are right now the only team in the NHL without a single, established ECHL team affiliate.
Some people think that's where we're eventually headed. I have no idea if there are any official (or even unofficial) plans to that end, though. The AHL was pretty clear that their goal was a full 30-team complement with each franchise paired up with a NHL partner, and they finally achieved that a few years ago. AFAIK, the ECHL does not have a similar manifest destiny mindset. I suppose it's possible that the NHL will push the ECHL toward a tighter relationship as more ECHL teams fall under NHL ownership, but I don't think there's any sort of timeline on that.
If what I said is true, could this be the re-birth of Trenton perhaps or would they just have a formal affiliation with a single, established team whether they share with another NHL team or not?