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Devils to be Affiliated with the ECHL Adirondack Thunder

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On 8/19/2017 at 2:45 PM, DevsMan84 said:

1) you are from Toms River and reside now in or around Philly.  Ask anyone and 99 out of 100 would consider that South Jersey.

2) if the Bullies did fine in attendance, why did they move?  They even cited attendance as the issue!

3) way to ignore the size of arena error you had which makes the Bullies attendance even worse.

4) hockey may be more popular today, but AC itself is less popular.  They are seeing declining gambling revenues and tourism numbers each year for the last decade.

5) there are far more things people can do in AC than in Glens Falls or Binghamton.  GF and Binghamton don't have to compete with other entertainment, the beach or gambling for people's dollars.

6) this is also the exact same argument you had when you threw a fit last year when Vegas got their team.  You argued people won't go there to watch hockey but do other things.  Somehow AC is now better?  Which is it?

7) there are more Rangers fans than Devils fans in Binghamton, but that wouldn't deter the team.  WB penguins are closer to philly than Pittsburgh and are in solidly flyers territory.  Where is your whining on that?

8) Adirondack Thunder drew in 2800 average attendance last year, which is 300 higher than the Bullies did in their last year in a smaller arena (4800 compared to 10,500 for Boardwalk hall).

9) lastly yes those Rangers fans are more likely to support them than Flyers fans in AC.  Albany is Rangers country but they got their fair share of Fans in the Rats era.  Binghamton and GF are simply too far away from their parent club for where following the team for local fans is feasible.  Therefore they go to the local team in town.

10) Again you couldn't help but slip in a typical SJW type insult at me.  I'm not doing an urban development thesis, just common sense.

1) Objectively wrong. Very few people from Toms River or most of Ocean County consider the area South Jersey, therefore, it isn't South Jersey. Someone from North Jersey that hasn't ever stepped foot anywhere in the state south of Metropark doesn't get to decide what our towns are or aren't. Also, Philadelphia isn't in New Jersey.

2) If the Bullies attendance wasn't good enough, the neither is Adirondack's. Simple. Adk has outdrawn one year of Bullies attendance in their first two seasons. You cannot make an attendance argument if you are OK with the Devils affiliate being in Adk. Tell me you want them in a major city, and then whine about attendance. But to say the Bullies had too poor attendance and then say Glenn Falls is an acceptable location is a fallacy. AC had one down year of attendance and the team was sold. They didn't have the backing of a major professional club who would be committed to making a team work there.

3) The size of the arena has nothing to do with the survival of the team. It does not make attendance issues better or worse.

4) Again, AC may be less popular, but it is far more popular than Glenn Falls and Binghamton. AC still gets MILLIONS of visitors every single year. AC being less popular still has a lot more potential than either of those two cities. But, again, you overstate AC's decline. Non-gaming tourism was at an all time high in recent years, and 2 of the 4 closed casinos are slated to be developed. Do you think the state is sitting idly by and allowing a huge tax revenue generator and its biggest resort town to collapse without a revitalization effort? Do you think one of the wealthiest and most industrious states in the country doesn't have the resources to take this on? Even today, tourism is slightly down, it's not as if they've lost 30% of visitors since its hey-day.

5) AC works as an agglomeration economy. The more entertainment options, the better. The team would benefit from high tourism (even though, yea, most people that go to AC to gamble probably wouldn't go to hockey games, but like any enterprise, hockey teams don't rely on most people in any given group to consume their product), and Atlantic City benefits by adding another entertainment option (not to mention a family friendly one, which lack of is often a good reason for families to not go to AC).

5.5/6) Since you love to reach back into your archives to cite arguments from months and years ago, you should do a better job keeping accurate record. Now, I know how much you like to dig through old threads, but don't worry; I recorded this one myself

https://newyorkpuck.com/2016/07/09/why-the-nhl-made-a-mistake-with-this-round-of-expansion/

So there you have my detailed argument against Las Vegas expansion. The entertainment options argument has one sentence stuck in comparing the Las Vegas market to Columbus, a market of roughly the same size: " And unlike Columbus, Las Vegas residents have plenty of other outlets to spend their entertainment dollars."

Note that here I'm discriminating between tourist dollars that would be spent on the Vegas team, and Vegas residents. Because, as you should know, the NHL and minor league hockey are different products. Minor league hockey only needs people in the seats to survive. The NHL needs its franchises to cultivate huge and dedicated fan bases. Actually, based on the tourism factor, I said "Like many others have observed, Las Vegas’ NHL team will be relying on gate revenue from away-fans at far higher rates than any other NHL market, including Florida. While Vegas may be putting people in the seats, at least during the first couple of seasons, I find it difficult to trust that they will build a healthy and thriving fan base of their own". So I actually mentioned tourists in a gambling city as an advantage for getting people into seats, but not for building a fan base. Atlantic City, unless, of course, the NHL wants to expand there, only needs people in the seats.

So I cleared that up on my end, but I'll be waiting to hear from you how you think other entertainment outlets is a major detriment to an AC team but not for the Vegas team you fully support.

7) I don't really think I follow you here. I argued about the Rangers fans around our affiliates as a counter-point to you saying AC couldn't work because most hockey fans in the area are Flyers fans. My point was you can't argue it both ways. So, no, based on my arguments, why would I have an issue with WB-Scranton?

8) Again, in Adk's second season, they drew better than ONE bullies season, over a decade ago when hockey was less popular than today.

9) NHL and minor league hockey are different products. Having an NHL team nearby doesn't deter the success of minor league hockey. I don't think its great to stick them in the same building, but off-hand, just around here, Hartford, Hershey, Allentown, Bridgeport, Manchester, NH, Portland, ME, have all sustained the AHL for some time despite being close enough to NHL clubs. Toledo is one of the best drawing ECHL teams.

10) It's nice that we live in a world for a pejorative term for people who support universal basic human rights. There's no common sense there, you're just regurgitating a lot of empty narratives about things you really don't know much about. You can repeat the term "dying city" all you want, but you do remember the Devils play in Newark, right? You understand this team already has a history in investing in our state's inner cities, but you think it's a mistake to do the same thing with our affiliates?

And finally, and again, you can't deny that even if you did honestly think Adk and Binghamton were better locations for these teams that Jersey spots (which I'm not entirely sure about), you HAVE to admit that you're essentially splitting hairs and arguing things that are marginal advantages those places have. If the differences are marginal, the Devils should be investing in our state. That's all there is to it, and despite all of this, that's still my primary point. They have a responsibility here.

 

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29 minutes ago, thecoffeecake said:

1) Objectively wrong. Very few people from Toms River or most of Ocean County consider the area South Jersey, therefore, it isn't South Jersey. Someone from North Jersey that hasn't ever stepped foot anywhere in the state south of Metropark doesn't get to decide what our towns are or aren't. Also, Philadelphia isn't in New Jersey.

2) If the Bullies attendance wasn't good enough, the neither is Adirondack's. Simple. Adk has outdrawn one year of Bullies attendance in their first two seasons. You cannot make an attendance argument if you are OK with the Devils affiliate being in Adk. Tell me you want them in a major city, and then whine about attendance. But to say the Bullies had too poor attendance and then say Glenn Falls is an acceptable location is a fallacy. AC had one down year of attendance and the team was sold. They didn't have the backing of a major professional club who would be committed to making a team work there.

3) The size of the arena has nothing to do with the survival of the team. It does not make attendance issues better or worse.

4) Again, AC may be less popular, but it is far more popular than Glenn Falls and Binghamton. AC still gets MILLIONS of visitors every single year. AC being less popular still has a lot more potential than either of those two cities. But, again, you overstate AC's decline. Non-gaming tourism was at an all time high in recent years, and 2 of the 4 closed casinos are slated to be developed. Do you think the state is sitting idly by and allowing a huge tax revenue generator and its biggest resort town to collapse without a revitalization effort? Do you think one of the wealthiest and most industrious states in the country doesn't have the resources to take this on? Even today, tourism is slightly down, it's not as if they've lost 30% of visitors since its hey-day.

5) AC works as an agglomeration economy. The more entertainment options, the better. The team would benefit from high tourism (even though, yea, most people that go to AC to gamble probably wouldn't go to hockey games, but like any enterprise, hockey teams don't rely on most people in any given group to consume their product), and Atlantic City benefits by adding another entertainment option (not to mention a family friendly one, which lack of is often a good reason for families to not go to AC).

5.5/6) Since you love to reach back into your archives to cite arguments from months and years ago, you should do a better job keeping accurate record. Now, I know how much you like to dig through old threads, but don't worry; I recorded this one myself

https://newyorkpuck.com/2016/07/09/why-the-nhl-made-a-mistake-with-this-round-of-expansion/

So there you have my detailed argument against Las Vegas expansion. The entertainment options argument has one sentence stuck in comparing the Las Vegas market to Columbus, a market of roughly the same size: " And unlike Columbus, Las Vegas residents have plenty of other outlets to spend their entertainment dollars."

Note that here I'm discriminating between tourist dollars that would be spent on the Vegas team, and Vegas residents. Because, as you should know, the NHL and minor league hockey are different products. Minor league hockey only needs people in the seats to survive. The NHL needs its franchises to cultivate huge and dedicated fan bases. Actually, based on the tourism factor, I said "Like many others have observed, Las Vegas’ NHL team will be relying on gate revenue from away-fans at far higher rates than any other NHL market, including Florida. While Vegas may be putting people in the seats, at least during the first couple of seasons, I find it difficult to trust that they will build a healthy and thriving fan base of their own". So I actually mentioned tourists in a gambling city as an advantage for getting people into seats, but not for building a fan base. Atlantic City, unless, of course, the NHL wants to expand there, only needs people in the seats.

So I cleared that up on my end, but I'll be waiting to hear from you how you think other entertainment outlets is a major detriment to an AC team but not for the Vegas team you fully support.

7) I don't really think I follow you here. I argued about the Rangers fans around our affiliates as a counter-point to you saying AC couldn't work because most hockey fans in the area are Flyers fans. My point was you can't argue it both ways. So, no, based on my arguments, why would I have an issue with WB-Scranton?

8) Again, in Adk's second season, they drew better than ONE bullies season, over a decade ago when hockey was less popular than today.

9) NHL and minor league hockey are different products. Having an NHL team nearby doesn't deter the success of minor league hockey. I don't think its great to stick them in the same building, but off-hand, just around here, Hartford, Hershey, Allentown, Bridgeport, Manchester, NH, Portland, ME, have all sustained the AHL for some time despite being close enough to NHL clubs. Toledo is one of the best drawing ECHL teams.

10) It's nice that we live in a world for a pejorative term for people who support universal basic human rights. There's no common sense there, you're just regurgitating a lot of empty narratives about things you really don't know much about. You can repeat the term "dying city" all you want, but you do remember the Devils play in Newark, right? You understand this team already has a history in investing in our state's inner cities, but you think it's a mistake to do the same thing with our affiliates?

And finally, and again, you can't deny that even if you did honestly think Adk and Binghamton were better locations for these teams that Jersey spots (which I'm not entirely sure about), you HAVE to admit that you're essentially splitting hairs and arguing things that are marginal advantages those places have. If the differences are marginal, the Devils should be investing in our state. That's all there is to it, and despite all of this, that's still my primary point. They have a responsibility here.

 

I'm not going to praise or trash AC, Trenton, or any other city.  However, I will say this.  Your argument would make more sense if the Devils had purchased ADK, rather than just signed an affiliate agreement with them.  The ECHL team is not owned by the Devils.  It is owned and operated by another group of people who take most, if not all, of the financial risk.  The Devils are just part of an agreement to house some of their players there that aren't playing at the AHL or NHL level.  That would not be the case in A.C. where nobody is looking to move a franchise anytime soon and the Devils would have to taken on the burden of owning and operating the franchise.  Plus, the size of the arena is an impediment as it costs more to operate a larger facility like Boardwalk Hall, than say a 3500-5000 seat facility, and it more expensive to rent as a result.

Similar thing with the move to Bingo.  The Devils go from full control and operation of the franchise in Albany, and paying rent on a building that was much larger than they could hope to fill, to a situation where they are guaranteed a certain amount of revenue in exchange (IIRC it was in the range of $2 million/year) for moving the team to the city and turning over the business operations to the local owners of the arena.  That's a pretty nice deal considering the Devils were reportedly losing seven figures each year playing in Albany.

Would having our minor league teams in NJ be nice - sure.  Would it be beneficial to growing this fanbase over the long term - possibly, maybe even probably.  But it would cost a lot of money to do so, especially in the short term and our owners are not interested in it.  I agree that having our AHL and/or ECHL teams in NJ would not necessarily hurt the Devils directly, but the new owners are looking for ways to cut costs and increase the bottom line for this organization as a whole, and losing millions at the minor league level just to house the teams in NJ doesn't make sense to them.  It's as business decision, plain and simple.  There is no civic responsibility for them to place teams here and, as long as they keep the Devils in this state and in good financial and working order, that's good enough for me.

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1 hour ago, thecoffeecake said:

1) Objectively wrong. Very few people from Toms River or most of Ocean County consider the area South Jersey, therefore, it isn't South Jersey. Someone from North Jersey that hasn't ever stepped foot anywhere in the state south of Metropark doesn't get to decide what our towns are or aren't. Also, Philadelphia isn't in New Jersey.

Having lived nearby, generally everything below Ocean County is South Jersey. Not that I would consider Toms River or Ocean County to be Central Jersey, but technically yes, they are. Here we just call that area "The Shore". 

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Edit: Nevermind.  Not worth it.

Edited by DevsMan84

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51 minutes ago, Chuck the Duck said:

I'm not going to praise or trash AC, Trenton, or any other city.  However, I will say this.  Your argument would make more sense if the Devils had purchased ADK, rather than just signed an affiliate agreement with them.  The ECHL team is not owned by the Devils.  It is owned and operated by another group of people who take most, if not all, of the financial risk.  The Devils are just part of an agreement to house some of their players there that aren't playing at the AHL or NHL level.  That would not be the case in A.C. where nobody is looking to move a franchise anytime soon and the Devils would have to taken on the burden of owning and operating the franchise.  Plus, the size of the arena is an impediment as it costs more to operate a larger facility like Boardwalk Hall, than say a 3500-5000 seat facility, and it more expensive to rent as a result.

Similar thing with the move to Bingo.  The Devils go from full control and operation of the franchise in Albany, and paying rent on a building that was much larger than they could hope to fill, to a situation where they are guaranteed a certain amount of revenue in exchange (IIRC it was in the range of $2 million/year) for moving the team to the city and turning over the business operations to the local owners of the arena.  That's a pretty nice deal considering the Devils were reportedly losing seven figures each year playing in Albany.

Would having our minor league teams in NJ be nice - sure.  Would it be beneficial to growing this fanbase over the long term - possibly, maybe even probably.  But it would cost a lot of money to do so, especially in the short term and our owners are not interested in it.  I agree that having our AHL and/or ECHL teams in NJ would not necessarily hurt the Devils directly, but the new owners are looking for ways to cut costs and increase the bottom line for this organization as a whole, and losing millions at the minor league level just to house the teams in NJ doesn't make sense to them.  It's as business decision, plain and simple.  There is no civic responsibility for them to place teams here and, as long as they keep the Devils in this state and in good financial and working order, that's good enough for me.

Regarding the bolded part, if that is the case then that would point to AC being a significant financial risk then for any ownership, correct?

Like you said in your last paragraph these owners are businessmen first.  There is no Ray Chambers involved who has zero problem losing money hand over fist because he feels like it is his civic duty to rescue places he has an attachment to.

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1 minute ago, DevsMan84 said:

1) LOL!!!!!! I have family who have lived for years in the Pt. Pleasant area.  They and their friends all consider themselves SNJ.  I advise you and your friends to buy a map.

Map-wise, its less South than I thought.

TomsRiver_NJ.gif

If you drew a line in the middle and called the top part North and the bottom part South, its South. But to me, South is AC, Cape May, Wildwood, etc. 

YMMV

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As someone who went to numerous games in Atlantic City and was even there when they won the Kelly Cup in 03 their attendance was never very good. I loved the rivalry of Trenton vs Atlantic City but Trenton always had way better attendance. I don't care what statistics they post since they inflate those a lot anyway, this is just coming from someone who watched games in both buildings for years. 

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2 hours ago, Chuck the Duck said:

I'm not going to praise or trash AC, Trenton, or any other city.  However, I will say this.  Your argument would make more sense if the Devils had purchased ADK, rather than just signed an affiliate agreement with them.  The ECHL team is not owned by the Devils.  It is owned and operated by another group of people who take most, if not all, of the financial risk.  The Devils are just part of an agreement to house some of their players there that aren't playing at the AHL or NHL level.  That would not be the case in A.C. where nobody is looking to move a franchise anytime soon and the Devils would have to taken on the burden of owning and operating the franchise.  Plus, the size of the arena is an impediment as it costs more to operate a larger facility like Boardwalk Hall, than say a 3500-5000 seat facility, and it more expensive to rent as a result.

Similar thing with the move to Bingo.  The Devils go from full control and operation of the franchise in Albany, and paying rent on a building that was much larger than they could hope to fill, to a situation where they are guaranteed a certain amount of revenue in exchange (IIRC it was in the range of $2 million/year) for moving the team to the city and turning over the business operations to the local owners of the arena.  That's a pretty nice deal considering the Devils were reportedly losing seven figures each year playing in Albany.

Would having our minor league teams in NJ be nice - sure.  Would it be beneficial to growing this fanbase over the long term - possibly, maybe even probably.  But it would cost a lot of money to do so, especially in the short term and our owners are not interested in it.  I agree that having our AHL and/or ECHL teams in NJ would not necessarily hurt the Devils directly, but the new owners are looking for ways to cut costs and increase the bottom line for this organization as a whole, and losing millions at the minor league level just to house the teams in NJ doesn't make sense to them.  It's as business decision, plain and simple.  There is no civic responsibility for them to place teams here and, as long as they keep the Devils in this state and in good financial and working order, that's good enough for me.

Yes, I understand your point that the Devils do not outright own the teams, and I don't think that's a route they should go. This mostly deteriorated from me complaining that the affiliates aren't in the state to arguing the merits of cities here compared with keeping them in Upstate NY.

However,  it's not as if NHL teams that don't own their affiliates have no say in where they're located. I would find it hard to believe the Devils couldn't find investors to bring a team to the state. The backing of an NHL team wishing to affiliate has to raise the value of a brand in a given city.

Also, I understand the price tag on facility rent differs, but  with how much the sport has grown, there's no reason an AC team with proper backing couldn't close in on 4K attendance and dwarf the gate revenue Adk produces. Also, I don't know how Boardwalk Hall is managed, but, with the state take over of public assets in AC, I'm sure the state would want to work something out on a decent lease for an underused facility that provided an economic impact north of $10 million in 4 years with the Bullies.

And you're right, any exposure like that will absolutely grow the brand in the long term. Someone at some point is either going to have to put  the money and effort to grow the Devils brand in this state ( with our without the affiliates here), or pull the plug and move the damn team. So few teams have the obstacles the Devils do in getting people in the seats,  and almost no teams make as little effort to build a fan base as we do.

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1 hour ago, Satans Hockey said:

As someone who went to numerous games in Atlantic City and was even there when they won the Kelly Cup in 03 their attendance was never very good. I loved the rivalry of Trenton vs Atlantic City but Trenton always had way better attendance. I don't care what statistics they post since they inflate those a lot anyway, this is just coming from someone who watched games in both buildings for years. 

Yea, but every team is inflating those numbers. They were mostly a middle of the pack attendance wise, inflated numbers or no.

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18 hours ago, DevsMan84 said:

Regarding the bolded part, if that is the case then that would point to AC being a significant financial risk then for any ownership, correct?

Like you said in your last paragraph these owners are businessmen first.  There is no Ray Chambers involved who has zero problem losing money hand over fist because he feels like it is his civic duty to rescue places he has an attachment to.

Absolutely.  The fact that there is an already establish team in ADK with an ownership group handling the financials and operation of the franchise makes it very convenient and low/no risk for the Devils.  There is no professional minor league hockey team in NJ and to move one here would require a lot of effort and money from our owners.  Could the Devils have tried to cobble together an ownership group of investors here to own the minor league franchise and operate it out of either Trenton or AC?  I'm sure they could have tried, but they can't even sell tickets and luxury boxes at the Rock, I wouldn't expect too many people would be willing to take on a money losing minor league sports team when there just doesn't seem to be a large appetite for it here.  It is a missed opportunity in the long run to grow and develop the fanbase throughout the state.  But I can't blame the owners for the decision they have made here, and I would probably do the same if I was in their shoes. 

I completely agree that these owners are trying to improve the bottom line of the organization as a whole, and losing millions at the minor league level just doesn't seem to make sense to them.  That is the biggest reason they moved the AHL operation from Albany to Binghamton.  These owners have found a way to monetize their minor league assets with very little financial risk to themselves.  They won't care where the teams pays if it makes them a profit. 

My biggest concern is the apparent belt tightening going on with the business side of the operation right now.  They apparently fired 90% of the tickets sales and membership services staff over the summer, and their brilliant idea is to have the STH accounts handled by the same clowns that work for the 76ers.  If that's true, its a recipe for disaster and another example of this ownership group taking 2 steps forward, then 2 steps back on the business side of the organization. 

 

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5 hours ago, Chuck the Duck said:

Absolutely.  The fact that there is an already establish team in ADK with an ownership group handling the financials and operation of the franchise makes it very convenient and low/no risk for the Devils.  There is no professional minor league hockey team in NJ and to move one here would require a lot of effort and money from our owners.  Could the Devils have tried to cobble together an ownership group of investors here to own the minor league franchise and operate it out of either Trenton or AC?  I'm sure they could have tried, but they can't even sell tickets and luxury boxes at the Rock, I wouldn't expect too many people would be willing to take on a money losing minor league sports team when there just doesn't seem to be a large appetite for it here.  It is a missed opportunity in the long run to grow and develop the fanbase throughout the state.  But I can't blame the owners for the decision they have made here, and I would probably do the same if I was in their shoes. 

I completely agree that these owners are trying to improve the bottom line of the organization as a whole, and losing millions at the minor league level just doesn't seem to make sense to them.  That is the biggest reason they moved the AHL operation from Albany to Binghamton.  These owners have found a way to monetize their minor league assets with very little financial risk to themselves.  They won't care where the teams pays if it makes them a profit. 

My biggest concern is the apparent belt tightening going on with the business side of the operation right now.  They apparently fired 90% of the tickets sales and membership services staff over the summer, and their brilliant idea is to have the STH accounts handled by the same clowns that work for the 76ers.  If that's true, its a recipe for disaster and another example of this ownership group taking 2 steps forward, then 2 steps back on the business side of the organization. 

 

But, again, AC did better attendance wise 15 years ago than Adk does now. If an AC team would fail, if there's no appetite for a team in Jersey, the same would go for Adk. And if there's ownership up there willing to operate under those circumstances, the Devils, as you said, could probably get investors together for an AC team. Not only would it cost them nothing, as you said, it's a chance to grow the fan base long term.

Isn't this Adk thing one year? I'm hoping Jersey is the long term plan for ownership, and their spending time doing just that, looking for investors to bring the team(s) this way (I don't know what kind of commitment they have in Binghamton).

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I just don't see the point in them investing into Atlantic City hockey. There isn't enough incentive to bother. It's not like that part of the area is going to start driving 2 hours to the Prudential Center to watch games just because we put a team there. It's just not ever going to work that way no matter how nice it would be. Trenton would be a much better option, with a better arena as well but that's not going to happen either. 

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17 hours ago, thecoffeecake said:

But, again, AC did better attendance wise 15 years ago than Adk does now. If an AC team would fail, if there's no appetite for a team in Jersey, the same would go for Adk. And if there's ownership up there willing to operate under those circumstances, the Devils, as you said, could probably get investors together for an AC team. Not only would it cost them nothing, as you said, it's a chance to grow the fan base long term.

Isn't this Adk thing one year? I'm hoping Jersey is the long term plan for ownership, and their spending time doing just that, looking for investors to bring the team(s) this way (I don't know what kind of commitment they have in Binghamton).

I never said the Devils could get investors for a team in AC.  In fact, I basically said the opposite. I said that they could try to get investors, but would likely be as unsuccessful at that as they are at selling their luxury boxes and premium seating for games at the Rock.   To say that it would cost the Devils nothing is probably incorrect.  It would cost a lot of time and energy to engage in a fruitless search for something there isn't much demand for.  It also would likely require the Devils to have a direct financial stake in the minor league team, which would put them back in the same situation they got out of with Trenton and now Albany. 

I am a big proponent of growing and developing the sport here in NJ.  I do agree that having a stable minor league team operating out of a place like New Brunswick or even Trenton would make sense and help grow the fanbase of this organization over the long term, but it will come at a large cost (in time and money) that most owners, including our own, are not willing to bear.    

You keep focusing on attendance, but you can't compare what you want the Devils to do by bringing a team to NJ to the situation in ADK.  It's not even remotely the same.  They have a building of appropriate size already built, a seemingly stable ownership group willing to absorb the financial burden of owning and operating a team, an already existing franchise that has its operation up and running, and a fanbase for that franchise that competes with absolutely nothing else in the area.  Other than the buildings in Trenton and AC, NJ has none of that in place.  The Devils would basically have to create all of the above from scratch.  

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On 8/15/2017 at 9:41 AM, Crisis said:

I play beer league at Protec in Somerset and I cannot stand seeing the blue Rangerstown banners around the rink.  Granted there are some Devils signs and whatnot, but the Rangers do a great job pushing out into NJ.

 

On 8/15/2017 at 11:03 AM, Chuck the Duck said:

My kid played games on Sunday mornings out of there last season.  The worst part was the Learn to Skate program that came on the ice right after us was sponsored by the Rags, not the Devils, even though it was taking place here in NJ.  It's ridiculous and, honestly, is something the NHL shouldn't allow provided the Devils are willing to run programs themselves out of those local rinks - which they should be willing to do and are stupid if they aren't. 

The Learn to Play initiative is now league wide, and each NHL team runs weekly clinics in rinks throughout their region where the kids get the gear for free if they attend a certain number of sessions.  The Devils ran programs out of 8+ different rinks in NJ, none in NY.  The Rags ran their program out of 2 rinks in NJ that I know of - Skylands in Stockholm and Protect in Somerset - as well as numerous ones in NY.  They should stay the F out of Jersey as long as the Devils are willing to put on these programs for kids in the local area.    

I am one of the managers at Protec, and there are a few reasons why you unfortunately see more Rangers stuff around the rink.

(1)  As you guys pointed out, the Rangers local outreach is a lot better.  They send a lot more free stuff to us than the Devils do.  Once in a while the Devils give us tickets to hand out to the kids in our travel program, but the Rangers have a much better visual presence with the banners and stuff.
(2)  Our GM used to be the Rangers' assistant GM, so he has better connections with the Rangers than the Devils.  Brian Mullen coaches one of our travel teams and Stephane Matteau comes down a couple times a year to run a summer camp and occasional clinics.  Despite the Rangers fans' obsession with him, Matteau is actually a pretty cool guy.  He usually brings his daughter with him to run training sessions specifically for girls.  I think she played college hockey for Maine.  His son was going to come with him for a camp last year so that we'd also have a Devils presence, but then he got traded to Montreal.
(3)  The person in charge of the Devils learn to play program is a former Protec employee who left on bad terms with our rink's ownership years ago, and the Rangers simply reached out to us about scheduling the dates for the learn to play program way earlier than the Devils did.  We run our own learn to play program year-round (the Rangers program is once a year), and I believe the Rangers agreed to give us the contact information for everyone who enrolls in theirs so that when theirs is over, we can promote our own programs to them.

Edited by devilsfan26

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13 minutes ago, devilsfan26 said:

 

I am one of the managers at Protec, and there are a few reasons why you unfortunately see more Rangers stuff around the rink.

(1)  As you guys pointed out, the Rangers local outreach is a lot better.  They send a lot more free stuff to us than the Devils do.  Once in a while the Devils give us tickets to hand out to the kids in our travel program, but the Rangers have a much better visual presence with the banners and stuff.
(2)  Our GM used to be the Rangers' assistant GM, so he has better connections with the Rangers than the Devils.  Brian Mullen coaches one of our travel teams and Stephane Matteau comes down a couple times a year to run a summer camp and occasional clinics.  Despite the Rangers fans' obsession with him, Matteau is actually a pretty cool guy.  He usually brings his daughter with him to run training sessions specifically for girls.  I think she played college hockey for Maine.  His son was going to come with him for a camp last year so that we'd also have a Devils presence, but then he got traded to Montreal.
(3)  The person in charge of the Devils learn to play program is a former Protec employee who left on bad terms with our rink's ownership years ago, and the Rangers simply reached out to us about scheduling the dates for the learn to play program way earlier than the Devils did.  We run our own learn to play program year-round (the Rangers program is once a year), and I believe the Rangers agreed to give us the contact information for everyone who enrolls in theirs so that when theirs is over, we can promote our own programs to them.

Thanks as that is some good insight there from "the inside."

Do you know if by and large other rinks in NJ have the same experience with the Rangers program compared to the Devils one?  Or is this rink to rink (the employee leaving on bad terms certainly soured any chances of the Devils coming in soon I can imagine)?

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2 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

Thanks as that is some good insight there from "the inside."

Do you know if by and large other rinks in NJ have the same experience with the Rangers program compared to the Devils one?  Or is this rink to rink (the employee leaving on bad terms certainly soured any chances of the Devils coming in soon I can imagine)?

I'm not really sure, but now that I think of it, there were more connections that brought the Rangers program to our rink.  Our hockey director at the time previously worked for the Rangers and I think he was part of their community outreach department, Brian Mullen was the figurehead for that program and he is a Protec coach, and the guy running the program from the Rangers' end was familiar with our hockey director because he was going to be a Protec coach at the start of last season but for whatever reason it ended up not happening.  Remembering all that, it's possible that the Rangers' guys might not have reached out to a ton of NJ rinks, but got in touch with us because of the people involved already knowing each other.

I'm still on good terms with the guy who now works for the Devils, and when he reached out to me about scheduling the Devils learn to play program, I was pushing for it to happen, but we didn't really have good ice times available anymore, and although our GM didn't seem opposed to it personally, he said the owner would not be happy with him allowing the guy to come back to our rink.  Annoying and unfortunate, but I guess that's how things go sometimes.

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The Ice Vault in Wayne is the opposite, mainly pro-Devils. Though I haven't been there in 3 yrs. or so. Parise & Chico used to do their summer camps. I hope it remained Devil-run after Zach left. 

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The Ice Vault in Wayne is the opposite, mainly pro-Devils. Though I haven't been there in 3 yrs. or so. Parise & Chico used to do their summer camps. I hope it remained Devil-run after Zach left. 

Every motherfvcking rink in North and Central Jersey should be 'pro-Devils'. No excuses, no bullsh!t.


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Just want to clarify in case there is any confusion that rinks aren't "pro-Devils" or "pro-Rangers."  We get whatever banners the teams send us.  We have some Devils stuff hanging up, but the Rangers just send us more, which is why there is more Rangers stuff hanging up, and our management has more connections to the Rangers than the Devils which is why we have more Rangers alumni running stuff.  We did have Colin White show up one night and hop on the ice for the kids' practices.  We don't actively support one team over the other though, and our staff is a mix of Devils fans, Rangers fans, and people who don't have a favorite team.  I would love to see the Devils step it up though and have a much more visible presence at our rink and every rink in the state. 

We have had some former players pop in for various reasons though.  Grant Marshall is sometimes there because I think he is dating or married to a figure skating instructor that is sometimes there, Jamie Langenbrunner and Pete DeBoer were there to see their kids play, and Bryce Salvador used to bring his kid to our rink for private lessons.  Outside of the Devils, Craig Anderson was training at our rink for a few days while he was away from the team last season because his wife was seeing a doctor nearby.  The Senators flew a coach or a shooter out to take shots on him.

Edited by devilsfan26
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