August 31, 2006
I’d just like to add this thought to Pucknut’s observations of Binghamton Fans. I lived in Binghamton from 1998-2004. When I first got there the UHL B.C. Icemen were the team. I went to as many games as I could. Financial fortunes allowed me to start buying season tickets in 2000. On average the Icemen were pulling in about 2000 fans a game…. but they were real hockey fans. I’m very sorry I missed the Dusters, Whalers, and Rangers days, but you could feel the history of old time hockey every time you entered the arena. It was a lot harder to get seats when the B-Sens came to town because an additional 2000 Binghamton residents decided that they wanted to see AHL hockey. The arena holds a little more than 4000 fans.
I guess I just wanted to say that there are a couple thousand real hockey fans in Binghamton that didn’t miss a season, regardless of which hockey league was in town. I miss those Binghamton fans, but I didn’t leave town without buying a Dusters jersey. (Note the Ottawa and Binghamton patches on the shoulders.) I wear it in hono(u)r of the true hockey spirit in Binghamton…. but never without my Moose hat!
August 31, 2006
One of my goals this season is to increase coverage of the local hockey scene. For starters I thought I would take a look at the Binghamton Jr Senators. I had always know we had junior hockey in town, but the newspaper rarely covered it and I’ve never been to a game. Well this season that will change.
After doing a little online reasearch I made a big discovery…we not only have a local junior hockey team, we have THREE. The Jr Senators are split into three teams playing at three different levels. The C team plays in the Continental Hockey Association (CHA). The B team plays in the Empire Junior Hockey League. And starting this season there will be an A team playing in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League. All three teams play out of the Chenango Ice Rink which is less than 15 minutes from my house. I plan on taking the family to a few games this season and posting regular updates.
August 31, 2006
I’ve been noticing more traffic from Ottawa one my website. Glad to see some of the Ottawa Senators fans checking on things in Bingo. When I was on Sens Underground they asked me about hockey fans in Binghamton and how popular the sport was. I think what a lot of the Ottawa fans don’t realize is that, despite being in the US, hockey has been in Binghamton for a long time. I sit next to 2 season ticket holders who have had their tickets since day 1 in 1973. This might be the 5th anniversary of the Binghamton Senators, but it is the 38th anniversary of pro hockey at our arena.
Back then hockey was a bit different. I just came across an old ESPN article that compares the scenes in the movie Slap Shot to the real life hockey of that period. The Broome Dusters, Binghamton’s first pro team, was a part of that league and is mentioned frequently in the article. Here’s my favorite story:
In real life: Jeff and Steve Carlson wore those glasses, and did get into a long fight right after an opening faceoff. Roberge told the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, “We got into Binghamton about two or three weeks before the playoffs. In the team warmup, we’re out there and all the Binghamton players came out with the plastic glasses and big noses, every one of them, poking fun at the Carlson brothers. We went back in the dressing room and the boys said, ‘Coach, as soon as that puck is dropped, we’re pairing up.’ We had one heckuva fight. They went about 30 minutes until everyone got tired. We met them again in the finals and beat them four straight.”
August 30, 2006
The Binghamton Senators are offering special ticket packages to opening weekend a a celebration of the start of the 5th anniversary season.
Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 18, fans may purchase a ticket to both games for only $27 (ends) or $28 (sides) with a $2 youth discount available. This special opening weekend ticket package will go on sale before individual opening weekend tickets, which will be available beginning Monday, Sept. 29.
Here’s the seating chart for the arena.
August 30, 2006
The latest series of tests at Grippen Ice Rink have tested negative for ethylene glycol.
More than 30 water and soil samples collected after the late June flood from beneath the one-time popular recreational facility on the west side of Endicott show the ground is no longer contaminated with ethylene glycol, a type of antifreeze used in the cooling system that once preserved the rink’s ice, county officials said Tuesday.
More testing will be done to make sure the pollution — discovered after a flood in April 2005 damaged the floor of the rink — has dissipated, said Henry Weissmann, the county’s commissioner of public works.
Now that the cleanup effort is done, the county can start looking at the future of Grippen. Last winter local hockey clubs found ice time at a premium and high school hockey teams were often holding early morning practices BEFORE school. As hockey increases in popularity this will likely continue. Fortunately, the county is looking at building a new ice rink at a new location, possibily in Vestal or Union. Grippen’s floor will be repaired, but it will no longer be used as an ice rink.
The county will repair the floor of the building and continue to use it, but not for ice skating, Weissmann said. Officials are considering the possibility of building a rink in the town of Vestal or Union. One consideration is Highland Park, in Union, he added, but the search process is in its early stages.
“We have some feelers out, but nothing formal,” he said. Public land will be the first choice, he said, because “we don’t want to take property off the tax rolls.”
August 29, 2006
I just came across a nice article about Nick Foligno, Ottawa’s number 1 pick (28th overall) in the 2006 draft. Nick is the son of Mike Foligno who played for the Buffalo Sabres. Sounds like we’ll be seeing Nick next season in Binghamton, but he might see him sooner after his OHL team finishes their season.
After another season in the OHL, Foligno should be spending some time in the AHL to fine-tune his game. He already has the skating ability to play in that league, as well as the toughness. Still, he will need to play against more experienced and stronger players before he is ready to make the jump.
Having a father who has played in the NHL will be valuable to his development because he knows what it takes to play with the best players in the world.
The one thing that should make this father and son story different than some others is the son will certainly make it on his own merits and that’s why the Senators’ selection should pay dividends in the future.
What I like about Foligno is that he is a gritty player, something this organization sorely needs as evidenced by Ottawa’s loss to Buffalo in round two of the playoffs. They’ve already got plenty of skill, but they need more guys who will battle for the puck and according to his scouting report, Foligno fits the bill:
After a solid rookie season where he scored 10 goals and 28 assists in 65 games, Foligno had a coming-out of sorts in the 2004-05 playoffs when he ramped up his production and scored five goals and five assists in 12 games. He continued that momentum into this season, averaging better than a point-per-game en route to a 70-point season in 65 games. He’s combined a familiarity with getting to the net (ten goals in year one, 24 in year two) with a familiarity with the penalty box. In two seasons, the young forward has racked up 257 penalty minutes, in large part due to his proficiency at getting into the corners and in front of the net.
August 28, 2006
The 13th series of McFarlane’s NHL figures is due out in October. Included in this series are Alexandre Ovechkin, Bryan McCabe, Alex Tanguay, Joe Thornton, and two that I’d love to get: Dany Heatley and Henrik Lundqvist. If you’ve never seen these figures before, check them out. The detail is amazing and my kids love them.
August 26, 2006
Best picture of the glass shattering after a big check. The victim is Dan Bylsma, not sure who the checker is.
August 26, 2006
Bobby Clarke: ‘We take the shortest route to the puck and arrive in ill humor.’
Jacques Plante: ‘How would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?’
Brett Hull: ‘I’m not dumb enough to be a goalie.’
Doug Larson: ‘Ice hockey is a form of disorderly conduct in which the score is kept.’
Wayne Gretzky: ‘You miss 100% of the shots you never take.’
August 25, 2006
I’ve heard a lot of people talking about Ottawa’s Russian prospects and how they hope to see them in Bingo this season. Well, don’t get your hopes up. It is true that Ottawa has several good Russian prospects, but it’s no coincidence that we haven’t seen a single one of them in Binghamton during the last four years. The non-existent transfer agreement with Russia is only part of the problem. The biggest issue is that Russian players can make more money playing at home than they can riding a bus to games in the AHL.
This has been a growing problem that has affected the way NHL teams do business. Russian players are getting passed over in the draft for fear they won’t want to or won’t be able to play in North America. The NHL is losing players to Russia and they’re getting pissed off about it.