2017-18 Schedule Breakdown

The 2017-18 AHL schedule has been released and the Amerks will play a total of 76 games. 37 of 38 home games will played at the Blue Cross Arena and 1 home game will be played at the Key Bank Center in Buffalo on Wednesday February 21st vs. the Syracuse Crunch. The season kicks off in Rochester on Friday October 6th vs. the Syracuse Crunch and ends in Syracuse on Saturday April 14th. The final regular season home game is on Friday April 13th vs. the Belleville Senators (formerly the Binghamton Senators). As usual, the schedule heavily favors close division rivals. The Amerks will face the Belleville Senators, Binghamton Devils (formerly the Albany Devils), and the Utica Comets 10 times each. 4 games will be played against the Charlotte Checkers (2 home, 2 away), who joins the Eastern Conference this season. The Hershey Bears, Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Providence Bruins, and Springfield Thunderbirds will each visit once Rochester once. The always popular home game against the Hershey Bears is on Friday November 3rd. There is 1 Monday afternoon home game on Martin Luther King Day vs. the Utica Comets. In total the Amerks will face 14 teams.

19 home games will be played on a Friday, 9 on a Wednesday, 6 on a Saturday, 3 on a Sunday, and 1 on a Monday. Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday games will start at 7:05pm. Sunday games will start at 3:05pm. The lone Monday game starts at 1:05pm.

For a complete breakdown of how many times the Amerks face each opponent, see below. The complete schedule can be found here.

Home Games
Opponent Games Against
Binghamton Devils 5
Syracuse Crunch 5
Utica Comets 5
Belleville Senators 4
Laval Rocket 4
Toronto Marlies 4
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2
Charlotte Checkers 2
Harford Wolfpack 2
Hershey Bears 1
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1
Providence Bruins 1
Springfield Thunderbirds 1
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1
Away Games
Opponent Games Against
Binghamton Devils 5
Syracuse Crunch 5
Utica Comets 5
Belleville Senators 4
Laval Rocket 4
Toronto Marlies 4
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2
Charlotte Checkers 2
Harford Wolfpack 2
Hershey Bears 1
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1
Providence Bruins 1
Springfield Thunderbirds 1
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1
Chris Schiffner is a New Yorker turned Rochestarian who loves the Amerks, is passionate about the success and development of Downtown Rochester, and celebrates all things local. He maintains a personal website at Schiffner.com and you can follow his personal twitter feed at @ChrisSchiffner.

A Relationship On The Rocks

Last week ESPN Rochester’s Mike Danger broke the news that the Buffalo Sabres were exploring options to relocate the Amerks to a new arena. What arena(s), specifically, have yet to be determined and Mike Danger has not divulged his source of the information or the arena(s) contacted. Here’s what we’ve heard through the rumor mill:

  • Pegula Ice Arena at Penn State was considered. Hershey might have taken offense to the idea of another team playing so close to them.
  • Albany is moving to Binghamton for 2017-18 and leaving an AHL-class arena tenantless. Just a few more hours down the thruway, Albany is a viable option.
  • Hamilton used to host an AHL team (the Bulldogs) until they were purchased by the Montreal Canadiens and moved to St. Johns. While the arena currently hosts a juniors team, they might be looking for an AHL team to call Hamilton home.

In addition to these rumors, Mike Danger, in a heated discussion with Rochester city official Norm Jones, said “I’d hate to see them end up in Utica.”—which may or may not have been a slip. Utica has been rumored to be in danger of losing their team in a sale/move to the west coast which somewhat validates Utica as an option.

The reasons behind a potential move have played out in the public eye. The Sabres organization has continually referred to the Blue Cross Arena as sub-standard and unsuitable for NHL (and AHL) hockey. They’ve also complained about the lease agreement. Whether you think the Blue Cross Arena needs updates or a complete replacement, there is no denying that there are older arenas that offer fewer amenities hosting other AHL teams. Winning teams. The Sabres famously refused to host pre-season NHL hockey at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester—instead electing to play in Pegula Ice Arena at Penn State University. They’ve made their opinion of the facility clear.

There’s more to the story than meets the eye, however. Rather than hold an AHL preseason game somewhere in the Rochester area, the Sabres elected to hold the Amerks preseason game at the Sabres-owned Harbor Center in downtown Buffalo. In the past they’ve held preseason games at Rochester area arenas including Bill Gray’s Ice Plex and RIT’s Gene Polisseni Center. Why shun Rochester during preseason? In my opinion this was to send a message to Rochester fans—we have the power to take your hockey. Now, for the third season in a row, the Amerks are facing an uncertain future in Rochester with lease negotiations and rumors about moving the team swirling.

Nearly 24 hours after the dust settled on ESPN Rochester’s interview with Norm Jones, the Sabres are sending another message by loaning Amerks Captain Cal O’Reilly to tonight’s opponent the Toronto Marlies. The Amerks are not going to make the playoffs. Loans are expected. Loaning a player to your opponent BEFORE you play them isn’t only about giving a player a chance on a team with playoff hopes. It’s to send a message to the fans—we don’t care about you or your investment in tickets to see our team play. I don’t have a problem with O’Reilly being loaned. Nearly a month ago I mentioned that O’Reilly looked like he had given up.

Now there’s the revelation that O’Reilly wanted out of Rochester. He wanted to be traded. Since nothing came together trade-wise, Tim Murray is apparently trying to do right by O’Reilly. That’s fine…and most fans are ok with losing him. The problem is timing. In loaning O’Reilly immediately before the match Tim Murray has indicated to each and every fan that he doesn’t care about the fan base.

Amerks fans are now left to endure the tail end of a disappointing season, with their captain on loan to one of their closest rivals…for free. The tank is on in Rochester, but there’s no first round draft pick at the end of this road. Just a disappointed fan base that’s received the intended message loud and clear.

…and about that early ticket renewal deadline of April 3rd…

Chris Schiffner is a New Yorker turned Rochestarian who loves the Amerks, is passionate about the success and development of Downtown Rochester, and celebrates all things local. He maintains a personal website at Schiffner.com and you can follow his personal twitter feed at @ChrisSchiffner.
sponsored by

2017-18 Schedule Breakdown

The 2017-18 AHL schedule has been released and the Amerks will play a total of 76 games. 37 of 38 home games will played at the Blue Cross Arena and 1 home game will be played at the Key Bank Center in Buffalo on Wednesday February 21st vs. the Syracuse Crunch. The season kicks off… Continue Reading

A Relationship On The Rocks

Last week ESPN Rochester’s Mike Danger broke the news that the Buffalo Sabres were exploring options to relocate the Amerks to a new arena. What arena(s), specifically, have yet to be determined and Mike Danger has not divulged his source of the information or the arena(s) contacted. Here’s what we’ve heard through the rumor mill:… Continue Reading

Analyzing the Start of the 2016-17 Season

Win one, lose two. Lose one, win two. It’s the life of a .500 hockey club…and yet a .500 record would actually be an improvement over the .421 and .474 records of the past 2 seasons. Now in the 6th season of Buffalo Sabres ownership and the 3rd season of General Manager Tim Murray’s leadership,… Continue Reading

Rochester Americans 60th Season Primer

In a few hours the Amerks will take to the ice to open their historic 60th season. With a renewed focus on winning the organization hopes to make reparations for a disastrous 59th season. Last season’s “situation” in Buffalo trickled down to the Rochester Americans, which in turn trickled down to the Elmira Jackals. Players… Continue Reading

Coaching changes are in the air; Cassidy Poll results

When tanking became the goal, Ted Nolan’s fate was sealed. There was no doubt the Sabres were in for a coaching change. The surprising part was just how swift and harsh Nolan’s ousting was. Just hours after the Sabres season ended GM Tim Murray sent Nolan packing and left little doubt he was blaming Nolan… Continue Reading

The AHL’s Planned “Western Pod” Has Far Reaching Implications

Take a long hard look at the current AHL landscape because you might not recognize the league come the 2015-16 season. The AHL is poised for a major shakeup—allowing a group of NHL owned AHL teams to move to California, forming a “Western Pod”. With player transactions between AHL teams and NHL affiliates on the… Continue Reading

Video: Frozen Frontier Shootout (Amerks vs. Monsters)

If you missed last night’s game at Frozen Frontier, you missed a magical event. It was cold. It was snowy. It was the perfect setting for a winter classic. The Amerks almost etched out a 4-3 win but the Monsters managed to tie it all up with 1/10th of a second remaining in the 3rd… Continue Reading

#FrozenFrontier – Everything You Need To Know

We’ve been waiting for this day since it was announced back in August. Tonight the Rochester Americans take on the Lake Erie Monsters in Rochester’s first outdoor professional hockey game! Here’s everything you need to know for tonight’s game. Gates open at 5pm with parking lots opening at 4:30pm. Parking is available in the Kodak… Continue Reading

Kryptonite Neutralized – Amerks Take Marlies 4-1

Toronto who? We might be unimportant this side of the border and we’ve had our share of difficulty against Toronto in the past, but the Amerks showed the Marlies we can play at their level. Just 9 seconds into the first period, before half the fans even had a chance to settle into their seats,… Continue Reading

The Amerks Have A Lot To Prove This Weekend

If you haven’t been to an Amerks game in a few years, you certainly got smacked with a dose of reality at the 2013-14 home opener. The same team that won it all in ’96 and went to the finals in ’99 and ’00, lost 8 to 1 in a completely one sided match versus… Continue Reading