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The Albany AHL situation

Do not misinterpret this as reporting by yours truly. But I know we have our share of Albany and broader upstate readers around here, so if anyone has thoughts on Albany's AHL situation (such as this one at Gross Misconduct), this is a good thread in which to share them.

A not very well-kept secret became official today: The River Rats are being sold and will be relocated to Charlotte, closer to their NHL parent Hurricanes. Meanwhile, Albany movers and shakers will push to bring a different AHL club to the area. A local car dealer is making noise about bringing another AHL team to Albany, even relaying through his CFO:

He is in initial discussions with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. ... [the] CFO says he wants the people of Albany to have a hockey team.

Before you get too stirred, Mike Fornabaio already talked to Sound Tigers president Howard Saffan about that report and got yet another reassurance that the Sound Tigers are not for sale and have a long-term lease. [After the jump: A little intuitive reasoning.]

Now, outside of extraordinary circumstances, a team president is not going to trumpet that his team is for sale mid-season. But on the other hand, for a car salesman -- whose motivation might not be restricted to hockey, but also to keeping his name in a positive light for the locals who are about to lose their hockey club -- "initial discussions" could easily amount to:

"Hey, can I buy your team?"


"Pretty please?"

>>"Only for a billion dollars."

..."My people will get back to you with a counter-offer."

What I'm saying is there are many motivations a local businessman (who markets to local consumers in a relationship that traffics in trust and goodwill) might have to keep hope alive for Albany hockey, "for the people of Albany." And even if his interest is 100% hockey-driven, he's still going to make noise wherever he can to keep himself on the radar in the AHL's annual franchise shuffle.

Anyway, beyond that, I'm not going to get into speculation here. But several of you have shared thoughts on Albany hockey in the past. And a few have brought up memories of the Capital District Islanders of Troy, a product of those lovely IHL-AHL wars of yore.

So be you local or long distance, if you have any grievances, memories, hopes or other bits to get off your chest about local hockey or the Islanders' AHL affiliate, by all means bare your soul here.