Wednesday, February 10, 2010

River Rats officially sold, but there may be a silver lining for local fans

ALBANY — The Albany River Rats made it official on Wednesday — the American Hockey League franchise has been sold by owner Walter L. Robb to MAK Hockey, LLC, which will relocate the team to Charlotte, N.C. for next season.
The franchise is in its 20th season in the Capital District — located the past the past 17 seasons in Albany as the River Rats (1993-94 to 2009-10) and three in Troy as the Capital District Islanders (1990-91 to 1992-93).
Yet there may be a silver lining for area hockey fans who crave AHL hockey.
Times Union Center General Manager Bob Belber said Wednesday “I’m happy to say that we’re very close to a potential deal with two different (ownership) groups.”
There were negotiations on Tuesday with a suitor “that would just move the franchise from their existing city and bring their NHL affiliate with them. The second scenario would be a local owner that would buy a franchise that would be available to purchase from an existing city and then affiliate with an AHL partner.”
Based on confidentiality with potential buyers, Belber didn’t say which NHL team is currently in negotiations or mention other possible teams — but did say “The two AHL franchises that would potentially be available to come here are currently playing in the Northeast and they are affiliated with NHL teams that are home based in the Northeast.”
Potential NHL affiliates based in the Northeast include the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders, the New Jersey Devils and the Buffalo Sabres.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home