Welcome Back To Utica New Jersey Devils
There will be AHL hockey at the Adirondack Bank Center next season, but with a new NHL affiliate.
The New Jersey Devils have signed a 10-year affiliation agreement with the Utica Comets after the Vancouver Canucks relocated their AHL franchise to Abbotsford, British Columbia after eight seasons in Utica.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for the New Jersey Devils, who operated the Utica Devils from 1987 to 1993.
The Utica Devils made four Calder Cup Playoff appearances during their seven seasons in Utica. There were 111 players in the history of the Utica Devils, and 77 of them played in the National Hockey League.
Hall of Famer Goaltender Martin Brodeur played 32 games for the Utica Devils in the 1992-93 season.
Other future NHL stars to grace the Utica Aud ice included AHL MVP’s Paul Ysebaert and Kevin Todd, along with Jim Dowd, Bill Geurin, Chris Terreri, Sean Burke, and Jamie Huscroft.
Devils coaches include Tom McVie and the legendary Herb Brooks, who was head coach of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic Team in Lake Placid in 1980. It’s no secret that the Utica Devils struggled with attendance while they were here, but things are much different his time around.
The Adirondack Bank Center is a now a world-class facility following over $10 million in renovations.
The team is also locally owned, with President Rob Esche and the Comets building a solid fan base over the last eight years.
The team will keep the name Utica Comets, with jersey design and colors to be revealed later this year. Ensuring the team would still be called the Utica Comets was a main component of the agreement. And mark this date on your calendar, Sunday, October 17.
The Utica Comets will play their home opener on that date, exactly 34 years since the Devils’ American Hockey League debut in Utica.