The man singularly associated with saving and maintaining minor league hockey in Springfield is stepping down as president and part owner.
Bruce Landon will leave his roles, nearly 20 years after starting the Falcons as an expansion franchise in 1994. He has been in pro hockey for 45 years, dating back to his days as a goalie for the Springfield Kings.
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"(Owner) Charlie Pompea accepted the challenges of making this franchise successful. I feel comfortable in the direction this franchise is going to go,'' Landon said.
Landon said he is getting physically tired and emotionally spent.
"Unless I can do it right, I am cheating the fans, myself and most of all, Charlie,'' he said.
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Charlie Pompea reiterated the team's commitment to a city that has hosted AHL hockey for most of the last 78 years.
"The Springfield Falcons will be there for you, just as Springfield has been there for us,'' Pompea said.
I don't think Pompea will sell. He's named his daughter the interim President, and I think he sees the franchise as a "gift" that he bought for his daughter to eventually run. He may very well move it, but I'd be surprised if there's a sale.
And if he does move the franchise to GF, it would either be for 2015-16, or it would involve breaking a lease that he just signed last month, presumably with full knowledge of Landon's intentions AND the situation in GF. Sure, leases can be broken, but why bother signing one if you think there's a good chance you won't honor it?
The Landon announcement certainly negatively impacts the likelihood of the Falcons remaining in Springfield long-term. But I would be surprised if anything changes in the near-term.