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Lowell Devils...worse marketing move ever?

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11-25-2006, 10:47 AM
  #1
NHRonin
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Lowell Devils...worse marketing move ever?

I went to the Lowell-Portland game last night and I have to say, what a completely lackluster affair. I've been going to AHL games in Lowell for the past five years and always enjoyed the atmosphere when the Lock Monsters were there.

It seems all the energy has been sucked out of the building. Now granted, I know the Lock Monsters attendance was some of the smallest in the league, but I have never ever seen entirely empty section of the Tsongas. There were no in stand between period promotions like before and the crowd, for the most part, could really care less. The arena was 1/3 full and that's being generous. Half of the concessions were closed.

I think the new owners blew it by rebranding the team. For one thing, people in New England hate the NJ Devils for the years they kept beating the Bruins in the playoffs. For another, the Lock Monsters had built a bond with the community. Little kids in the area recognized Louie, the team's mascot. There was at least a cursory connection to Lowell with the old name.

Now it's nothing. They barely seem to be trying at the game. I predict two years and out for this team...but that's what I suspect the NJ wanted anyway when they bought the team. Sad to say but the AHL will be leaving Lowell in short order.

At least we have a strong Manchester franchise.

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11-25-2006, 01:50 PM
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As a Lowell resident, I will admit that the atmosphere during games is similar to that of a morgue, except when our friendly announcer asks us to "rock this house" or when a goal is scored.

During the period as the Lock Monsters, there at least was an attempt to branch out and connect with the community, as far as bringing out Louie and other events. I checked the last season attendance for the Monsters, and they could at least finish third to bottom.

As far as the affiliate factor, yes the Devils are a lossleader. I've noticed similar resentment from some Hartford Whalers fans who because of the Rangers affiliation.


Also, you have to look at the city's situation: First, you have a large Asian and Latino population who aren't really drawn to hockey. We are situated right by highways making it easier and more attractive to travel to the B's. Nevermind the afct that people will pay parking, concessions and ~$58 for a decent seat.

I'll hopefully be attending some Monarch games to see what the buzz is up north, and for some in-game atmosphere, where something seems to be working. *sigh*

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11-25-2006, 01:51 PM
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As I have posted before, my theory is that the Devils will be moving their AHL affiliate to Trenton. That said I think that the Devils deal with Trenton took longer than expected and the Devils needed a temporary affiliate and Lowell fit that need perfectly. IMO, the Devils had no intention to stay in Lowell for the long run.

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11-25-2006, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William_Costigan View Post
As a Lowell resident, I will admit that the atmosphere during games is similar to that of a morgue, except when our friendly announcer asks us to "rock this house" or when a goal is scored.

During the period as the Lock Monsters, there at least was an attempt to branch out and connect with the community, as far as bringing out Louie and other events. I checked the last season attendance for the Monsters, and they could at least finish third to bottom.

As far as the affiliate factor, yes the Devils are a lossleader. I've noticed similar resentment from some Hartford Whalers fans who because of the Rangers affiliation.


Also, you have to look at the city's situation: First, you have a large Asian and Latino population who aren't really drawn to hockey. We are situated right by highways making it easier and more attractive to travel to the B's. Nevermind the afct that people will pay parking, concessions and ~$58 for a decent seat.

I'll hopefully be attending some Monarch games to see what the buzz is up north, and for some in-game atmosphere, where something seems to be working. *sigh*
I have to disagree with the notion that it's because of the makeup of Lowell's population. There is also a huge student population and the makeup of the surrounding areas is primarily white middle-class, hockey's primary market.

They screwed up first by changing the name, then raising the prices, then on top of that they in-game product is boring.

Since I live halfway between Lowell and Manchester (Nashua), I'll be permanently moving my allegiance north to the Monarchs. I suspect we'll see the Devils out of here before next season, regardless of the lease situation. They'll use lack of attendance as their excuse to break the lease.

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11-25-2006, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHRonin View Post
I have to disagree with the notion that it's because of the makeup of Lowell's population. There is also a huge student population and the makeup of the surrounding areas is primarily white middle-class, hockey's primary market.

They screwed up first by changing the name, then raising the prices, then on top of that they in-game product is boring.

Since I live halfway between Lowell and Manchester (Nashua), I'll be permanently moving my allegiance north to the Monarchs. I suspect we'll see the Devils out of here before next season, regardless of the lease situation. They'll use lack of attendance as their excuse to break the lease.
Lowell, historically is a poor drawing team. Their best season attendance-wise was 4123, which is still in the bottom half of the league.

"They" did not screw up at all. "They" did exactly what they did on purpose to make it easy to move their affiliate to Trenton for the 07-08 season. Lou Lamoriello is not stupid and everything he does is done for a reason. And that reason is to have low enough attendance to break his lease. Why do you think he had an out-clause in the lease based on attendance?

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12-10-2006, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William_Costigan View Post
Also, you have to look at the city's situation: First, you have a large Asian and Latino population who aren't really drawn to hockey.
I wonder when people would stop using race as an excuse for everything.

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12-11-2006, 12:36 AM
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I'm not criticizing the Devils management, as a Flyers fan, I don't exactly have room to rip them, but the Devils, in the past, have shown no interest in developing any kind of successful atmosphere within their pipeline. The River Rats missed the playoffs every year since 2000, and during some of those years only 3 or 4 teams missed the playoffs.

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12-11-2006, 06:35 AM
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I personally think that the market out there is too dilute for anyone who isn't a diehard hockey fan to really care about Lowell, plus the team changes hands so often that you can't really be the fan of one specific team. I think what teams like Manchester do very well is retain players that people know year after year, thus building a fan base around names people recognize. I don't think it has much to do with the demographic (I grew up in Lowell, my family lives there still-- my grandfather has been a season ticket holder since the team came into existance); what's to say that Asians and Latinos can't like hockey? This latina plays and is a diehard fan, I know a ton of others in the area that do as well.

Lowell also hasn't ever really been one of those reach out to the community teams. And this year with the barricades blocking the players exit, they've pretty much cut off any casual contact to the public after games.

Hell, at this rate, just try and expose people to the team. Fill the seats with people by giving them free tickets. At least there will be people in the seats-- they're already losing money, so why not at least try to boost concession revenue? It's a cute little rink, it's a shame that they don't do more to promote the game.

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12-11-2006, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go kim johnsson 514 View Post
I'm not criticizing the Devils management, as a Flyers fan, I don't exactly have room to rip them, but the Devils, in the past, have shown no interest in developing any kind of successful atmosphere within their pipeline. The River Rats missed the playoffs every year since 2000, and during some of those years only 3 or 4 teams missed the playoffs.
No, what the Devils care about is their minor league team playing the exact same system that the Devils play so that when called upon, they can fit right in. It's a very successful equation for the parent club, evidenced by the Devils success.

Again, Lowell is a one year temporary home while Lou irons out the wrinkles to move their affiliate to Trenton in 2007-08 and the 500 people that actually go to the Tsongas Arena will need to find another outlet for minor league hockey.

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12-11-2006, 01:54 PM
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I agree with the fact the Devils are trying to shoot their way out of Lowell but my question is why? the Dev's have a small enough fan base in NJ, why would they want to create competition against the dollar the NHL brings in by creating a cheaper alternative. Geography says it makes sense "quick call ups" and all but seriously what would be their closest rival be? Philly and bridgeport is about it.

Most likely it will happen but i think they would draw about the same as lowell in about two years.

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12-11-2006, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by FargoND View Post
I agree with the fact the Devils are trying to shoot their way out of Lowell but my question is why? the Dev's have a small enough fan base in NJ, why would they want to create competition against the dollar the NHL brings in by creating a cheaper alternative. Geography says it makes sense "quick call ups" and all but seriously what would be their closest rival be? Philly and bridgeport is about it.

Most likely it will happen but i think they would draw about the same as lowell in about two years.
The Titans would not compete with the Devils. By using your cheaper alternative reference it's like saying that just because a McDonald's has moved down the street from a fancy French restaurant that people aren't going to go to the French restaurant any more. The majority of the fans that are used to the NHL product aren't going to go to Trenton just because there is a cheaper option there (case in point the Phantoms have taken away virtually no fans from the Flyers and that team is across the parking lot).

As for rivalries, Trenton's only close rival now is Reading (90 minutes away) so adding Philadelphia, Hershey, WB/S, etc is better than their current situation.

The Titans have historically drawn better than Lowell. That said why would you say that their attendance would drop to Lowell's level? I see no reason why that would happen and, in fact, it may very well improve given the affiliation and the jump to AAA hockey.

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12-11-2006, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
No, what the Devils care about is their minor league team playing the exact same system that the Devils play so that when called upon, they can fit right in. It's a very successful equation for the parent club, evidenced by the Devils success.

Again, Lowell is a one year temporary home while Lou irons out the wrinkles to move their affiliate to Trenton in 2007-08 and the 500 people that actually go to the Tsongas Arena will need to find another outlet for minor league hockey.

then why does Trenton state 2008-09 not '07/08, when New Jersey bought Lowell, the agreement doesn't end until the lease does, why would NJ move to Trenton wouldn't u buy the ECHL Titans first, not buy Lowell first and no one knew then that Lowell's owner is still a minority owner in the Lowell franchise as are the Titans owners there, Pelts, was it not Carolina who negotiated the lease w/ Tsongas 5 years ago all NJ did was inherit the remaining time on the lease


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12-11-2006, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
The Titans would not compete with the Devils. By using your cheaper alternative reference it's like saying that just because a McDonald's has moved down the street from a fancy French restaurant that people aren't going to go to the French restaurant any more. The majority of the fans that are used to the NHL product aren't going to go to Trenton just because there is a cheaper option there (case in point the Phantoms have taken away virtually no fans from the Flyers and that team is across the parking lot).

As for rivalries, Trenton's only close rival now is Reading (90 minutes away) so adding Philadelphia, Hershey, WB/S, etc is better than their current situation.

The Titans have historically drawn better than Lowell. That said why would you say that their attendance would drop to Lowell's level? I see no reason why that would happen and, in fact, it may very well improve given the affiliation and the jump to AAA hockey.
what makes the Titans believe they're going to be successful at the AHL Level w/ NJ's direction---how many titles has Trenton won in the ECHL, Pelts??????

The Phantoms are a bad example to use due to common ownership otherwise the Spectrum would be gone by now, would it not?????

NJ hasn't exactly won support everywhere they've been affiliated either, Portland, Utica, then Albany, now Lowell.


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12-11-2006, 03:57 PM
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then why does Trenton state 2008-09 not '07/08, when New Jersey bought Lowell, the agreement doesn't end until the lease does, why would NJ move to Trenton wouldn't u buy the ECHL Titans first, not buy Lowell first and no one knew then that Lowell's owner is still a minority owner in the Lowell franchise as are the Titans owners there, Pelts, was it not Carolina who negotiated the lease w/ Tsongas 5 years ago all NJ did was inherit the remaining time on the lease
Just because there is a lease in place between the Lowell Devils and Tsongas Arena doesn't mean that the Devils can't perpetrate a buyout of that lease.

Also, I don't think it would matter which team, Lowell or Trenton, that you would purchase first, as long as the Devils own both. In this situation, if I were to choose, I'd try and acquire the AHL team first to ensure you'd have a reason to purchase the ECHL team and continue forward with the plans for placing the affiliates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRDANHUTCH View Post
what makes the Titans believe they're going to be successful at the AHL Level w/ NJ's direction---how many titles has Trenton won in the ECHL, Pelts??????
Pelts is meerly speculating as to the success of a Devils AHL team in Trenton, based on the fact that more people attend minor league hockey games in Trenton than do in Lowell. A simple "common sense" approach to the argument.... to coin a phrase.

Quote:
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The Phantoms are a bad example to use due to common ownership otherwise the Spectrum would be gone by now, would it not?????
The Phantoms were an example of a close rival for the Trenton team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRDANHUTCH View Post
NJ hasn't exactly won support everywhere they've been affiliated either, Portland, Utica, then Albany, now Lowell.
Based on my perception, I would agree.


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12-11-2006, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdmiralPred View Post
Just because there is a lease in place between the Lowell Devils and Tsongas Arena doesn't mean that the Devils can't perpetrate a buyout of that lease.

Also, I don't think it would matter which team, Lowell or Trenton, that you would purchase first, as long as the Devils own both. In this situation, if I were to choose, I'd try and acquire the AHL team first to ensure you'd have a reason to purchase the ECHL team and continue forward with the plans for placing the affiliates.
normally u'd buy the team u'd move first, which is Trenton which if that's the intention why buy Lowell to move into a market that is already filled by a current franchise, the Devils wouldn't have agreed to inherit the lease @ Tsongas if the intention was to transfer the team, either Admiral.

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12-11-2006, 04:13 PM
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normally u'd buy the team u'd move first, which is Trenton which if that's the intention why buy Lowell to move into a market that is already filled by a current franchise, the Devils wouldn't have agreed to inherit the lease @ Tsongas if the intention was to transfer the team, either Admiral.
Sure they would. As part of the purchase of the AHL Lowell franchise, they purchase a lease that the Devils, as we have been speculating, will not fulfil. Thus they will probably pay the Arena a sum to buy out of the agreement. And, for the sake of our little conversation here, the Devils did buy the team they intended to move, the Lowel AHL franchise. See, the Devils needed to first purchase the AHL franchise, something that doesn't exist in Trenton since they are in the ECHL. However, I know that you already realize that. The only way the NJ Devils get their way with who and where their affiliates will be, is to purchase an AHL franchise (Lowell) and place it where they want to (Trenton). The fans are already in Trenton, the only thing this whole deal would do is displace the ECHL Titans, but I am sure the Devils can find a place for them to operate when the dust settles.

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12-11-2006, 05:24 PM
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Hutch,

Given that you have posted that you don't understand why we talk about the business-side of the AHL and that it isn't fun, why do you even bother posting your unintelligible nonsense in these threads? Again go start a fun thread about the mascots, favorite concessions or whether you wear boxers or briefs to the games and leave the business threads to those who actually enjoy this kind of discussion.

Let's make this as easy as possible, shall we.

Point 1 - My guess is that the Devils deal with Trenton has been in the works for quite some time and when they realized that it couldn't happen for 06-07 they needed a temporary affiliate.

Point 2 - What better team to affiliate themselves with than a team that has had zero success historically at the box office that they could easily break an agreement with once the Trenton deal was in place?

Point 3 - Trenton's success at the ECHL has zero, zip, zilch, nada, bubkas to do with their potential success in the AHL given that the Devils will OWN them. That being said, genius, do a little research before you make inane comments because the Titans have been a very successful ECHL franchise (although, again this is completely irrelevant to the Trenton Devils future success) as in 7 seasons they have had only one season under .500, lost in the Kelly Cup finals in 2000-01 and won the Kelly Cup in 2004-05. BTW, in case you didn't know the Kelly Cup is the ECHL's equivalent to the AHL's Calder Cup.

Point 4 - The Phantoms/Flyers analogy is a perfect reference for my reply to Fargo, yet you have made some other irrelevant point. Fargo stated that the Trenton Devils would be a cheaper alternative to the NJ Devils and could take away from the NJD attendance. My point that you took out out of context is that the Phantoms have not taken away from the Flyers attendance. What the heck does that have to do with your inane comment about the Phantoms possibly being gone if they weren't owned by the Flyers???

Point 5 - Obviously the Devils could care less if their AHL team is successful. What matters to them is winning Stanley Cups and having their AHL team playing the exact same system that the Devils play so that callups can fit right in and make an impact. The fact is in the last 11 seasons, the Devils have won 3 Cups, lost in the finals once and only missed the playoffs once. That being said I would say that what they are doing is working out quite well for them regardless of the lack of success their affiliates have had.

I know you aren't going to like this, but the AHL is a developmental league and the parent club's priority is not to win at the AHL level, but to develop prospects to play at the NHL level and win Stanley Cups.


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12-11-2006, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdmiralPred View Post
Sure they would. As part of the purchase of the AHL Lowell franchise, they purchase a lease that the Devils, as we have been speculating, will not fulfil. Thus they will probably pay the Arena a sum to buy out of the agreement. And, for the sake of our little conversation here, the Devils did buy the team they intended to move, the Lowel AHL franchise. See, the Devils needed to first purchase the AHL franchise, something that doesn't exist in Trenton since they are in the ECHL. However, I know that you already realize that. The only way the NJ Devils get their way with who and where their affiliates will be, is to purchase an AHL franchise (Lowell) and place it where they want to (Trenton). The fans are already in Trenton, the only thing this whole deal would do is displace the ECHL Titans, but I am sure the Devils can find a place for them to operate when the dust settles.
but that doesn't mean Trenton wants the AHL THOUGH

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12-11-2006, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CHRDANHUTCH View Post
but that doesn't mean Trenton wants the AHL THOUGH
Genius, the Trenton Titans are now owned by the New Jersey Devils so all that matters is what the New Jersey Devils want.

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12-11-2006, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
Hutch,

Given that you have posted that you don't understand why we talk about the business-side of the AHL and that it isn't fun, why do you even bother posting your unintelligible nonsense in these threads? Again go start a fun thread about the mascots, favorite concessions or whether you wear boxers or briefs to the games and leave the business threads to those who actually enjoy this kind of discussion.

Let's make this as easy as possible, shall we.

Point 1 - My guess is that the Devils deal with Trenton has been in the works for quite some time and when they realized that it couldn't happen for 06-07 they needed a temporary affiliate.

Point 2 - What better team to affiliate themselves with than a team that has had zero success historically at the box office that they could easily break an agreement with once the Trenton deal was in place?

Point 3 - Trenton's success at the ECHL has zero, zip, zilch, nada, bubkas to do with their potential success in the AHL given that the Devils will OWN them. That being said, genius, do a little research before you make inane comments because the Titans have been a very successful ECHL franchise (although, again this is completely irrelevant to the Trenton Devils future success) as in 7 seasons they have had only one season under .500, lost in the Kelly Cup finals in 2000-01 and won the Kelly Cup in 2004-05. BTW, in case you didn't know the Kelly Cup is the ECHL's equivalent to the AHL's Calder Cup.

Point 4 - The Phantoms/Flyers analogy is a perfect reference for my reply to Fargo, yet you have made some other irrelevant point. Fargo stated that the Trenton Devils would be a cheaper alternative to the NJ Devils and could take away from the NJD attendance. My point that you took out out of context is that the Phantoms have not taken away from the Flyers attendance. What the heck does that have to do with your inane comment about the Phantoms possibly being gone if they weren't owned by the Flyers???

Point 5 - Obviously the Devils could care less if their AHL team is successful. What matters to them is winning Stanley Cups and having their AHL team playing the exact same system that the Devils play so that callups can fit right in and make an impact. The fact is in the last 11 seasons, the Devils have won 3 Cups, lost in the finals once and only missed the playoffs once. That being said I would say that what they are doing is working out quite well for them regardless of the lack of success their affiliates have had.

I know you aren't going to like this, but the AHL is a developmental league and the parent club's priority is not to win at the AHL level, but to develop prospects to play at the NHL level and win Stanley Cups.
Where did Philadelphia begin their AHL affiliation, Pelts, Portland---were the Phantoms even thought of until the corporation elected to build a new facility for the Flyers and Sixers, for that matter, WHEN were the Phantoms created for Philadelphia fans to watch play so how are they a burden to the Flyers when the Spectrum would that building still exist if not for the Phantoms or 76ers, why is Wachovia Spectrum a total dump as compared to Wachovia Center next door .

2) why are u bothering posting about the business of the AHL then if u know New Jersey is doing this why give Lowell fans the 2 year commitment to keep the AHL IN Lowell, the whole point of this thread is if NJ cared about Lowell's future then show an interest in possibly keeping the team in Lowell long term or past the 2 seasons if u dislike talking about the business why are u discussing the Devils impending exit like it's already been approved by the AHL anyway Pelts35, NJ isn't exactly helping market this franchise despite what they stated why would the Devils want to buy a franchise that they want to strip the market of a la Worcester.

Did Worcester fans want their franchise to leave town for Peoria in '04 ANY DIFFERENT FROM the Devils owning Lowell currently.

Philadelphia is a bad example to compare any franchise to since not all franchises are owned by their parent clubs.

NJ failed in Utica, bought what became Albany from the Islanders, how have they been a successful operator if Albany wanted them out, due to lack of success.

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12-11-2006, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by CHRDANHUTCH View Post
but that doesn't mean Trenton wants the AHL THOUGH
Very true. However, as Pelts said, the NJ Devils own both the Lowell AHL franchise and the ECHL Titans and now have the power to bring the AHL to Trenton. It's up to the fans if they'd rather watch the ECHL or the AHL. So long as the NJ Devils are good owners.

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12-11-2006, 07:31 PM
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CHRDANHUTCH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
Genius, the Trenton Titans are now owned by the New Jersey Devils so all that matters is what the New Jersey Devils want.
so Trenton is not currently a member of the AHL smh

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Old
12-12-2006, 10:06 AM
  #23
pelts35.com
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This is pretty funny, the Hutcher is back on my ignore list and I didn't put him there. I have tried to remove him and my user CP won't accept it.

Oh well, it's probably for the best. I can't take a guy seriously who said that it is my fault that Rockford won't be joining the AHL, was worried about poor Louie when I speculated (correctly, mind you) that the Devils would change the name of the Lowell AHL franchise, etc, etc etc.

Serenity now, insanity later.

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Old
12-12-2006, 11:53 AM
  #24
canadahockeygirl*
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRDANHUTCH View Post
Did Worcester fans want their franchise to leave town for Peoria in '04 ANY DIFFERENT FROM the Devils owning Lowell currently.

You forget that Worcester had a decent fan base, Lowell does not. If Lowell were to lose their team, who'd cry to keep it minus the Booster Club (no offense there, but that's the most solid group of fans) and the season ticket holders?


Last edited by SingnBluesOnBroadway: 12-12-2006 at 12:36 PM.
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12-12-2006, 12:16 PM
  #25
FargoND
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadahockeygirl View Post
You forget that Worcester had a decent fan base, Lowell does not. If Lowell were to lose their team, who'd cry to keep it minus the Booster Club (no offense there, but that's the most solid group of fans) and the season ticket holders?
Hutch just tries to muddy the waters with some muddled thinking. Comparing apples to dump trucks. The first and only mistake you can make here is to reply with any type logic regarding a hutch post.


Last edited by SingnBluesOnBroadway: 12-12-2006 at 12:41 PM.
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