Binghamton Senators lose ECHL affiliate
4/16/2014 (Updated 6:01:17 PM)The Elmira Jackals announced on Wednesday afternoon that they have signed an affiliation agreement with the Buffalo Sabres effective immediately. This move leaves the Binghamton Senators without an affiliate in the ECHL. B-Sens Vice President of Operations tells Fox 40 that he has heard of this development "for some time now," and is in talks with other ECHL teams to begin an affiliation agreement for next season, but he could not elaborate as to which teams.
Mitchell says the move was prompted largely by the Jackals new ownership group learning the ropes of the hockey business and "they felt it was a better fit to have a New York State team," by signing with Buffalo.
Mitchell says he thought it was a good relationship with Elmira because it only cost a $50 tank of gas as opposed to a $500 air fare to move players back and forth. He also felt the Ottawa Senators and Binghamton Senators organizations treated Elmira well, to the point of even sending NHL coaches to Elmira as special instructors.
Another motive for the change is how constant the request for players were by AHL affiliates. Mitchell says the Jackals are in a unique position as the only ECHL team surrounded by several AHL teams. The Albany Devils, Utica Comets, Rochester Americans, and B-Sens were all making inquiries and roster transactions with Elmira. The current agreement will limit that to just Rochester which is Buffalo's AHL affiliate.
All of the players that were under contract with the Senators organization were already in Binghamton as the season continues to wind down, according to Mitchell.
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