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B-Devils Conclude Failed Season

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Binghamton, N.Y. - The 2018-19 season brought another brutal season for the Binghamton Devils here in Binghamton. A season that consisted of a 28-47 record leading to another year without making the playoffs. In fact, the B-Devils weren't even close to making the post season after finishing 30th out of 31 teams in the American Hockey League.

"It was not a successful season" said Binghamton Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald. "I think there was a lot to learn. There was obstacles in our way and injuries, but that's no excuse because every one has injuries. The areas of improvement have been identified within the organization."

It wasn't successful but it was definitely a unique and unusual season. A season filled with a lot of turn over, a season that saw eight different goalies on the B-Devils roster.

"I knew there would be a lot of turnover in the AHL" said B-Devils head coach Mark Dennehy. "But I mean, we get to January and I ask 'is this normal?' They say 'yeah it's normal.' We get to February and I ask the same thing and they say 'No, this isn't normal."

"It was a challenging year on that front. But, you live and you learn. Again there's a commitment level there. We need to identify where we need to improve and improve on it."

The silver lining to a bad season? How well the young players stepped up in Binghamton and in New Jersey. There was a time when 12 Binghamton Devils were playing in the NHL. Among players seeing time in Binghamton and New Jersey were Kevin Rooney, Kurtis Gabriel, Mackenzie Blackwood, Joey Anderson, Nathan Bastian, Eric Gryba, Nick Lappin, Michael McLeod, Blake Pietila, John Quenneville, Brett Seney, Eric Tangredi, Colton White, Josh Jacobs, Brandon Gignac, Cory Schneider and Ryan Murphy.

"We took big strides in player development" said Dennehy. "We need to continue to make steps going forward as these younger players become more established players. Here in Binghamton, we continue to take steps.There's a culture in New Jersey. You hear the players talk about it. Our job is to bring that culture here. We've done a better job of it but still have a lot more work to do."

"The silver lining is that you saw kids take advantage of the opportunity here" said Fitzgerald. "They're taking the opportunities to show what they have what it takes and they're taking advantage of it. A lot of guys got opportunities because of injuries and it gives us a taste of what we need."

Only four players spent the entire season in Binghamton, John Ramage, Egor Sharangovich, Ryan Schmelzer and Brandon Baddock.

“You see young players who come in bright eyed and don't understand yet how to be a professional,” said Dennehy. " John Wooden and the first thing he would teach his players every season is how to put their socks on. There were times when it was, ‘This is how you tie your skates.’

"The best teams do little things on a consistent basis. said Dennehy. "The young guys come in and don't even know what the little things are. So, at least now they know what they are even if they don't do it consistently. "

Like I said earlier, eight different goalies visited Binghamton. The B-Devils allowed an AHL high of 278 goals.

“I knew going from college to the professional level that I was going to get a chance to meet a lot more people in hockey” Dennehy said. “I didn’t realize eight of them would be goalies. We had a lot of turnover. It was a challenging year on that front."

Cam Johnson highlighted their goalie roster by playing 29 games for the B-Devils.

“Last place, I’d say it wasn’t very successful,” said Fitzgerald.  “We want to be an organization that has a lot of depth. That’s something we need to improve on. That’s on me to help improve the depth.”

“There’s a culture in New Jersey and you hear the players talk about it. said Dennehy. " Our job is to take that culture here. I think we did a better job of it, but there’s still work to do.”

"We know this isn't good enough. We want to put a winning organization here in Binghamton. Binghamton deserves it. We're on the right track but not there yet."