With the February 5th start date to the AHL season just a couple weeks away, the Binghamton, or should I say the Newark Devils, are starting to get settled into their temporary home.

“If you’re not ready to be flexible these days, you’re going to struggle,” says Binghamton Devils Head Coach Mark Dennehy.

The Devils will be playing a condensed 34 game season, playing just 6 other teams in a realigned North Division for the 2021 season.  Along with Binghamton the North will include Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. 

“It makes the pre-scouts a lot easier, I think we have Lehigh Valley about 14 times out of our 34 games,” says Dennehy. “We’ll probably know each others roster pretty well. With that said they say familiarity builds contempt, you play a team that many times the compete level is going to go up each time.”


Playing in the New Jersey Devils Newark practice facility will allow the AHL players to undergo the same COVD-19 protocols as the NHL players. Dennehy says while he wishes they could be playing back in front of the fans in Binghamton, he’s thankful that hockey is back. 

“We still feel like there’s some unfinished business in Binghamton,” says Dennehy. “It's a great fan base and they’ve had successful teams there. We felt like we had it really cooking towards the end of last year. We were poised to make the playoffs, I think we would have made a great run and then we were cut short.”

Dennehy says unlike the NHL, they’ll have a couple exhibition games before the regular season starts. 

“These guys are pros even at the American Hockey League level, they’ve been doing this most of their lives. It won't take them too long to scrape the rust off,” says Dennehy. “Just the energy of looking forward to competing will be enough to speed up that process.”