New Jersey Devils Keeping AHL Team In Newark For This Season

Head coach Mark Dennehy of the Binghamton Devils (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Head coach Mark Dennehy of the Binghamton Devils (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

The Binghamton Devils will be playing this season in Newark.

News came out Wednesday evening that is a major impact for the New Jersey Devils‘ AHL team the Binghamton Devils. They won’t be the Binghamton Devils at all. In fact, the Devils organization is keeping them close to home. This was first reported by WBNG sports director Nicole Menner.

This is a major impact to operations for the Devils as a whole. Does this mean the Binghamton Devils will be playing games at the Prudential Center? Early reports show they will be playing out of their practice facility, which might mean that fans walking past could catch a glimpse of the game.

Binghamton is one of four teams that will not play in their home city this season. They are joined by the Providence Bruins (they will play in Marlborough, MA.), the Ontario Reign (they will play in El Segundo, CA), and the San Diego Gulls (they will play in Irvine, CA). This is a huge change as owners of AHL teams try to reduce expenses with no fans in the building. The AHL relies on ticket revenues a lot more than the NHL does.

Keeping teams close might also eventually open the door for a way for fans to watch the team live. Obviously, that’s not the plan right now, but things are fluid during the pandemic.

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The Devils organization needs their AHL team to play this season. It’s very important for the development of this roster. There are too many young players that need game action to get ready for the NHL. If a player like Reilly Walsh or Kevin Bahl has to just sit on their hands waiting for an eventual call up to the NHL, they would come into the big leagues cold. That doesn’t help anyone.

This is good news for Devils fans, but bad news for Binghamton. Hopefully, for that city’s sake, this is a temporary move. The fans in Bingo are amazing, and they deserve that team. They’ve been following minor league hockey for a long time.