The 2022 Binghamton Black Bears season got off to a fantastic start as they dominated Elmira by a 10-1 score on opening night at the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena. They followed that up with a road win at Elmira by a 6-3 score.

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This weekend, they return to the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena for two-in-a row with the Mississippi Sea Wolves. On Friday, October 21st, the Black Bears will celebrate the 50th year of professional hockey in Binghamton.

On Saturday, October 22nd, they will celebrate Halloween early by encouraging you to wear a costume to the game. You'll want to show up early to go trick or treating in the concourse.

Face-off both nights is at 7:05 p.m. and I'll be hosting Chuck-a-Puck between the 2nd and 3rd period. As I'm getting ready for Friday night's game and trying to decide if I should wear my Broome Dusters or Binghamton Senators attire, it got me thinking.

I wonder what some of our former Binghamton hockey players are doing today.

Pierre Laganiere/ Rod Bloomfield/ Randy MacGregor

attachment-Pierre Laganaire, Rod Bloomfield and Randy MacGregor Tina Kugler

Pierre Laganiere

Laganiere was drafted by the New York Rangers in 1973 in the 5th round and was the #78th overall pick. He played for the Broome Dusters from 1976 to 1979. He came back to town to coach the Binghamton Jr. Senators for two years from 2006 to 2008.

His son Chris was the head coach for the Binghamton Jr. Senators for the 2016-17 season. Pierre rejoined the team with his son as an assistant head coach.

Rod Bloomfield

He began his stint with the Broome Duster in 1973. During the 5 years in Binghamton, Rod was named league MVP twice, won the league scoring race twice, and was named to the all star team 3 times.

Bloomfield was a stunt double on the movie "Slap Shot" and did most of the skating in long-shot scenes involving Paul Newman's character, He's also in the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame.

Randy MacGregor

Randy played in Binghamton beginning in 1973 until 1983. He skated for the Broome Dusters, Binghamton Dusters, and the Binghamton Whalers. In 1998, he became the first player inducted into the Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame. He still lives in the area and calls "Vestal" his home.

Denis Hamel

Dennis Hamel
Glenn Pitcher

Denis Hamel is my daughter, Riley's all-time favorite player. Her favorite number is his hockey number 17. She wore that number playing high school volleyball in honor of Hamel.

He was a Binghamton Senator from 2003 until 2010. He won the Willie Marshall Award in 2006 for leading the league in goals scored (56). The next year, Hamel won the Yanick Dupree Memorial Award as the AHL Man of the Year for his work in the community.

At the time of his retirement, he was 11th in AHL goals scored with 338 and finished with 651 points for his illustrious career. Hamel was inducted into the Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 and the AHL Hall of Fame in 2020.

Dennis Bonvie

Dennis Bonvie
Dave Sandford/Getty Images/NHLI

Bonvie only played in Binghamton for two years but he left his mark...literally. He was a Binghamton Senator from the 2002 through the 2004 seasons. He was a crowd favorite and when he took to the ice, you know something exciting was about to happen...especially after the opposing team scored a goal.

Bonvie was the enforcer and by the time he retired in 2008, he was the most penalized player in professional hockey history. He finished with 4,804 professional career penalty minutes.

He was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in 2017. He lives in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area, where he ended his career. He owns three restaurants, Bonvie's Old Forge Pizza Express, Bonvie's Beefy King, and Bonvie's Blue Chip Gourmet

So there you have it, just a few of so many hockey stars that called Binghamton their home at one time or another. Binghamton Hockey is 50 years strong and isn't going to slow down anytime soon.

            In fact, there is a lot to love about hockey in Binghamton.

Five Things We Love About Hockey In Binghamton, In No Particular Order

Greater Binghamton Sports Hall Of Fame

As we look forward to Black Bears hockey this weekend, let's look back to where it all began.

The Broome-Binghamton Dusters

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