If you haven't heard yet, the Binghamton Devils will not be returning to the Visions Federal Credit Union Veterans Memoria Arena for the 2021-2022 season and will play in Utica instead.

We heard the whispers earlier this season and we were hoping against hope that it wasn't true. Our first clue that they weren't coming back was when the Utica AHL team filled to trademark name "Utica Devils."

It was made official shortly thereafter and the Devils will play in Utica for the next ten years.  Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said that the chances of Binghamton getting an AHL team for next season "almost zero."

Binghamton Hockey Memories

There has been professional hockey in Binghamton for the last 50 years and it holds some of my favorite memories. My dad bought tickets for my first hockey game when the Broome Dusters played. I sat in the first row next to the Dusters bench and watched my first fight in front of me and pounding the plexiglass.

Being a Chuck-a-Puck host for many many years and having my daughters Riley and Tara joining me on the ice. Who can forget the Binghamton Senators winning the Calder Cup and the parade through downtown Binghamton?

So many awesome memories! So what's next for Binghamton?

What's Next For The Binghamton Devils

According to WBNG-TV, professional hockey could be coming back next year. They reported that Visit Bing Director Judi Hess announced that a group in Binghamton is attempting to bring an ECHL expansion team to our area.

It was also reported that talks of a Federal Hockey League (FHL) team might come to our area as well. We'll just have to wait to see how it plays out.  Many of us are a little disappointed that there won't be AHL hockey next season but that doesn't mean that it will never return.

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This isn't the first time that we haven't had an AHL hockey team playing at the arena. The B.C. Icemen was a United Hockey League (UHL) team and they called Binghamton home for five years from 1997 to 2002. The Binghamton Senators came to town after that and the rest is history.

We hope that history will repeat itself and we'll get an AHL team in Binghamton and if Tom Mitchell has any say in the matter, we will. I'm looking forward to watching hockey next season, whoever it may be.

Greater Binghamton Sports Hall Of Fame

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