The Rochester Americans Hockey Club announced today that they have signed a lease agreement with the City of Rochester to continue to play at The Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial, as well as a three-year affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers.
"I would like to congratulate the City of Rochester and the Rochester Americans on their new long-term lease, and also the Americans and the Florida Panthers on their new affiliation," said AHL President and CEO David Andrews. "Both of these agreements, along with the leadership of new owner Curt Styres, will ensure that the long and storied tradition that is Amerks hockey will not only continue but prosper as well."
The Amerks and Panthers had worked together as part of a dual affiliation for the previous three seasons. Fourteen players who skated for the Panthers during the 2007-08 season were Rochester alumni, including David Booth, Kamil Kreps, Gregory Campbell and Craig Anderson.
“We are very happy to have reached an agreement and to be the sole affiliate with one of the most successful and storied franchises in the American Hockey League,” said Florida Panthers general manager Jacques Martin. “Over the past three seasons, we have been extremely pleased with how our prospects have developed in the Rochester system and we look forward helping the Americans achieve their ultimate goals of winning another Calder Cup championship.”
The Amerks will enter their 53rd season of play at the downtown arena when they begin the 2008-09 AHL campaign in October. Rochester has captured six Calder Cup championships in its history, most recently in 1996, and has been home to some of the league’s greats, including Jody Gage, Willie Marshall, Steve Kraftcheck, Dick Gamble, Gerry Cheevers, Al Arbour and Don Cherry.