Newark, NJ/Utica, NY - Today, the American Hockey League's Board of Governors unanimously approved the relocation of the franchise owned by the New Jersey Devils from Binghamton, N.Y., to Utica, N.Y., effective starting with the 2021-22 season. Jake Reynolds, President, New Jersey Devils, and Tom Fitzgerald, Executive Vice President/General Manager, New Jersey Devils, provided the following statement:
"After multiple discussions and evaluating the options available for the future of our American Hockey League franchise, we have agreed to partner with a local operating group, Mohawk Valley Garden, in Utica, NY, led by Comets President Robert Esche, to relocate our AHL franchise starting with the 2021-22 season. We are pleased to announce that this is a ten-year partnership which establishes a mutual commitment between our organization and the city of Utica. We look forward to creating new memories for the fans, as the next generation of Devils' stars develop their professional careers at Adirondack Bank Center. Working with Robert and his team will be an exciting opportunity as we look to build upon the passion and enthusiasm that they've created in making Utica one of the top markets in the AHL."
The club will remain the Utica Comets with an unveiling of jersey designs and colors to follow at a later date.
"We could not be happier for the opportunity to partner with the New Jersey Devils, an organization with a rich history not only in the NHL but also in our own community," said Esche.
"The spirit of Comets hockey and the culture our fans have created will continue to grow as it has for decades and evolve through the next ten years, and we are honored to be a part of that with the Devils. As we look towards successfully developing some of the NHL's top prospects, we eagerly anticipate this new chapter of Comets hockey."
The organization returns to the place where it spent six seasons as the Utica Devils, 1987-88 through 1992-93, and included four Calder Cup Playoff appearances. During that time, Utica players who helped become part of the foundation of three Devils Stanley Cup Championships included Martin Brodeur, Jim Dowd, Bill Guerin, Tommy Albelin, Bobby Holik and Chris Terreri among other distinguished alumni. There were 111 players in the history of the Utica Devils, and 77 of them played in the National Hockey League.