The Amerks had a media lunch event today that was a round table discussion of sorts about the past, present, future, and any questions in between. A lot was discussed and I’ll try and sum up a lot of it the best I can. The one thing that sticks out is that the Amerks are the Amerks. They are not a team affiliated with someone else.
The Amerks want to be the best organization of any sports league, not just the American Hockey League. They want to provide the best entertainment for the fans and also be the most open organization. Those are not my words, those are the words spoken by everyone present at the event.
Ted Nolan, Jody Gage, Lewis Staats, Jolian Foster, Ric Seiling, Don Stevens, Craig Rybczynski, and Adam Winslow were all present from the organization.
Here’s a few of the topics covered.
** Jerseys – The team will have three jerseys this season. A white jersey, a blue jersey, and the stars and stripes jerseys. The one that was worn during the 95/96 season. The white and blue jerseys will have the horizontal striping at the bottom.
** Training Camp – the team will be back on the ice September 24th to start camp.
** Enforcer – “We’re currently looking at some guys from parts unknown,” is how Ted Nolan addressed the issue. Jody Gage replied with, “We need one, we’re not done.” They did not name any names but both of them agreed that someone will be brought in. Ted Nolan said, “I believe in a safe working environment.”
** Community/Marketing – As noted above the team is working on marketing the Amerks. Kerry Atkinson said, “we need to find a way to market to the kids but also not forget about the long time fans and season ticket holders.” That’s something that has been a concern for a number of (for the lack of a better phrase) old timers. They tried last year with the “A New Day for a Rochester Tradition” campaign but it failed in the end due to the bad product on the ice.
“You can’t blame people for not coming back,” Nolan said about the previous few years.
Kerry Atkinson talked about how while he worked for the Buffalo Sabres that two of the most popular years were when Ted Nolan was coaching the team. The reason was because of the work ethic. If the team works hard it will make people proud.
** TV – They do have a schedule in place for games to be either be televised live or tape delayed. They are currently looking into the logistics and business side of things in regards to having every home game live on TV.
** Radio – It will more than likely be staying the same as far as being on WHTK. The one thing they do plan on changing is having the post game show done live from the arena. Goodbye Craig Schaller and the “Penalty Box” post game show.
** The Future –
The Amerks want to get that community spirit back about the team. They want to be affordable family fun. They want to have the best youth hockey relationship out of any team in hockey. They want to get that identity back as a team. Everyone in hockey knows about the Amerks, now they everyone to be talking about the Amerks again – and not just about being the last place team.
I’ll have a lot more later. Keep an eye on Kevins blog, the local news stations tonight, and I’m sure Bob Mathews will be talking hockey tonight on his show.