Amerks and Fans May Find Silver Lining in NHL Lockout
Buffalo's loss may be Rochester's gain when it comes to this year’s hockey season. The NHL lockout will allow the Rochester Americans to get some help on the ice from its parent team, the Buffalo Sabres.
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"Being that we'll be the only game in town on the ice, it should be an exciting season,” said Rob Kopacz, Rochester Americans.
After making the playoffs in April, the Amerks are fired up for another great season. The fans are in for a treat, as the Amerks have confirmed that center Cody Hodgson and winger Marcus Foligno will join them from Buffalo.
"They're great guys. They're great personalities and they're very talented on the ice. So to have them in our locker room, in our community, for the fans to have the access to them throughout the community, I think is a unique opportunity,” Kopacz said.
For local sports fans, the focus right now is on football, but many have been keeping a close watch on the NHL lockout, wondering if it will cost them the whole season, as it did in 2004.
"It's kind of disappointing. I mean you see the basketball and the football ones go, I mean, I hope the hockey doesn't do the same thing. It might hurt the whole league and everything like it did. But I think they'll come back strong, hopefully come to terms, and the players can get back on the ice,” said Dave Casciola, Rochester.
The Rochester Americans say its goal is to take advantage of some great talent and hopefully put up some wins when the season starts next month.
"We're fortunate to have the great support of the fans of Buffalo, the great ownership in Buffalo, and the support with the situation we're in now will only help us down the road,” said Kopacz.
"The local people will get to see the Sabres. A couple of good players and ya know, hopefully bring more fans into the stadium and stuff, so that would be nice,” Casicola said.
The Amerks are looking forward to starting camp at the end of this month, and the home opener is set for October 12th at the Blue Cross Arena.
As for the NHL lockout, it is a guessing game as to when or if the season will start. Regardless of what happens, The Amerks front office says the team will still play the October 23rd game in Buffalo, adding it's a great opportunity to showcase the team’s talents.