A Brooklyn Rebirth?
Steve Zipay has some fun news for NY hockey fans:
DALLAS—The Rangers are investigating the purchase of an East Coast Hockey League team that would play at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, possibly as early as next season, Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan and Steve Mills, president of MSG Sports, said last night.
“There’s an opportunity for us to control the entire pipeline of the players more fully and we think there’s an opportunity to extend the Rangers’ presence,” Mills said. Last month, the Garden entered a deal with the owners of a 25-acre sports complex at the site which has two rinks, one of which can hold about 2,300 people.
Just as I was re-reading about the LI Ducks and thinking how great it’d be to have a minor team in the area again. Besides wanting to attend a few games, I’d think you’d get a few games on local television with all the local sports stations (MSG, FSNY, YES, SNY). You’d have to assume the Dolan/Cablevision owned MSG would broadcast some games, but you never know.
However, a 2300 capacity is low for an ECHL arena. Only five teams average less than that. The lowest being Cincinnati, averaging 1661 a game, the only team below the 2k mark. The Stockton Thunder are leading the league in attendance, averaging 6462.
In the early 40s the “other” New York team at the time, the New York Americans, changed their name to the Brooklyn Americans and planned on moving to Brooklyn, but it never happened. From Wikipedia:
At wit’s end, Dutton changed the team’s name for the 1941-42 NHL season to the Brooklyn Americans. He had every intent on moving the team to Brooklyn, but due to a lack of a decent arena, the Brooklyn Americans continued to play their home games in Manhattan at Madison Square Garden while practising in Brooklyn. They barely survived the season, finishing with a record of 16-29-3. Due to player shortages and lingering debt from the Dwyer era, the Amerks suspended operations for the war’s duration. However, in 1946, the NHL reneged on promises to reinstate the Amerks and Maroons (who had shut down in 1938, but had been sold to Philadelphia interests). Although Dutton had every intention of returning the Amerks to the ice after World War II, NHL records list the Amerks as having “retired” from the league in 1942.