It's relocation season! The first organization to kick off the festivities will be the team formerly known as the Binghamton Jr. Senators. According to the team website yesterday, effective immediately Binghamton will be rebranding and relocating the franchise to Elmira, NY to become the Elmira Jr Soaring Eagles. Elmira is located an hour to the west of Binghamton. This was also confirmed by WENY Watkins Glen. The move comes on the heels of a deal to play in the Murray Athletic Center. If that sounds familiar it's because that is also the home of the Elmira College Soaring Eagles, hence, the Jr. Soaring Eagles rebranding. The Murray Athletic Center is a nice facility. Google that bad boy, its a state of the art facility that boasts plenty of amenities. It certainly will be a huge recruiting tool when it comes time to get players to tender.
The rebranding will also include the dropping of the senators colors and will they don the purple and gold that the college team wears. I haven't see any jerseys yet but one can assume that since they will be adopting the Elmira mascot and colors that the sweaters may be similar. Not entirely sure how I feel about the new colors however as I was not a huge fan of the Jr. Senator logo to begin with. The college team rocks a gold sweater with purple shoulders, so one can assume to expect something similar from the NA3HL team.
Binghamton, last season, was one of the teams that played for the Fraser Cup at the end of the year. They were eliminated during round robin play. They had an undefeated home record of 26-0-0. Let that one sink in for a minute. Binghamton having one of the top developmental programs in the league sent all of their guys that were aging out to college. All of them. Like, everyone. No word yet on how that shakes up the division, but seeing as how they will only be an hour away that won't be an issue. Plus, the Northeast division only has 4 teams anyway. The other three teams never even came close to challenging them for the division.
All that being said, this seems like a great relocation for, the now, Elmira Jr Soaring Eagles. The tools they will be getting in order to help them develop these guys seems well worth the move. The facility is fantastic and if it helps the guys get better, then that's all the matters. It probably doesn't hurt having a deal with the college's arena as well, that probably greatly relieves a financial burden on ownership and management. (I don't know that but one can probably make that assumption) And on the flip side, it seems as though the departure from Binghamton was clean(?). Props to these guys for getting better as an organization and this new revitalization should greatly improve an already fantastic program.
If you're a citizen of Elmira, you should be pretty pumped. You have no shortage of hockey options in town. You've got the college team, now the NA3HL team and you also have professional hockey in the form of the Elmira Enforcers of the FHL. Although, the Enforcers were in the news for negative reasons a few weeks ago after an unfortunate, and ultimately uncalled for, incident between an official and the owner of the team. If you are a hockey fan in Elmira, you have plenty of options. Looking forward to seeing how this move works out for them and, as an avid fan of good hockey sweaters, I can not wait to see what the uni's look like. We'll try and follow along with anymore relocation news in the NA3 as it comes out.