Yesterday, August 22nd, was the official release date of the AHL schedule. It may not have been as suspenseful as the NHL release of the their schedule, but still important. The AHL is an integral part of the NHL success, grooming young talented players for the big jump up.
As I am sure you all know, the Springfield Falcons are the Columbus Blue Jackets AHL affiliate. The Falcons are located in Springfield, Massachusetts which is just over the border of Connecticut, about 25 miles north of Hartford, former home of the Whalers. Unfortunately for fans in Columbus who like to follow the farm club, it would be a grueling 10+ hour drive. Now that the schedule is out though, we can take a look at games that would be closer so you would be able to see the prospects of the Blue Jackets take the ice.
First, a little bit of information on the upcoming AHL season from TheAHL.com…
The American Hockey League today released the complete schedule of regular-season games for the 2013-14 season, the league’s 78th year of operation. The season, comprising 1,140 games, begins on Fri., Oct. 4 and concludes on Sun., Apr. 20; each of the league’s 30 clubs will play 76 games, 38 at home and 38 on the road.
On the 27th of September the Falcons will host the first of two pre-season games against the Hartford Wolfpack, formerly known as the Connecticut Whale. The Falcons will then make the short trip south on the 29th to play at the XL Center in Hartford. The first game of the regular season will take place on the 5th of October, being played at home against the Manchester Monarchs.
Seeing as the Falcons are located in New England, and there are a plethora of AHL teams in close distance to them, they don’t make their way very close to Columbus. A few games that you could venture to though, that would be closer than going to Springfield, would be in Syracuse, NY, and Wilkes-Barre, PA. The Falcons take on the Syracuse Crunch (former affiliate of CBJ), in Syracuse on February 8th, 2014. On December 11th Springfield will makes it’s way to Pennsylvania to play the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. Both trips would be around a 7 hour drive from Columbus.
To make it worth your while, on Thursday the 12th of December the Blue Jackets make their way down to the big apple, so you could make it a road trip and see both the Falcons and the Blue Jackets play, Wilkes-Barre is only a little more than 2 hours from New York City. Not to mention, you would be able to see Columbus take on Rick Nash in Madison Square Garden.