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Today in the "A": Championship Spirit in Springfield

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The Springfield Falcons hosted a board meeting of the Springfield Hockey Heritage Society yesterday at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

The mood was decidedly upbeat on the heels of the Binghamton Senators improbable run to the Calder Cup championship the night before. Upbeat for many reasons, a couple of which are 1) Binghamton fresh off a run of five seasons with no playoff hockey. 2) The "small market" perception of a city like Binghamton, NY. These are two parallels to the Falcons recent plight. No playoffs here for eight seasons and despite being the home of the AHL offices, Springfield also is perceived as a "small market".

With Opening Night 2011 a short 121 days away, the Falcons are already hard at work. The Falcons have shown time and again that they are committed to "Preserving the Legacy, by Honoring the Past". The upcoming season once again proves their commitment not just to the community at large, but also to the rich history of the game here in Springfield.

An initiative for the season is to honor the seven Calder Cup championship teams that have played in Springfield over the years. Cup wins in 1960-62 (still the only time in AHL history a team has won three straight titles), 1971, 1975, 1990 and 1991 will be saluted at various times during the 2011-12 season.

This initiative comes right from the top, in new owner Charlie Pompea. As much as he's a hockey fan, Pompea is also deeply appreciative of the history, honor and tradition that has made this such a great sport. Pompea has challenged his entire staff to instill a championship spirit in everything they do and this can only bode well for the Jackets farmhands who will call Springfield "home" next season.