Despite the ongoing tumult on and off the ice, the day starts with some good news, as the Springfield Falcons have announced a two year extension with a two year option with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The sister announcement was the extension of the team's lease with the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which also contains a similar option to the Jackets deal.
The Falcons, hoping to exorcise an AHL record of playoff futility by missing the playoff dance for the past eight seasons, matched their highest win total over the past nine seasons last year, the club's first affiliated with the Jackets.
Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson commented on the announcement:
"The Columbus Blue Jackets are very excited to extend our affiliation with Springfield for another two seasons. The Falcons, led by Bruce Landon and Mr. Charlie Pompea, have been first class to deal with the last two seasons. We believe Springfield is a tremendous hockey environment as well as community for our players to continue their development. We couldn't be happier with this announcement."
Also pleased with the extension is Falcons majority owner, Charlie Pompea. Pleased with the extension, but still concerned, as he added:
"I am disappointed in our first half results and do hope that the string of injuries that has affected our results on the ice will conclude."
Pompea's concerns regarding the injuries are well founded. Over the last six weeks, the Falcons have lost about one third of the regular lineup due to injuries. The good news on the injury front is that Nick Drazenovic is expected back from his concussion as soon as next weekend. Also, Mark Dekanich is expected to make his long awaited presence felt in the lineup very soon. The defense is still on the mend though, with Cody Goloubef still being a few weeks away from returning.
The Falcons announced on Wednesday that Cam Atkinson has been named to the Eastern Conference AHL All-Star team. The AHL All-Star Classic is scheduled for January 29th and 30th at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ.
This is Cam's first full season of pro hockey. His 15 goals leads the Falcons, while his 25 overall points are second on the team behind Martin St. Pierre. The 25 points place him sixth among AHL rookies.