Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Aeros will play 14 teams in 2011-12

New head coach Mike Torchetti will have his hands full with the San Antonio Rampage and the Texas Stars in 2011-12. The AHL schedule matrix was released Thursday, and the Aeros won't even get another crack at the Binghamton Senators unless the two teams meet in the Calder Cup Finals.

There are no Eastern Conference teams on the slate.

The Aeros will play 76 games next season, and 40 of them will be against teams in the newly-aligned West Division. The Aeros will play the Texas Stars and San Antonio Rampage 12 times each, and they will see the Oklahoma City Barons and Abbotsford Heat eight times during the season.

The only new team on the schedule in 2011-12 is the Charlotte Checkers, who have moved to the Western Conference and are a part of the new Midwest Division.

The Aeros will play the Checkers, Chicago Wolves, Milwaukee Admirals, Rockford IceHogs, Peoria Rivermen and Lake Erie Monsters and four times.

Also on the Aeros' schedule next season are the Grand Rapids Griffins, Rochester Americans, Hamilton Bulldogs and Toronto Marlies.

The Griffins will play the Aeros six times, and the Americans, Bulldogs and Marlies twice each.

The complete AHL schedule will be announced early next month, and the Aeros are expected to release the date of their home opener and up to four other guaranteed dates next week.

The bottom line is this is a good schedule as far as cost, travel and developing rivalries are concerned. The bad news? Well ... less variety and fewer games against Chicago and Milwaukee. To me, the only real surprise on the list is the six games against Grand Rapids. Never saw that coming ... I really expected 10 games against OKC and just two against the Griffins, but I will take it.

Here is a breakdown:

Aeros vs. (# of Games)

San Antonio Rampage (12)
Texas Stars (12)
Oklahoma City Barons (8)
Abbotsford Head (8)
Grand Rapids Griffins (6)
Milwaukee Admirals (4)
Chicago Wolves (4)
Rockford IceHogs (4)
Peoria Rivermen (4)
Charlotte Checkers (4)
Lake Erie Monsters (4)
Rochester Americans (2)
Toronto Marlies (2)
Hamilton Bulldogs (2)

What are you thoughts? When do you think the Aeros home opener will be ... who would you like to see on the other side of the ice come mid-October?


Forecheck said...

Sigh - The old IHL rivalries I love so much are all but dead...

John Royal said...

My thoughts? I'm worried about Chris Jerina frankly. What's he going to do without the Aeros around?

artandhockey said...

12 short 'support the team' road trips coming up.....what fun for fans!

Anonymous said...

When did they play Amerks before?

Anonymous said...

I wanted atleast a couple more shots to get back at Binghamton!!!

Ms. Conduct said...

Bingo's shaping up to be a very different team next year. Wouldn't be much of a rematch. I'd take the 11-12 Aeros against the 11-12 B-Sens every day, from what I've seen so far.

ICEVET said...

The "NHL experience" of the 2010-11Sens was hardly mentioned by the Media.

Their roster included 13 players with 220 NHL game time (including 5players who saw action in at least 25 games, led by Zach Smith and Bobby Butler). Notwithstanding Spurgeon's NHL time, the Aeros were simply NO MATCH for the Sens NHL experience.....AND this, without even considering the outstanding performance of Robin Lehner.

Bobby Butler (recently signed by Ottawa to a one-way contract) stood out with 10 goals in 36 NHL games, coupled with his 35 AHL goals. Analysts have said that he is the most "natural" goal scorer since Dany Heatley (WILD) to join the Ottawa club.

Ottawa (in transition) scored BIG in the recent Draft, and (even) without Butler, Barry Brust (Germany) and one or two others in transit, Binghamton will field a VERY competitive team this season, backstopped with a future NHL goaltender.....in particular, bolstered by the practice of the Murray Regime to expose their talent-rich Baby-Sens to the NHL and build the Franchise from the bottom-up.

Go Aeros!

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

I think the last time the Aeros played Rochester was Constantine's first year with the team. I think Brusty played a three-in-three that weekend against Rochester, Syracuse and Hamilton, and he won all three games.

So, my guess is 2007-08. February 2008 is my guess.

Brad said...

Binghamton plays a handful of Western Conference teams with a slightly more diverse schedule... They will play everyone in their division 8x, except Wilkes-Barre/Scranton whom they play 10x, it'd have been nice to see that extra home-and-home with the Aeros. When the Aeros play Rochester, they'll be within 109 miles of Binghamton. So, I guess Binghamton visiting Houston would be the stretch on travel patterns.