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

Friday, August 17, 2012

Aeros 2012-13 Schedule is released

According to the Mayans, the last game the Aeros will ever play will be Thursday, Dec. 20 in Cleveland against the Lake Erie Monsters. Also, if you believe all the rumors in the blogosphere, the Aeros last game as an affiliate of the Minnesota Wild will be Sunday, April 21 at Oklahoma City.

All of this information and more can be found here. Today, the AHL released the schedule, and there is definitely some good news and bad news for Aeros fans. Also, here is a link to the printable schedule that says the Aeros are, "On a Mission."

First, some of the good. 

The Aeros open the season at home on Oct. 13 against the Charlotte Checkers, and they don't play any road games outside of Texas and Oklahoma until Friday, Nov. 16 at Rockford. In fact, in their first 23 games, the Aeros will be home 14 times, and just ONE of those road games (see above) is not in Texas or Oklahoma.

More good news? The Aeros play just seven three in threes. And they are fairly spread out over the course of the season. More good news on that front is that in five of those situations, the Aeros will be the home team five times. If you've got to finish a three in three, you might as well be at home. The hockey is not always pretty ... but again, better to be at home.

I did not get my wish for 6:05 Saturday games, but a mad shout out goes to the front office for moving all the non-Sunday games to 7:05. Sunday games will remain at 5:05.

The Aeros have a franchise record 10-game homestand from March 23 through April 13, but boy are they going to pay for it. See the next section.

Now for some bad news. 

From December 14 through the middle of March, the Aeros are going to collect the miles. If they are not solidly in the playoff picture come mid-December, it's going to take a lot of extra work to make the playoffs. During that time, after all those home and road games in the region, the Aeros will play 24 of their next 36 games on the road. There is even an absolutely insane stretch of games from Jan. 19 through March 10 where the Aeros will play a stretch of 17 of 21 on the road.

More bad news? Well, you can cue the "We're getting ripped off" mantra from season ticket holders now. There is another game in St. Paul, and that is on Nov. 18 against Rockford. Sorry folks, this is the minor leagues, and the Toyota Center is filled with basketball games and concerts on Friday's and Saturday's. Also, the fans up north are really interested in the team for the first time in ... well ... forever. If you want to know your options for that game, here you go. 

That also might be the first pro hockey game they get at that building because of continued insane stupidity in the NHL.

That is pretty much it for the bad news, unless I missed something in this quick analysis. The Aeros don't have any three in three during their insane rodeo road trip. Attendance is king, and they finally figured out that playing a lot of home games in late Feb. early March is not a good idea in Houston.

Other notables:

The Aeros play five "early" games this year. Two of them (Games that start before 3 p.m.) are at home, as there is the annual kids game vs. San Antonio on Dec. 11, and they are going to play early on Super Bowl Sunday. That is Feb. 3 vs. Rockford.

As far as division games will go, the Aeros will play 36 of their games against three teams. Six home and six away each against OKC, San Antonio and Texas. They will play Charlotte eight times, four home and four away. The rest of the teams will visit one or two times, including Abbotsford (twice), who moved to another division.

So what are your thoughts on the schedule?

My highlights are the fewer three in threes and moving the Friday and Saturday games to 7:05.
The lowlights for me are all the road games in the middle that will make it difficult to gain ground during that time. I also don't like the fact that they play their last three in three of the season all on the road to close out the slate. That too will make things rough if the Aeros need four or five points just to make the playoffs again.

Here is some more info from the Aeros press release:

2012-13 Schedule Highlights

BUSIEST MONTH – November (13)
LONGEST HOME STAND – 10 games (March 26-April 13)
LONGEST ROAD TRIP – 8 games (Feb. 6-22)
MONTH-BY-MONTH – October (7), November (12), December (13), January (12), February (11), March (11).
HOME DAY-BY-DAY - Monday (1), Tuesday (4), Wednesday (2), Thursday (6), Friday (8), Saturday (7), Sunday (10)


Chris said...

My only rants up here from the Midwest are as follows:

a) Why do the Aeros only visit Chicago once? Yet play in Grand Rapids 3x?

b) Who thought that the 5:05 PM start time in St Paul was a good idea? Cant they start it earlier and give both Houston fans flying and potential Icehogs fans and myself driving a chance to return without taking a vacation day Monday.

Or can they just change the time of the game in a few months like last time only to frustrate people's plans even more?

Forecheck said...

Typical Aeros schedule. It shows one of two things, either a) the AHL hates the Aeros and their fans, or b) the AHL is more concerned about doing everything as cheaply as possible rather than being a real pro league.

I vote for b).

I assume my ticket for the Minneapolis game will be honored up there, yada, yada, EE-I-EE-I-O.
But will they cover my plane ticket, hotel, and rental car? What? No?

I think it would be only fair that since we are losing a game to Minneapolis, the Wild should have to play a game down here, right?

At least only one kiddie game this year, but will it be worth half a day of vacation? Previous experience suggests "no".

And why are the Aeros so hot on playing Good Friday home games each year? Don't they realize some of us have obligations that night? Namely regarding the only thing more important than hockey?

So, down to a max of 35 home games, less any lost due to bidness travel.

I'm also wondering about our 5 PM Sunday games. Two or 3 PM would be a lot more convenient , especially after the Texans are out of the picture in January.

I guess I should feel honored that the AHL has scheduled us to play ANY teams other than playing SA and Texas 38 times each. Or having the Aeros play themselves 38 times ( I hope I'm not giving them any ideas).

Anonymous said...

Forecheck, this is very possibly the year the Aeros theme will be "the goodbye tour". Its possible that there will be no more worries after this year.

Forecheck said...

Could always be, Anon, but this is the only place on the web where I've seen it discussed, including Wild.com .

MK. VIII said...

Where did all this 'Aeros are leaving' talk come from? Certainly, the Wild could move their affiliate, but doesn't the AHL have any say so as where the league sets up shop. Looking at the AHL map, there are a lot of NHL teams with their AHL affiliate completely across the country, especially with the West Coast NHL teams (San Jose - Worcester and L.A. Kings - Manchester are two that come to mind), so I don't see why the Wild would be begging to get out of Houston for travel issues only. The Aeros run a successful franchise, and unless they get an absolutely horrible lease with Toyota Center, I believe it would be a mistake for the Wild to move them.

Anonymous said...

From Andew:Also, if you believe all the rumors in the blogosphere, the Aeros last game as an affiliate of the Minnesota Wild will be Sunday, April 21 at Oklahoma City.

All of this information and more can be found here.

I have never had a problem opening a .pdf file, but this one will not open for me. Is there information there about the Aeros leaving Houston? If so, would you please identify the source and summarize the jist of the facts? Thanks!

Forecheck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Forecheck said...

BTW, what does "all times C.S.T. local" mean on the PDF schedule? Either the times are CST or local, not always both. Also, what happens in October, November, March, and Apirl when we are on DST?

Maybe it means they let the interns draw this sheet up again. Not the first time there have been errors in starting times on an Aeros schedule.

Hurry, October!