Politicking, intrinsic in Albany's legislative halls, has made its way to the ice rinks. Sen. Charles E. Schumer is urging the Sabres to help bring their minor-league team to the state capital.
The Portland Pirates’ lease with the Cumberland County Civic Center expires following the season, and ownership is investigating a move from Maine to Albany. The capital is losing its American Hockey League team to Charlotte, N.C, and Schumer hopes the Sabres’ affiliate fills the hole.
"Albany is a first-class hockey town, and any AHL team -- but especially an upstate New York team like the Sabres -- would make a wise choice to move there," Schumer said in a statement. "Creating a Sabres fan base that stretches from west to east across all of upstate is a great idea, and I think that hockey fans in the Albany area will be motivated to root for a team also from upstate New York."
Schumer said he had a chat with Larry Quinn and released a letter he sent to the Sabres' minority owner.
For a moment, we can ignore the fact the Sabres have little to no say in the matter and give some wanted ink to Schumer. We cannot, however, ignore the letter's mistake:
"I've noticed in the last 3 of the 4 seasons your team has finished in the top 3 of your division, including a first place division finish and a dramatic playoff run," Schumer wrote to Quinn. "This winning tradition will serve the Pirates well if the Pirates choose Albany."
The Pirates have indeed finished in the top three in three of the last four seasons, had a first-place finish and a dramatic playoff run -- but it was not "your team" that did it all. The Pirates are in their second season with the Sabres and had most of those highlights with the Anaheim Ducks.