Built To Be Champions The 1994-95 Albany River Rats

The 1994-95 season was a special one for the New Jersey Devils organization. It was a championship season that was on full display, with the franchise celebrating its 20th anniversary of winning its first Stanley Cup title. That club featured a number of players who honed their craft at Albany, Utica and other stops around the AHL. Speaking of which, that year was pretty special for the Devils top minor-league affiliate, the Albany River Rats. That season, the Rats won Albany’s first Calder Cup championship. It was the first time since the Montreal Canadiens and Nova Scotia Voyageurs, each won it in the same season, back in 1976-77. Seeing the 1995 squad back together, brought back a lot of great memories, leading some in Albany … Continue reading

The 1995-96 Albany River Rats – Where Are They Now?

It is difficult in any sport to repeat as champions. In American League Hockey it has happened just eight times, with 2008-09 and 2009-10 Hershey Bears being the last to accomplish the feat. The old Springfield Indians are the lone AHL club to three-peat, doing so from 1959-62. In the 1995-96 season, the Albany River Rats were the pure definition of domination. Fresh off a Calder Cup championship season in 1994-95, the Rats and their defending Stanley Cup champion parent club New Jersey Devils, were riding high and looking to capture a second consecutive Cup. Alas it was not to be, as the free wheeling River Rats fell to the clutch and grab Conwall Aces (along with some pennies from heaven on the ice in … Continue reading

Albany Players Return: Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

You can go home again. Just ask Scott Clemmensen and Mark Fraser of the Albany Devils. Recently, Clemmensen was sent down by the New Jersey Devils and Fraser signed an AHL contract with Albany. Both began their professional careers in Albany, playing for the Albany River Rats, when they were a Devils affiliate. In fact, Clemmensen and his future Albany teammates, Brian Gionta and Bobby Allen, won the 2000-01 NCAA Men’s Hockey championship at the then Pepsi Arena, for the Boston College Eagles. While Fraser got into four games with the Rats in 2006 and also played for the A-Devils in 2011-12. I’m pretty sure that somewhere deep within the bowels of the now Times Union Center, there are cardboard cutouts of Clemmer and Ari … Continue reading

Paul Thompson Leads Veteran Charge For Albany Devils

In the modern day American Hockey League, there is a lot more emphasis on player development. It is a source of pride for a league which saw over 133 AHLers make their NHL debuts during the 2013-14 campaign. Yet in the process of developing and winning, having veteran players to bolster a roster and lead the way, is still important. This off-season the Albany Devils signed one such veteran AHL free agent. They chose Paul Thompson and they chose wisely. Thus far the shrewd move is paying early dividends for the A-Devils. Following a nice preseason showing, Thompson has started his Albany career with a bang, posting an AHL leading six goals, through four contests. Included in that was an impressive debut in which Thompson … Continue reading