By Tyler Penney
BELLEVILLE – The Binghamton Senators will be making a stop in Belleville to take the ice in their new city for the first time.
The Sens will host an open practice on Tuesday at the MacKay Insurance Arena, 265 Cannifton Rd. in Belleville. The team will practise at 3 p.m. and the event is open to the public. The Ottawa Senators American Hockey League franchise is moving to Belleville in time for the 2017-18 season.
“The team is playing in Toronto the day before and both the coaches and our staff in Belleville thought it would be a good idea to squeeze in a quick visit,” said Roger Lajoie, Belleville Senators vice-president. “They are on their way home in the middle of a busy time, so we are very appreciative of their time.”
With it being the team’s first time here, it will be a community gathering as well as sports event.
“We just wanted fans here to have a chance to have a quick look at the team that will be their own starting next season,” said Lajoie. “We know we have great support – we have already seen that. And this is a way to say thanks.
“We are going to introduce them to the fans, have them say hello, and provide some activities for the community to have an enjoyable few hours. Our big welcome will be when they are here for good.”
The goal for the practice was to introduce the team to its new surroundings before it opens the 2017-18 season in Belleville.
“All we are aiming for is a chance for B-Sens staff and players to see the rink, meet some fans and have an enjoyable quick first visit,” said Lajoie. “Again, they are in the middle of a demanding schedule, so we want everyone to feel good about the experience.”
The Binghamton Senators will take on the Toronto Marlies on Family Day and will stop in Belleville for practice on their way back to Binghamton, N.Y., on Tuesday.