Unlike most cases where a sports team leaves upstate NY, there's already one in the pipeline to take the place of the Rats, who are being relocated to Charlotte next season, rechristened the Checkers, which is also the name of Carolina's ECHL team. Hmmmmm.
The River Rats' existence in Albany ended Thursday with a 5-4 overtime loss to defending AHL champ Hershey, which swept the Rats out of the Calder Cup playoffs, 15 years after the Rats won their lone AHL title. In October, the Albany Devils (formerly from Lowell) will move into the Times-Union Center, as noted earlier this week. Considering the political upheavals in the state Capitol, the name seems rather appropriate, don't you think?