Rampage organization, players react to season’s cancellation

The Rampage posted this final message to their fans on Twitter after the news broke that the remainder of the AHL's season was canceled.

SAN ANTONIO – With the sale of the franchise to the Vegas Golden Knights on Feb 6, the Rampage already knew this would be their final season in San Antonio. The team was still in the midst of a late playoff push when they skated off home ice on March 8 after a tough 3-0 loss to Milwaukee.

Now, any hope of a proper sendoff has been dashed.

Nearly two months after the league suspended the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the AHL Board of Governors officially voted to cancel the remainder of the 2019-2020 season. President & CEO David Andrews released this statement at 8 a.m.

“After a lengthy review process, the American Hockey League has determined that the resumption and completion of the season is not feasible in light of current conditions. The AHL continues to place paramount importance on the health and safety of our players, officials, staff and fans and all of their families, and we all look forward to returning to our arenas in 2020-21."

That Rampage won’t return to the AT&T Center next year alongside the rest of the league. While the franchise technically heads to Las Vegas, players still under contract with the St. Louis Blues will now suit up to play in Springfield, Massachusetts for the Thunderbirds.

Soon after the AHL made their announcement, the Rampage posted a message to the fans on their website headlined by a banner simply saying “Thank You.”

"Today the AHL made an official announcement of the cancellation of the remainder of the 2019-20 AHL regular season and the 2020 Calder Cup Playoffs due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. We understand and are sympathetic to the frustrations you might be feeling during these unique times. Spurs Sports & Entertainment, along with the AHL, hoped for a better outcome; but, the safety and well-being of our fans, players, coaching staff, and employees is the top priority.

After 18 regular seasons, four postseason appearances, and one division championship, we can’t help but reminisce on the most important aspect of it all – our most loyal fans. We would like to thank you for your unwavering support of our team and commitment you have shown to our players, coaches and staff over the last 18 years."

Refunds for tickets purchased for canceled games are currently being processed. On a separate webpage, Spurs Sports & Entertainment Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Operations had this to say:

“We are grateful to every fan, partner, player, coach and staff member who contributed to the success of the Rampage in San Antonio. Over 18 seasons we witnessed some great hockey and, together, created a lot of wonderful memories. It breaks my heart that we can’t say thank you and goodbye to our fans in person at the AT&T Center.”

It didn’t take long for Rampage players to reach out on twitter and voice their disappointment. That includes goaltender Ville Husso, who has remained in the Alamo City throughout the pandemic.

“I just want to say thank you guys. It’s been a really amazing three years here in San Antonio in front of you guys, and I really enjoy every moment. It’s been super nice to play here, and you fans are great.”

Rocco Grimaldi, a former Rampage player who repped the Silver and Black for three seasons, echoed those sentiments.

“I just want to let you guys know how sad and disappointed I was to hear there would be no hockey team in San Antonio next year because the best fans in the AHL are there. Thank you guys for the way you supported me during my time there, and the way you still support me today in Nashville.”

The Rampage finish their final season with a 24-25-7-5 record.

About the Author:

Andrew has covered athletics of all levels for more than five years and is dedicated to shining a spotlight on local San Antonio athletes and their stories.