After all of the excitement and anticipation, the Condors' first season in the American Hockey League has come to an end. After just missing out on the playoffs the takeaway from new players was pretty similar; first to thank the fans, second to lament coming short of postseason play.
But while nearly every player thanked the city and the fans, one player's repaying that support. "I've been around and like i said-this is an amazing organization."
This week the Condors re-signed their captain Ryan Hamilton to a two year AHL contract. Hamilton quickly became a fan favorite with the jersey giveaway and the goal that made almost 8,000 teddy bears rain down inside Rabobank Arena.
Hamilton is entering his 11th professional season, with 584 career games played. Based on his experience and leadership the coaching staff thinks it was a simple decision. "Kind of trying to instill some of his values on some of the young guys," said Condors' assistant coach J.F. Houle. "It's a big piece of the puzzle having Ryan coming back."
But for the captain who scored 20 goals last season--coming back to Condorstown was about more than just hockey. "I'm not signing a contract--i'll admit it. My wife is signing the contract too. We make decisions together."
For his wife Alexa and their one year old Madeline, there was no better place to plant roots than right here in Bakersfield. "The people are amazing and California is great," said Alexa. "It's just a totally different mindset. It's very relieving and it's nice to have some roots."
For Hamilton it's an evolution from the 20 year old player living out of a suitcase he described himself as into a seasoned captain ready to call Bakersfield home.
"A lot of times you don't get attached to places because you just think you're going to be gone in a few months but it's nice to get attached," said Alexa.
Hamilton is the third signing in this early off season following Scott Allen and Joey Benik.
The @Condors season might be over but their offseason signings are just getting started-Scott Allen and Joey Benik-both play LW!
— Stephen Hicks (@StephenHicks23) April 22, 2016
The team’s home opener will be on Saturday, October 22.
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