Rob Esche was traveling on Friday, but he took the time at the airport to tell WIBX's Keeler Show how excited he is about the future of the Utica Comets.

Esche said the deal with New Jersey was actually signed on Thursday at the AHL Board of Governors meeting. He said despite the fact that reporters were asking questions about New Jersey, he honestly didn't have a signed deal until the last minute.

The new name of the Utica hockey team will be the old name, which has a great history in the area. The new Devils team will be called, yes- the Utica Comets. The Comets name goes back well into there then 50s when the Comets played in Clinton. Esche said he became friends with many of those former Clinton Comets players, and asked for their permission beef calling Utica's AHL team the Comets. He said they were overwhelmingly appreciative of the name.

Esche said he appreciated the Canucks dedication and commitment to Utica and thanked them for the last 8 years. He also thanked Utica College head coach Gary Heenan for lighting the hockey flame and showing the Utica area that we really are a hockey town.

Listen to the complete interview here.

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