The Rats' glory days came in the mid to late 1990s making seven consecutive playoff appearances, won 2 division titles, and took home the AHL's Calder Cup in 1995. Also in 1995, their parent club, the New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup.
However, wins have declined since the 1997-98 season, the last time Albany won a playoff series. The River Rats finished last in each of the 6 seasons between 2000-01 and 2005-06. A new affiliation with the Carolina Hurricanes beginning in the 2006-07 season brought hope of a return to AHL glory not seen in Albany since the late '90s.
On March 22, 2006, the Devils announced that they were cutting ties with the River Rats after the 2005-06 AHL season, as the parent club announced the purchase of the Lowell Lock Monsters. Despite the move, the River Rats were not relocated. In April 2006, The Carolina Hurricanes signed a one year agreement (with the option to renew for two additional) with the River Rats to be their farm affiliate. Later on, Carolina was joined by the Colorado Avalanche in a one-year partnership agreement. On February 22, 2007, the Carolina Hurricanes and Albany River Rats announced that their affiliation agreement had been extended through the 2008-09 season.
On April 24, 2008, the River Rats lost 2–3 to the Philadelphia Phantoms in the longest game played in AHL history. The Phantoms Ryan Potulny scored 2:58 into the fifth overtime. Albany gave up 101 shots on goal, and goaltender Michael Leighton made 98 saves.
This market was previously served by:
|1996–97||80||38||28||9||5||—||90||269||231||3rd, Empire State|
|1997–98||80||43||20||11||6||—||103||290||223||1st, Empire State|
|1998–99||80||46||26||6||2||—||100||275||230||2nd, Empire State|
|1999–00||80||30||40||7||3||—||70||225||250||4th, Empire State|
|2007–08||See 2007-08 AHL season for up-to-date standings.|
|Season||1st round||2nd round||3rd round||Finals|
|1993–94||L, 1-4, PORT||—||—||—|
|1994–95||W, 4-0, ADIR||W, 4-2, PROV||--||W, 4-0, FRED|
|1995–96||L, 1-3, CORN||—||—||—|
|1996–97||W, 3-1, ADIR||W, 4-3, ROCH||L, 1-4, HAM||—|
|1997–98||W, 3-0, ADIR||W, 4-0, HAM||L, 2-4, PHIL||—|
|1998–99||L, 3-2, HAM||—||—||—|
|1999–00||L, 3-2, ROCH||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Out of Playoffs|
|2001–02||Out of Playoffs|
|2002–03||Out of Playoffs|
|2003–04||Out of Playoffs|
|2004–05||Out of Playoffs|
|2005–06||Out of Playoffs|
|2006–07||L, 1-4, HER||—||—||—|
|2007–08||L, 3-4 PHIL||—||—||—|