The very first Lehigh Valley Phantoms were born yesterday as the Flyers assigned 19 players from NHL camp.
Others could be assigned soon. The next group may include defensemen Oliver Lauridsen and Shayne Gostisbehere, and forwards Darroll Powe, Andrew Gordon, Blair Jones, and Zack Stortini.
It’s important to note, the AHL has no hard roster limit. A team can carry as many players as it likes–and no injured reserve, either. Injured players just continue to appear on the roster but are never active. For each game, 18 skaters will be active, plus two goaltenders. The rest on the roster are either the injured players, or “healthy scratches.” There are rules about players’ experience. Based on professional game experience, there must be 13 “developmental” players–12 at the lower level–active for each game. This makes the 5-6 more experienced players key to a team’s success on the ice. We’ll learn more about this as we go along.
We’ll also have player capsules and uniform numbers up as soon as things are a little more solidified. I’ve seen different numbers for players, perhaps “Flyers numbers” and “Phantoms numbers.”
News and Notes:
- The arena is batting .500 on concerts now. With Rascal Flatts cancelling tomorrow’s show, and Cher rescheduling, that’s two that didn’t happen. Folks received refunds for Rascal Flatts. A reason for the cancellation wasn’t given. I hope it wasn’t for lack of ticket sales or for some other arena-related problem. Personally, I wasn’t planning on attending.
- The “Battle on Hamilton” Saturday evening won’t be much of a “battle” at all, really. It’s a “mixed-squad” scrimmage with both Phantoms and Flyers players in attendance. It’s not clear which Flyers players will be here, nor which team they’ll be on. If we get that info prior to the game, we’ll try to get it up. I don’t expect to see much hard hitting, or fighting, though, during a mixed-squad scrimmage.
- Puck drops at 5:00PM Saturday. Some of the early tickets printed at 5:30–in error. It’s not clear when the doors open–I’d expect 3:30 or 4:00PM. It’ll be interesting to see how crowded the restaurants are following the game….
- I admit I’m not fully in tune with the entire NHL roster of the Flyers; however, I am expecting many to most healthy players to make the trip to Allentown for the scrimmage. Reportedly, the new “barn” is creating quite a buzz among the players.
- One of the buzz-worthy reasons, is Tim Horton’s. “Why a coffee shop in an arena?” I’ve heard multiple times from folks discussing the arena amenities. First, it’s not at all uncommon for hockey arenas to have coffee stands and soup available; it’s a winter sport, and a nice warm beverage or soup can be appreciated. However, Tim Horton’s is more popular in Canada than McDonalds! Players from Canada, as well as those who may have played there during their junior years, are big fans of “Timmie’s” as they call it. I keep hearing about the quality of the coffee–gonna hafta give it a try!
- No word on an opening date for Chickie’s and Pete’s. However, Crust, the third arena-block restaurant is in it’s “soft opening” stage. The full menu isn’t available yet, but I hear the doors are open. Crust is located on the 8th Street side of the arena block, and I don’t believe it’s accessible from the arena itself–gotta go outside. There’s lots of seating, there, with an upstairs room, I understand.
- Radio coverage of the Phantoms will be on Fox Sports AM-1470 in the Lehigh Valley. The radio voice of the Phantoms is Bob Rotruck. Follow him on Twitter at @BobRotruck . TV coverage will be on Service Electric, with Steve Degler on play-by-play. Color commentary for the TV call has not been announced, and could be handled by a variety of ex-player-types during the season.
We’ll have more as we go….
See you at the arena,