Goalies, Captains, and Road-Trips: (oh, my!)
Following the news of the official opening-day Phantoms roster yesterday, word trickled forth that veteran net-minder Rob Zepp had been named the starting goalie for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. As soon as today, I’d expect we’ll hear who will wear the ‘C’ and the ‘A’s.
Led by Zepp
The 33-year old Zepp has extensive experience in Europe, but has actually played very little in the AHL previously. Even though young Anthony Stolarz is considered the top goalie prospect in the Flyers’ system, it does make sense to have Zepp prepare in the case that he’s needed in Philadelphia. It’s somewhat like catchers in baseball, where a team will always need at least two of these specialized players active. However, one of the differences may be that a goalie will need to stay active to remain sharp. Head Coach Terry Murray did say that Stolarz will see playing time regularly, as well. I expect if Zepp were called to Philly, that Stolarz would make the regular starts.
O Captain! My Captain!
Speculation by broadcaster Bob Rotruck is that defenseman Brandon Manning will garner the ‘C’ for the newly formed Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Manning played in 73 games last season for the Adirondack version of the team, and logged 231 penalty minutes to go with 8 goals and 23 assists. The ‘A’s could also be sported by veterans–perhaps Oliver Lauridsen and Darroll Powe are in the mix.
If you want to see the first ever official game by our new Phantoms, you’ll have to make the drive up to Wilkes-Barre to see them at the Mohegan Sun Arena. In a nice bit of cross promotion, I received an email from the WBS Pens yesterday with ticketing information. It’s a nice touch to promote the rivalry, and something I’ve said that the IronPigs and RailRiders should be doing. Since I don’t think it’s a secret, I’ll copy the info below. There are still good seats available for the game; give the dude a call to make sure you’re sitting in prime position for the Phantoms attack!
For my part, I haven’t ruled out going–but I’ve a bunch of other commitments earlier in the day on Saturday which may make the trip too daunting. It’s very tempting, though…I may just run up there last minute if I’m up to it!
Officially announced today by the AHL: Utica will host the AHL All Star Classic. I wonder how long until the PPL Center hosts? Gotta get some track record, I suppose–but I bet it’ll be soon.
Perhaps we’ll see you in Wilkes Barre!