Top 10 Reasons I’m Looking Forward to the 2015-16 Phantoms

On my way to the IronPigs games, I have to drive to within a few blocks of the arena. The other day as I passed by, I was thinking that I’m about ready for some hockey again. Why?  When the baseball season is only at the All Star Break?  Here are the Top 10 Reasons:


10. Restaurants

I know I could visit any of those downtown eateries any time (and I have), but I’m looking to expand my game day meal experience beyond the Chickie’s.  I’ll report back with my experiences.

9. Crab Fries

Ok, that said, I haven’t had Crab Fries in months, and I could use some about now

8.  New Coach

Certainly Terry Murray knows more about hockey than I ever will.  And, coaches coach and players play.  However, the fact is, the team hasn’t made the playoffs in years, and is annually near the top in penalties–many of them the sloppy variety.  With a new coach in Philly, and GM Ron Hextall putting his imprint on the organization, it was time for a change at the helm of the Phantoms.  And, I like everything I’m hearing from our new coach:  posses the puck, play in the offensive zone, etc.  I’m hoping we get to watch a better brand of hockey this season, in addition to winning more games, and dare I even hope:  playoffs.

7.  New Jersey

Nope, not the state.  I’ve got a new sweater to wear on game days.  As I’ve said before, I really detest the quality of those replica things–so I set about getting another authentic.  I was successful, and now just need an opportunity to wear it.

6. DEE-fence

I’ve always been a defensive-minded fan.  Perhaps it was because I grew up in the ’70s watching the Steel Curtain Pittsburgh Steelers defense.  In baseball I always like watching the pitchers and catchers, and how the fielders are aligned.  I guess it’s no different now that I’ve become a hockey fan.  I greatly admire the goalies, and the adjustments, positioning and responsibilities of the defenders.  This season, I think the Phantoms may have one of the best compliments of defenders in the whole AHL.  Gostisbehere, Morin, Hagg, Manning, Alt, Pettersson…it’s looking really good.  Add in Stolie The Goalie in his second year, and it should be fun to watch.

5. Bombers

You know, that’s the size beers should be.  😉

4. Smooth It Out

I’ve got a “suggestion box” post coming on the Phantoms.  We’ve done them several times for the IronPigs around here.  And, I have to say, I think they’ve been well received (by all).  But even with out that, I’m expecting the fan experience from both the Phantoms management as well as the arena and its staff, to run much more smoothly this season.  I’m looking forward to seeing what they have planned for us.

3. Seats

My kids really liked the original seats I picked (read: chosen for me before the arena was built).  However, I’m still curious about experiencing the games from another vantage point.  This season I think I’ll pony up for some extra seats from time to time in order to watch the game from a different angle.  My home is in section 106, and I’ve been in 113, Miller Lite Loft, 208, 205, 202, and 121.  Still, I feel like there are spots which might be better.  Look out, I’ll be invading your section this season!

2. Phan Nation

I had the opportunity to meet some really great guys and gals this past season, who are in charge of the Phan Nation Fan Club.  It kind of formed mid-season, and is still working towards “official” status with the team.  I hope they really hit the ground running this season with the purpose of supporting and promoting the team.  I think the Phantoms would be silly not to take advantage of phans who are 100% in for Phantoms Hockey.  Wanna get involved?  Visit the web site here.  Join up.  Attend a meeting.  Like the Facebook page.  And get ready to support the team at home and on the road this season!

1. Schedule and Promotions

I’m hoping they get a little more evenly planned schedule, with less “3-in-3” and perhaps some Sunday games to counter-act the excess of mid-week games last season.  But nevertheless, I’m anxious to see how it shakes out, and what kind of promotions they have in store for us this season.

See you at the arena, sooner than you think,


Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Phantoms Hockey


3 replies

  1. IronPigs have been playing some outstanding baseball as of late — but I’m definitely ready for Philadelphia Flyers training camp to get underway so we can see what the Lehigh Valley Phantoms shape up to be.

    The Phantoms defensive corps should be much improved this time around and that is a legitimate reason to be optimistic. Don’t forget about Davis Drewiske, the highly disciplined veteran defenseman who has played nearly 1/2 of the professional games in his career at the NHL level, or Chrisitan Marti, the 22-year-old rookie from Switzerland, either. I think the battle among defensemen for a roster spot at the AHL level could be a most interesting development as training camp progresses.

    I might like to have seen Kevin Goumas (63 ga, 6 go, 17 pts, 23 pen min, -1 plus/minus) return to Lehigh Valley but, nevertheless, I do think the Phantoms did a pretty good job of jettisoning dead wood such as Jay Rosehill (- 15 plus/minus, 219 pen min, 5 go, 12 pts, 65 ga), Brett Hextall (-16 plus/minus, 119 pen min, 6 go, 14 pts, 63 ga) and Austin Fyten (- 9 plus/minus, 85 pen min, 2 go, 11 pts, 64 ga) this summer.

    Lehigh Valley’s new head coach, “Flash” Gordon, is an American who played goaltender at Boston College and briefly in the NHL for the old Quebec Nordiques. In other words, not some random western Canadian hack well-schooled in the type of goon hockey that made the Broad
    Street Bullies famous. Translation : the Phantoms can be expected to play a much “cleaner”, much more disciplined brand of hockey in the coming season.

    • Yeah, I knew I was forgetting somebody: The Drewski addition gives some nice veteran leadership to the group, as well as some depth.

      I’d like to see Goums back as well. He wasn’t spectacular, but seemed to be becoming more consistent in his play as the season wore on–more immediacy in his play and more impact on the ice. If he comes back, it also keeps my new jersey from becoming obsolete quite so quickly. 😉

      • Goumas, who clearly demonstrated in his last two years at New Hampshire playing in Hockey East (toughest conference in all of college hockey) that he has genuine playmaking / point-producing ability, had to deal with an ever-changing cast of linemates alll season long and that always makes it hard to get any continuity / familiarity going. Still, Goumas (-1 plus/minus rating) showed he has a decent measure of defensive responsibility about him and, with just 23 minutes all season long, proved he can be trusted to stay out of the penalty box, as well. No question about the fact that he is decidedly undersized (5’11” 160 lbs) — at the end of the day, Goumas might do better with the larger ice surfaces and the less physical style of play that can be found in Europe.

        I do think the projected fourth line of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms could stand to be strengthened and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Philadelphia Flyers bring in a couple more forwards to compete for AHL roster spots.

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