Phantoms To Face Veteran Crunch Again

Colin McDonald. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Colin McDonald. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Or, maybe not.

But it is an important review–even before the roster for the 2016-17 squad is officially announced.  If you’ll recall, under AHL rules which are meant to encourage development of younger players, a team can only dress a certain number of “veteran” players for each game.  Of the 18 skaters (usually 12 forwards and 6 defensemen–but as we saw last season that can fluctuate a bit) only 5 players with more than 320 games of “professional” regular season experience can be dressed, plus one “tweener” transitional player with more than 260 games, but less than 320.  As for “professional,” we’re looking at games for top-level pros, either NHL or AHL in this hemisphere, or KHL and other top-tier leagues overseas.

Here are the players expected to suit up for the Phantoms this season, along with their experience (by my count; apologies if I mis-counted):


F Chris Conner 651

F Colin McDonald (C) 645

D Andrew MacDonald 578

D TJ Brennan 496

F Andy Miele 370


D Will O’Neill 280


So that looks good, right?  But there are still guys to come down from the Flyers–and roster spots still up for grabs a bit up there.  There’s waivers and all that, as well, but here are a couple guys who could be added to the above depending on how the Flyers roster shakes out, and result in a crunch like we had last season should they pass through waivers:

F Chris VandeVelde 433

D Brandon Manning 321

F Jordan Weal 305

Now, perhaps VandeVelde and Manning are long shots to start with the Phantoms, but I have seen their names mentioned on other sites as possible roster casualties in Philadelphia.  Even so, Weal is more likely, and he would create a conflict in that tweener category.

So talented, proven players are nice to have around–along with prospects and old friends like Leier, Straka, Aube-Kubel, Sanheim, Hagg, Morin et al–but it does us no good if we have to send one of them up to the press box due to the “veteran rule.”

But at the end of the day, it’s still better than a lot of problems we might have.  Players get injured all the time, and some of these “old guys” could maybe use a day off now and again, anyway.  If the Flyers roster shakes a different way, then maybe there’s no problem at all.  And finally, to reiterate something I’ve written before, some of these veterans are making nice coin; it’s nice to have an organization willing to spend some money for quality down on the farm.

We’ll have a full roster overview forthcoming–but remember when you see healthy scratches, that the veteran limit may be in play.  Oh, and from now on perhaps I’ll start calling it the “Jay Rosehill Rule.”  😉


See you at the arena,


PS: Click back to previous post to vote in the poll if you haven’t done so already.  Thanks.

Cover Photo by Cheryl Pursell

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

3 replies

  1. Note To Kram :

    Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins might be the one with real problems that accompany having too many Veterans and Veteran Exempt players. My original projections at the start of training camp have WBS beginning the year with 6 Vs and 1 VE — so, right off the bat, the Baby Pens would be sitting out one (highly paid) player per game. Everything will depend upon how things shake out in Pittsburgh, of course.

    I have Weal down for 235 career professional games — 221 AHL games from three full seasons and parts of two others in addition to his 14 NHL games from last season.

    I think that the Lehigh Valley Phantoms learned their lessons from last season. As I noted in the “Analyzing Philadelphia Flyers’ Minor League Veteran Free Agent Policy” piece published at this blog earlier at the start of training camp, the Phantoms had entirely too many Veteran and Veteran Exempt players at the start of last season. What I didn’t say was that Lehigh Valley then compounded their own problems by adding yet another veteran, defenseman Matt Lashoff, roughly two weeks into the AHL campaign!

    The Philadelphia Flyers organization is not spending the unprecedented kind of money that they are spending on the Veteran and Veteran Exempt players this term just so dudes can sit around and do nothing in the press box — or at least that is what I am hoping. 🙂

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