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