The homeless Phantoms will be without a place to play no longer. On Tuesday, the AHL board of governors came to a decision to allow the Brooks Brothers access to the town of Glens Falls, NY., to use as the Phantoms’ temporary home.
Comcast-Spectacor manages the Glens Falls Civic Center and will allow the new owners to run their team out of the venue for the 2-3 years expected to build a new arena in Allentown, PA., where the Phantoms will ultimately end up.
Regardless of where the team is located, the Phantoms should remain the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers. But instead of the Philadelphia Phantoms, try to get used to the Adirondack Phantoms. Not quite the same poetic alliteration.
With a 1-0 victory on Friday, the Hershey Bears completed a four-game sweep of the Phantoms, knocking them out of the playoffs. Graham Mink scored the lone goal for the Bears, as they ended the Phantoms’ 13-year reign in Philadelphia.
The Phantoms were sold earlier in the season to the Brooks brothers out of Pittsburgh , after news broke that Comcast-Spectacor would demolish the Wachovia Spectrum and build an entertainment complex called Philly Live! The Phantoms have a likely home in Allentown, but it is unknown if they will remain the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, or if they will change the name of the team.
One day after playing noticeably bad in his first game with the Phantoms, defenseman Luca Sbisa recovered big time, by scoring his first professional goal and adding an assist in the Phantoms’ 3-2 loss to the Hershey Bears, Saturday.
The slap shot goal from the slot cut the Bears’ lead to 2-1 in second period. The Phantoms will take on Hershey in the first round of the post season.
Sbisa’s sluggish start back in Philadelphia could be due to fatigue. The Swiss blue liner arrived 20-pounds less than when he left the city midway through the NHL season. Sbisa was relied on heavily throughout the playoffs for the Hurricanes, at one time getting a gluttonous 41-minutes on ice time in game seven of the opening round against Saskatoon. That’s over two full periods.
The Flyers returned the rookie to Lethbridge of the WHL during the NHL season so they wouldn’t lose a year of his restricted free agent eligibility.
Sbisa will likely join the Flyers during the post seaso, as a seventh defender in case of emergencies. However, there is a possibility General Manager Paul Holmgren leaves him with the Phantoms for their playoff run.
PHILADELPHIA — One week you’re doing everything you can to preserve your college season and the next you’re on an American Hockey League bus headed to Norfolk. Thus is the life of an amateur hockey player turning pro. And for newly minted Philadelphia Phantoms’ forward James vanRiemsdyk, it’s been a hectic week.
“It has been a really grueling week,” said vanRiemsdyk, with a surprising amount of energy. “It also doesn’t help getting thrown right into one of the toughest schedules, four games in five nights.”
After two years of waiting and months of speculation, Flyers’ fans will finally see top prospect James van Riemsdyk in Philly colors. After signing a try out contract with the Philadelphia Phantoms earlier this morning, JVR will suit up to dress when the Phantoms take on the Albany River Rats tonight at the Wachovia Spectrum at 7 p.m. JVR has had experience playing with the majority of Phantoms in prospect camp, prior to Flyers’ training camp. He played specifically with center Jonathan Masumoto.
The former second overall pick in the 2007 draft will give the Phantoms, who are four point behind the Binghamton Senators for a post season spot, a boost to the playoffs. The acquisition has riled up excitement for the game tonight, which is sure to spike in ticket sales due to fan interest in JVR’s game.
Multiple European sources are reporting that the Flyers have signed 20-year old Swedish speedster Mario Kempe to an AHL try out. Although not considered a top prospect in the system, Kempe is high on the Flyers’ radar and has thrilled in the few training camps he attended.
Reminding many NHL scouts as a young Mikael Renberg, Kempe is one of the quickest players on the Flyers’ farm and plays a downhill style. Despite good size (6-foot-0, 180 lbs), decent hands and adept passing skills, Kempe is notoriously inconsistent, which is keeping him from being a serious player in the Flyers’ system. Matched with Claude Giroux in prospect camp, Kempe needs to improve his two-way game if he wants to be in consideration of any future call up to the big club, something Phantoms coach John Paddock may be able to help with.
Kempe, a fifth round pick in 2007, played two seasons in Canadian juniors before going back to Sweden to further his development. Playing for Rogle Angelholm in the low scoring Swedish Elite League, he scored two goals and eight assists in 30 games.
The Flyers have recalled 23-year old Phantoms’ defenseman Danny Syvret to replace injured defenseman Randy Jones. Jones tweaked his hip/groin in the second period against the New York Rangers on Sunday.
“It is still pretty tender today. I’m still getting treatment, but it is still pretty sore,” said Jones. “I am getting, by but it’s not like it’s life or death, that’s for sure.”
Syvret has been a warrior for the Phantoms this season, scoring 11 goals and 37 assists in 65 games. He is ranked second in the AHL in points for a defenseman. Syvret played 16 games with the Edmonton Oilers in 2006-07. He tallied just one assist during that time.
Syvret came to Philadelphia in a trade for center Ryan Potulny in early 2008. Seen as a project, the defenseman began to flurish in Philadelphia under the coaching of John Paddock. And for all his hard work and production, the Flyers are rewarding him with a shot. He will wear number 26.
Ryan Bright (Philabright@gmail.com) is a sports writer, born and raised in the Philadelphia area. A graduate of West Chester University, he has been with the Daily Local News in Chester County since early 2007, working as the paper's college and high school ice hockey beat writer. In 2010, began as a contributer for CSNPhilly.com, covering the Flyers and the Philadelphia Union.