After watching other teams make move after move this summer, the Adirondack Phantoms have finally joined party. The Flyers have signed four players recently that all could see significant time in Glens Falls this season. The team also announced that they will have a new coach and who the Phantoms will play this year.
Although a formal schedule has not been set, the Phantoms know who their opponents will be this season. A few weeks back the AHL announced its new divisional set-up -- this does change every year. The biggest move has the Syracuse Crunch moving into the Eastern Division of the Eastern Conference with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers moving to the Atlantic Division. The Phantoms will see the Albany River Rats 12 times during the regular season, Binghamton 10 times, and Hershey, Norfolk, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 8 times each. The Syracuse Crunch and the Phantoms will meet a total of 6 times.
The Phantoms will play every team in the Atlantic Division twice, except Bridgeport who they will face 4 times. The Phantoms will only play three Western Division teams, Rochester 4 times, Hamilton 4 times, and Toronto twice. Opening night will be on Saturday, October 3rd, an opponent has yet to be announced. The Phantoms will play the River Rats in two preseason games on September 25th and 26th. Tickets for these games are $10 and the home and home will start in Glens Falls.
The Flyers also announced that they have promoted Phantoms head coach John Paddock to Assistant General Manager. His new duties are to include the oversight of the Phantoms and their coaches. A new coach should be named in the next few weeks. Many people around here are hoping for Gord Dineen. His father, Bill, coached the Adirondackto two Calder Cups in the 1980s. The family still has a group of homes on one of the local lakes and are very visible in the local community during the summer. The only issue is that no one seems to know what Gord's contract status is since the Ducks pulled out of Des Moines at the beginning of this summer and will not have a team in the AHL this upcoming season.
The Flyers have also made a couple of player moves over the past few weeks that could help the Phantoms this season. The team signed Joey Mormina, a 6-6 defensemen that spent last year in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Mormina has also spent time as a River Rat and as a Manchester Monarch.
Also signed was Krystofer Kolanos, a 6-2 forward. Kolanos had 31 goals and 51 points in only 45 games with Houston last year. Kolanos spent 21 games with the Minnesota Wild last year. He was the 19th overall pick in the 2000 draft.
Lukas Kaspar a left-winger was signed away from Worcester. Kaspar had 44 points in 65 games for the Sarks last season. Kaspar was the 22nd overall pick in the 2004 draft. His 44 points last season was his highest total in three AHL seasons.
The last signing is by the far the most interesting for the Flyers and Phantoms. This is the two-way contract signed by Jason Ward. Ward spent 2005-2008 in the NHL, but spent most of last year with Norfolk, seeing only one game with Tampa Bay. Ward was the 11th overall pick in the 1997 draft. If Ward starts the season in Glens Falls he could have a "C" on the front of his jersey.
The Phantoms recently held a pick-a-seat day at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Phantoms players Jonathan Matsumoto and David Laliberte were there. The team had floor hockey for the kids, gave away preseason tickets, and overall did a great job in selling their product. As of Saturday, the team had the equivalent of 2,000 season tickets sold.