Michael Leighton is preparing to head to the Phantoms this weekend for a few rehab starts, but he won't have to make the long, dreary ride to upstate New York until at least next week. According to Tim McManus of the Glens Falls Post-Star, it appears as though Leighton will be joining the team for their games in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Atlantic City this weekend.
The Phantoms loaned goalie Brian Stewart back to Greenville on Tuesday after he served as the backup to Nic Riopel for one game. Since we know Johan Backlund is out for a few weeks, you can read between the lines and assume this means Michael Leighton’s arrival is imminent.
I expected Leighton to make a rehab start or two with the Phantoms next weekend, but I didn’t know if he’d practice with the Phantoms this week or stay in Philly.
No matter where you are in the Delaware Valley, you're likely within an hour or 90 minutes of seeing the Phantoms and Leighton this weekend. They suck pretty badly, but it might be a great chance to go on a mini road trip and see some hockey. Maybe Leights can steal the Phantoms a win or two. Who knows?
Tickets are on sale for the Atlantic City game, and if you're a Jersey-based Flyers fan, it is certainly in your interest to get down to Boardwalk Hall on Sunday and make your voice heard. As we reported back in August, the Devils are looking to extend their reach into the Flyers home territory, and hosting an Albany Devils game or four in Atlantic City is the perfect way to begin doing that.
Ultimately, one of their farm teams could call AC home, which would be a great way for them to get involved in the Southern New Jersey hockey community. That could begin the tide of turning this place from orange and black to the Seventh Circle of Hell (I mean red), and that's not what any of us want to see.
If you live in Atlantic, Ocean or Cape May counties in particular, as I do, and you want this place to stay as Flyer orange as possible, buy some affordable tickets and get loud on Sunday. (Sure, the money goes to the Devils, but how embarrassing would it be if their team played in front of a giant orange crowd?)
It's a home game for the Devils, but we can make the boys from Adirondack feel like they're home instead.