The Philadelphia Flyers will send ECHL-level players up and across the Delaware River to Trenton again this season, announcing Monday that they've renewed their affiliation with the Trenton Titans. No word on if those players will actually take a boat up the river. We assume they can also drive there if they prefer.
"We are pleased to have the Trenton Titans as our ECHL affiliate and look forward to working closely with them on developing future Flyers in a winning environment," general manager Paul Holmgren said in a released statement.
"We are thrilled to be back with the Flyers as their ECHL affiliate," said Titans president Rich Lisk. "Our relationship has always been strong with the Flyers and we look forward to taking that to the next level. I am happy to call Trenton the home of future Philadelphia Flyers."
While seven players played in both Adirondack and Trenton last season, defenseman Tyler Hostetter, forward Luke Pither and goaltender Johan Backlund are the only three players on NHL deals to have played games at the ECHL level a year ago. Backlund played just one game there while Pither played four. Hostetter is the only ECHL-level player on an NHL deal with the Flyers. He played 34 games in Trenton and seven in Adirondack.
So, you know, the chances of these guys actually becoming "future Philadelphia Flyers" is always pretty slim. Nevertheless, it's always nice having the affiliate club close to home and it's nice to see the partnership with Trenton continue.
The Flyers had previously been affiliates with the Titans from 1999 to 2007 before the New Jersey Devils purchased the team and ran them into the ground. The team was saved last summer following five years under Devils ownership, after which the franchise suspended operations thanks to years of declining attendance and astounding financial losses.
Attendance increased 26 percent last season as that new ownership brought back beloved Titans nickname, affiliated with the Flyers and dropped all ties with the Devils organization.