St. John's, Newfoundland might not have an AHL team next season, and that's a big bummer for St. John's. But to be frank, it's a huge gain for the rest of the American Hockey League, because getting to St. John's is just insane.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are making the trek for a weekend series against the Ice Caps, and here's how they're getting there.
Step 1) Bus ride from Allentown to LaGuardia Airport in New York City.
It's 113 miles, or a little over two hours, to get from the PPL Center in Allentown, across New Jersey, through Manhattan to Queens, where the Phantoms will fly from LaGuardia Airport to Toronto.
Step 2) Flight from LaGuardia to Toronto-Pearson International Airport.
It's not a long flight from LaGuardia to YYZ, but you can tack on another 355 miles in the air for this second leg of the trip. 90 minutes of travel time, too. And they're still more than 1,300 miles away from their destination at this point.
Step 3) Flight from Toronto to Halifax Stanfield International Airport
Here's the longest leg. It's only about three hours of travel time, but it's 800 miles in the air after they've already traveled 468 miles on the day over two different modes of transport.
Step 4) Flight from Halifax to St. John's International Airport
You look at a map and you think that this little leg is just a quick jump over the pond. But nope. It's another 545 miles and 85 minutes in the air. But afterwards, the Phantoms will finally be at their destination. Well, almost.
Step 5) Bus from St. John's International Airport to the team hotel.
Once they're off the third and final flight of the day, the Phantoms have to hop back on a bus and get to the team hotel. We don't know where the hotel is but for the purposes of putting a period on this whole thing, we'll map it to the arena where they'll play both games in St. John's. The hotel can't be far.
All told, the Phantoms will travel 1,699 miles in the air and 119 on the ground by bus to get from Allentown to St. John's. 1,818 miles in total. They'll do all of this traveling on Thursday (maybe a bit on Friday morning, not sure) and will play games against the IceCaps on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
After the games -- presumably on Monday morning -- the Phantoms will travel the 1,818 miles back home to Allentown. They're home next weekend, though, so there's that.
This sucks for the Phantoms, of course, but keep in mind that every single time St. John's goes on the road, they have to do the same thing. Playing for that team has to be an absolute nightmare.
The IceCaps -- AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets -- are moving to the Canadian mainland for 2015-16, specifically Thunder Bay, Ontario. That'll certainly be easier for Jets prospects.