We now find ourselves on the cusp of new NHL and AHL seasons. The Flyers look to bounce back to their normal playoff-worthy hockey, while the Phantoms look to just win some games for a change.
Who knows what the product on the ice for the Phantoms will be this season, but one guaranteed difference will be the fact that this will be their last season as the “Adirondack” Phantoms. We all know that the Phantoms have been an abysmal team since leaving the big city of Philadelphia for small town USA, Glens Falls, but will their move to Allentown, PA spark a resurgence in the club?
This question and similar questions are what we will be focusing on in our new series, Phantoms: New Home, New Hope. From now through the beginning of the 2014-2015 season, Kim Pollock and I will be following along with the Phantoms’ transition from the Adirondacks to Allentown and speaking with players, local fans, city officials and business owners on the effects of the move.
The transition and 2013-2014 season started off on an interesting note as the Phantoms held a special media conference on Monday the 9th to announce a commemorative logo in celebration of 25 years of AHL hockey in Glens Falls. 20 of those years belong to the Detroit Red Wings’ affiliate, the Adirondack Red Wings, and five years belong to the Phantoms.
The conference was an opportunity for Mayor Jack Diamond to speak to the future of hockey in Glens Falls.
“We are looking for a seamless transition. I am fully committed to having American League Hockey in Glens Falls for 2014-2015,” said Mayor Diamond. “My intentions are to go in front of the (AHL) Board of Governors, make a presentation, and tell them a little bit about Glens Falls and our rich history.”
Mayor Diamond went on to discuss how they have submitted applications for funding to upgrade the Glens Falls Civic Center in an attempt to attract a permanent AHL tennant. According to a local paper, The Post Star, the city has requested $700,000 for upgrades, with an additional $900,000 through the state budget.
The Glens Falls Civic Center may be rich with history, but it is an old barn. Over the last few years, there have been incremental upgrades including new seats, a new PA system, and sub-par rear projection video boards. The one benefit the GFCC does have is there is not a bad seat in the house. No matter where you sit, you have a great view of the game.
So what will be the overall story of the season? The hunt for a new AHL team, or the Phantoms’ play? If the last 4 seasons were any indication, then it will be the hunt for a new team.
It will be interesting to see how the team reacts to this being their last season in Glens Falls. Will they come out with a throw away season in lieu of their new start in Allentown, or will they leave Glens Falls with a bang? Only time will tell.