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The final pro hockey game at the Spectrum has been played.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My husband found an article online that confirms that the Phantoms' ECHL affiliate will no longer be the Wheeling Nailers. Here's the relevant paragraph:

No More Philly

The Nailers' affiliation with the Philadelphia Flyers has mutually come to an end.

But Wheeling fans probably won't even notice because the relationship ended up being little more than cosmetic, anyway.

Basically, it was a one-way street with players moving up, but little to none coming in return.

''We had a great relationship with the Flyers last year - we both enjoyed it,'' Jim said.

''But it was basically a numbers game.

''We were told by Pittsburgh we are getting two goaltenders, plus we're getting more players from them this year.

''It was a thing where it wouldn't be truly fair to Philly to have their guys come here and not get an equal opportunity.''

The reason for that is simple. When push comes to shove, the Nailers' allegiance lies with the Penguins - not the Flyers.

''Basically, I look at it as (the dual affiliation) didn't hurt us, but it didn't help us either,'' Jim said.

''When we had to make that decision it was hard because they are a great organization, but at the same time our priority is Pittsburgh, and our priority is to develop guys to the next level and we can't do that if we don't have ample space for it.''

So, now we know who our affiliate ISN'T. But we still haven't received any information about who our ECHL affiliate IS. Stay tuned. If nothing else, we'll find out who our affiliate is once the Phantoms start reassigning players. Our home opener is tomorrow night, and I would hope that we have got somewhere in the ECHL to send any surplus players ASAP. They'll need, and they deserve, time to mesh with their new teammates before being thrown to the wolves during the regular-season.

Meanwhile, the Flyers are right AT 50 contracts, the max number of players that an NHL team is allowed to have signed. This includes all our guys, not just the ones at the Flyers roster. This explains why the non-roster invitees to our training camp were released at the end of camp, even though some of them played very well for us. Darn limit! Hey, NHLPA! I'd like to see you work into the next CBA that the limit should go up. Tell the league you want 60 and negotiate it down to 55 or so.

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