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

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mike Thompson named VP of Business Operations for the Adirondack Phantoms

I'm still getting used to the sight of the phrase, "Adirondack Phantoms". :(

In the meantime, we are still seeing occasional news items regarding the team. For example, there's this item from

Mike Thompson named VP of Business Operations for the Adirondack Phantoms
May 20, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) Springfield Falcons

Springfield, MA - The Springfield Falcons, proud members of the American Hockey League, announced today that Mike Thompson has been named the new Vice President of Business Operations for the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms. Thompson served as the Falcons Vice President of Corporate Partnerships during the 2008-09 campaign.

"I am very happy for Mike and his family," said Falcons President and General Manager Bruce Landon. "This is a wonderful opportunity for him at this stage in his career. He has done a great job with the Falcons over the past 4 1/2 years and has helped us grow our sponsorship revenues."

Thompson joined the Falcons during the 2004-05 season with a strong background in ticket sales and servicing. Prior to arriving in Springfield, Thompson created Vertix Sports Marketing. Vertix Sports Marketing's notable clients included twenty hockey franchises in the ECHL, CHL and the OHL, Penn State University, Western Kentucky University, Texas Christian University, Bowling Green State University, and Cleveland State University. Thompson has also worked in baseball at both the major league and minor league levels.

"The Phantoms ownership group offered me an incredible opportunity and I am very excited to move on to the next stage in my career," said Thompson. "I cannot overstate how important and valuable it has been to have Bruce Landon as a mentor and friend, and I will miss the entire Falcons organization tremendously. Fortunately, I won't be too far away and I'll definitely be visiting the MassMutual Center to see the Falcons and Phantoms play next season."

The Phantoms will be based in Glens Falls, NY starting in 2009-10 and their National Hockey League affiliate will remain the Philadelphia Flyers. The Phantoms will play their home games at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

"We are excited to be adding Mike to our staff," said Adirondack Phantoms President Jim Brooks. "His excitement and passion are unmatched and his success and skills speak for themselves. Mike has a tremendous amount of experience in sports and specifically hockey to draw from, including working with us several years ago, and we look forward to working with Mike again for a long time to come."

There's coverage at, also.

Phantoms choose front-office leader
Updated: Thursday, May 21, 2009 1:20 AM EDT

GLENS FALLS - The Adirondack Phantoms are beginning to assemble their front-office staff as they gear up for the American Hockey League team's inaugural season at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

The team, on Wednesday, announced the hiring of Mike Thompson as vice president of operations.

Thompson, who most recently worked in the front office of the Springfield Falcons, will start full time on June 1, heading the team's local front office staff.

Team co-owners and co-presidents Rob and Jim Brooks will be splitting their time between Glens Falls and other cities where they operate sports franchises.

Thompson said in a telephone interview he has already visited Glens Falls a few times and is excited about being part of returning professional hockey to Glens Falls, which has been without a permanent hockey team for three seasons.

"It's a great hockey barn, and I cannot wait," he said.

The Phantoms, the top farm club of the Philadelphia Flyers, is relocating to Glens Falls and will begin playing at the Civic Center in October.

Thompson, a native of Oakville, Ontario, has worked in a variety of sports management and consulting roles in hockey and baseball, including a stint with the Florida Marlins.

"Last count, I've been in about 40 states," he said.

He previously operated Vertix Sports Marketing, a ticket sales consulting firm whose clients included hockey teams and college sports programs.

His clients included the Wheeling Nailers, an ECHL team that the Brooks Group also owns.

"He has great enthusiasm, and he really knows how to sell tickets," said Rob Brooks, the team's co-owner.

The owners have set a goal of selling 2,500 season tickets.

As of Wednesday, the team had commitments for the equivalent of 1,772 full-season tickets.

The number is prorated to include the equivalent commitments for 20-game and 10-game partial season ticket packages.

Thompson said the team will be hiring six to eight people, in addition to himself, to run the front office.

"We'll have the core staff, I would say, ready to go within the next three to four weeks," he said.

Brooks said the team will be announcing the hiring of a ticket sales director later this week.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Glens Falls newspaper has a dedicated Phantoms area on its website

CLICK HERE: Adironack Phantoms Hockey:

The Post-Star has established an area on their newspaper's website for Phantoms-related coverage. This will make it that much easier to keep track of the team's local coverage. Hit the link above for details.

For example, here is an interesting article on the prospective roster of next year's Phantoms team. (Even if its headline is apparently unproofread: "Phantoms expects young, fast team".) Contained in it are the following quotes:

The plan is for veteran coach John Paddock to return, Holmgren said. Paddock coached parts of five seasons in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets and the Ottawa Senators. In his most recent NHL stint, he coached 64 games with Ottawa in 2007-08 before being fired. Last season was his first with the Phantoms.

At the AHL level, Paddock has coached in Maine, Hershey, Binghamton, and Hartford, winning a Calder Cup with Hershey.

Paddock will be guiding some familiar faces. Asked to identify a potential returning core, Holmgren mentioned four young forwards: Jonathan Matsumoto, David Laliberte, Patrick Maroon and Jared Ross.

Mastsumoto and Ross were the team's leading scorers with 29 goals each; Laliberte had 28. Ross played 16 games with the Flyers last season.


Defensively, Holmgren pegged Michael Ratchuk, Oskars Bartulis and Danny Syvret as potential returners. Syvret led the AHL in scoring for defensemen with 57 points.

Here is an interesting quote from this article on Wednesday's press conference:

But a bit of their Philadelphia home ice will be making its way with the team to Glens Falls.

Ike Richman, vice president of Comcast-Spectacor, said he saved some of the ice when it was taken up after the last game in Philadelphia.

That ice has since melted, but the water is stored in a jar that will be emptied at the Civic Center when the first ice surface is laid down for the hockey season this fall, he said.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Adirondack Phantoms jersey design unveiled

Purple appears to have been supplanted by orange on the home jersey, and black on the road jersey. The shoulder patches are now Flyers logos, rather than images of Phlex.

Thanks to for the image below:

Adirondack Phantoms take up new haunts in Glens Falls

CLICK HERE: Adirondack Phantoms take up new haunts in Glens Falls

Before I post the text of the actual article, I can't help but highlight the EXTREME IRONY of the content of the photo that accompanies the report.

First of all, that's an old-style Phantoms jersey, not the one that we have worn for the past couple of seasons. They couldn't find a current version of the jersey to use for this press conference?

Second of all, take a close look at the shoulder patch. IT'S THE LOGO OF PHLEX WITH THE SPECTRUM.

This is the sort of thing that makes my head go . If anyone connected with the Philly incarnation of the team had had a lick of sense, they would have used last season's Phantoms third jersey, which has a FLYERS LOGO for the shoulder patch. Then again, IMO if the Comcast-side people connected with the Philly incarnation of the team had a lick of sense, or gave a hoot about anything besides the bottom line, the team would still BE in the Philadelphia area.

OK, anyway... rant over. On to the actual article.

Adirondack Phantoms take up new haunts in Glens Falls
Updated: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 3:14 PM EDT

GLENS FALLS -- Ladies and gentlemen, youuuuurrrrr Adirondack Phantoms!

With a new moniker, a new jersey and a new city, the American Hockey League's newest entry in New York was formally introduced this morning during a press conference at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

The team, which co-owner Rob Brooks announced would be called the Adirondack Phantoms, will begin play at the Glens Falls Civic Center this fall, with team officials promising a high-energy, hard-hitting team on the ice and a community-minded team off it.

Glens Falls Mayor Jack Diamond, members of the Common Council, team owners and representatives from the parent club Philadelphia Flyers and GlobalSpectrum were all on hand to make the announcement in Heritage Hall.

City and team officials announced late last month that the Flyers farm team would be moving from Philadelphia to Glens Falls, returning AHL hockey to the region for the first time in a decade, since the Adirondack Red Wings left town after more than 20 seasons here.

For more on the announcement, please continue to visit and read more in tomorrow's Post-Star.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Adirondack Phantoms introduced in Glens Falls

From the AHL's official site:

CLICK HERE: Adirondack Phantoms introduced in Glens Falls

Adirondack Phantoms introduced in Glens Falls

The Brooks Group, new owners of the Philadelphia Flyers' American Hockey League affiliate, today formally introduced the Adirondack Phantoms to Glens Falls, N.Y.

"Having the Phantoms playing here in Glens Falls creates some great rivalries. So, to all the New York teams in the AHL, beware of the Phantoms," said Glens Falls mayor Jack Diamond.

"Glens Falls is a terrific hockey town and the players are going to enjoy playing here," said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko.

"We're gonna have a young, hard-working team. All of our players will be very active in the community," said Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren. "We're looking forward to writing a new history for hockey in Glens Falls."

The Adirondack Phantoms will begin play at the Glens Falls Civic Center in 2009-10. The Civic Center is managed by Global Spectrum a subsidiary of Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor.

Friday, May 1, 2009

PA state funding for the Allentown/Lehigh Valley arena has fallen through

CLICK HERE: State support for hockey arena evaporates, according to Gov. Rendell

CLICK HERE: Governor Rendell nixes state funding for Lehigh Valley hockey arena

It appears that the plans to build a new arena in Allentown are in jeopardy. The state, which had originally written $30M into its budget for the purpose of funding the arena's construction, has taken that money off the table.

My personal suggestion is that the Brooks Group should seriously consider becoming a tenant of an already-existing arena in the Philly region, if funding a new venue turns out to be impossible to come by. I wonder when the ECHL Trenton Devils'lease expires at the Sovreign Bank Arena? Maybe Brooks Group needs to become Extremely Aggressive about landing the next lease in that arena after the Devils' time there is done. But at this point, I''m- just thinking aloud in print.
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