Flyers, Phantoms to Announce NHL Preseason Game at PPL Center?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
The PPL Center to host Philadelphia Flyers NHL Preseason contest this fall. Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey.
Phantoms' home rink to host Flyers vs. Islanders on Sept. 20

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Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

ALLENTOWN - In a joint press conference at the PPL Center in downtown Allentown, Pa on Wednesday, the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms announced that the Phantoms' home rink will once again be hosting an NHL preseason game on Wednesday, September 20th when the Flyers host the New York Islanders.

"Working with the Flyers, we've had first round draft picks, second round draft picks, third round - all the way," Phantoms' co-owner Jim Brooks said during the press conference. "All our developing prospects come to Lehigh Valley and play in front of us every night, but more than that - they live in our communities. They're shopping in the same stores, banking in the same banks. That's something special for us."

In just the three seasons in the Lehigh Valley, the fans have seen 19 Phantoms' players move up to the NHL with the Flyers.

In addition to the Brooks brothers, Rob and Jim, Flyers president Paul Holmgren and Gunnar Fox, General Manager, Spectra Venue Management at PPL Center, were in attendance and spoke briefly about hosting the event this fall.

EDIT: This first-report was confirmed at the press conference inside of PPL Center at 11 a.m. ET. Tickets for the event will go on sale to the general public on Friday. Phantoms' season ticket holders will get an exclusive pre-sale to secure their tickets beginning today. Phantoms' PR director Dan Fremuth commented that the communication to season ticket holders would be made shortly following this morning's presser.

This will mark the third time the PPL Center has hosted an NHL exhibition game in what will be their fourth season hosting the Flyers' American Hockey League's (AHL) affiliate in Lehigh Valley.
Previously, the Flyers defeated the New Jersey Devils 2-0 in an NHL preseason game at PPL Center on September 28th, 2016 and also bested the New York Islanders 5-3 in an NHL preseason game in downtown Allentown on September 21st, 2015.

The last time the Flyers & Islanders played an NHL preseason game in Allentown back in 2015, Lehigh Valley area fans got to see the likes of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Travis Konecny and Michal Neuvirth. Rosters for the event this year won't be released until the fall.

Phantoms' home opener, guaranteed dates released

Earlier this week, the Phantoms announced that their 2017-18 regular season home opener will be held on Saturday, October 7th, 2017. They also revealed five other guaranteed home dates - all Saturdays - for the upcoming season:
November 25
December 2
December 30
January 13
February 10
While the six dates the Phantoms released have been widely reported at this point and don't have a known opponent yet, there is a seventh date we know the Phantoms will have a game. And we know the opponent too!

That, of course, is the 2018 AHL Outdoor Classic on January 20th, 2018 when the Phantoms will take on the host Hershey Bears outside at HersheyPark Stadium.

Also first reported here back on May 11th shortly after the AHL announced it's annual division re-alignment is the Phantoms' schedule matrix, complete with a breakdown of opponents. Who will Lehigh Valley play in 2017-18 and how many times? An exclusive look here.

The American Hockey League's regular season schedule is expected to be out much earlier this summer than years previous, according to AHL President/CEO David Andrews in his annual State of the League Address.

Andrews hinted up to five weeks earlier, which sets the marker around mid-July. The Board of Governors annual meetings are scheduled for July 2nd-6th, so perhaps the following week we'll see the announcement of the 2017-18 regular season schedules.


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