The Adirondack Phantoms are going to die at the end of this upcoming season. The Flyers' AHL affiliate is set to move to Allentown, PA for the 2013-14 season. This is a little up in the air, and the tombstone will explain why. No, not because they're wicked dickbags, that's something different.
The Adirondack Phantoms will have been most likely 4 seasons old.
Prior to the Phantoms organization, the Flyers were served by the Hershey Bears, who are now the affiliate for the Capitals. When the Flyers moved into what is now the Wells Fargo Center, they purchased an AHL franchise, and stuck it in the old Spectrum. The Philadelphia Phantoms played there for 13 seasons, blazing a trail of orange and purple and black all over the league, winning two Calder Cups in the process.
But this glory wasn't to last very long. The Spectrum was demolished, and the Flyers relocated the team to Glens Falls, NY (home of such greats as Hacksaw Jim Duggan), and its bandbox Civic Center, which also housed the AHL's Adirondack Red Wings for 20 years. Once in upstate NY, things got a little bit weird. The trademark purple of the team went away, replaced increasingly by black. This is perhaps because of the team's deathlike play, avoiding the playoffs at all costs.
The one upside of the move further north is that the Northeast has a TON of AHL clubs, and fierce rivalries formed. The fiercest of which was probably with the Albany Devils (nee River Rats), who are located about half an hour south of Glens Falls. The Phantoms and Devils have contested for the Time Warner Cup every season, the winner holding the title of probably the dumbest named trophy in sports. Both teams used these games as opportunities to throw out weird one-off sweaters, ranging from Ronald McDonald to a Flames rip off, 'is that the Boston Red Sox?" (all Albany), and some decent looking faux-vintage styles (well played, Phantoms), most of which were auctioned off to support local charities.
As an Albany fan, I've always enjoyed these encounters. Given the close proximity of the teams, there are always a ton of Phantoms fans in the TU Center when their team is in town. The atmosphere is great, and I'm definitely going to miss that. I've also been up to Glens Falls once, but this was for a relocated River Rats playoff game (I think the circus was in Albany or something).
Getting back on track, the Phantoms are set to leave Glens Falls after the 2012-13 season. A new arena was planned to be built in Allentown, PA. The move to NY was never meant to be a permanent thing, but it may last a little longer, as the building of the new arena has been caught up in some red tape.
The Adirondack Phantoms will be survived by their parent club, the Philadelphia Flyers, and by the ECHL's Trenton Titans.
...Okay, so why, you ask, are they wicked dickbags? I shouldn't get into it. Lets say it involved an old relationship of mine and the Phantoms. Leave it at that. Also, I'm a Bruins fan, so I'm pre-wired to dislike most thing Flyers-related.