Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

I Ain’t Scared of No Ghost

After a pretty meek Day 2 and beyond of the NHL Free Agency, business picked up again on the day after the Fourth of July.

It was the Philadelphia Flyers who made the most noise in bolstering their AHL affiliate about an hour down the PA Turnpike in Lehigh Valley.

The number one name on the AHL Big Board, T.J. Brennan, signed with the Philadelphia Flyers today. The Phantoms on their own a few hours later announced the signing of Mark Zengerle and Martin Ouelette to AHL contracts.

First, T.J. Brennan. Two time defensive player of the year. He is the real deal. Pairing him with Will O’Neill, the second best defensemen I had on the board will give teams fits. Couple that in with Mark Zengerle, who centered the Grand Rapids Griffins top line of Anthony Mantha and Eric Tangradi last year and you have a recipe for success considering other signings made by the Flyers such as O’Neill and Andy Miele, the top forward available on the big board.

That is, however, if the Phantoms even make playoffs. Lehigh Valley has done nothing but disappoint in its two seasons in Allentown with lineups that look in October that they can compete in June but are out of it in December and a laughingstock in March.

Long and short, I’ll believe all this July hype about the Phantoms and playoffs it when I see it in mid-April next year.

There were other signings today affecting a lot of other AHL teams that I will update on the Big Board in a bit.

The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins today announced the re-signing of Goaltender Casey DeSmith. DeSmith, while playing on a PTO in the playoffs with the Penguins, took over the starters role in the playoffs and was one overtime Game 7 shot away from advancing to the Conference Finals against Toronto. The tandem as it stands in the beginning of July appears to be Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith. I see this as healthy competition between the two. DeSmith will be gunning for the starters role over the NHL contracted Jarry and Jarry will be looking to re-claim his undisputed number one role on Coal Street and become the next Matt Murray.

My 2016 Offseason Moves List will be updated later too, as I am hammering off this blog post, dinner is on the grill. Pork chops if you are scoring at home.

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