The Philadelphia Flyers have extended their affiliation with the Reading Royals of the ECHL. The two organizations have been partnered for the past five years and have signed a one-year agreement with an option for 2020-21. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher explained the move:
We are very happy to extend our relationship with the Reading Royals. Over the last five years, we have seen how advantageous it has been to have each of our minor league affiliates, which includes the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms, in close proximity to Philadelphia, as we continue to develop players within the Flyers system.
The Royals missed the playoffs last season for the first time in a decade, but still posted a 34-28-10 record. Like other teams in the ECHL, Reading is used as a place for raw or long-shot prospects to hone their games in hopes of a chance at the AHL or NHL level some day. The team was led in scoring once again by Chris McCarthy, a 28-year old forward that has become something of a superstar for Reading over the last few seasons.
- Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin confirmed to Eric Engels of Sportsnet that the team did make an offer to Jake Gardiner before the defenseman signed with the Carolina Hurricanes, but explained that it is a “two-way street” and that the player needs to be interested as well. Gardiner’s market didn’t quite become what many thought it would be this summer as few teams offered him the term he was looking for. The Hurricanes signed him for four years and $16.2MM on Friday.
- The Canadiens also won’t be bringing in Jason Pominville according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, who notes that the club wants to give their young players a “fair chance” during training camp. Pominville is still unsigned despite a 16-goal, 31-point season in 2018-19 and may need to settle for a professional tryout at this point in order to earn a contract.
- After Dale Hawerchuk was forced to take a leave of absence from the Barrie Colts coaching staff due to health concerns, the team has brought in a familiar OHL face. Warren Rychel, the long-time co-owner and general manager of the Windsor Spitfires will take over as head coach. Rychel sold his stake in the Spitfires earlier this year and stepped down from his post in the front office. Rychel played more than 400 games in the NHL, winning the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996.