Monday's Catch Up & Links 5/29/17

Monday, May 29, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Keep up to date on all the latest AHL & Phantoms news, coming to you in a brand new way next season!

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

Here at Highland Park Hockey, the sole focus of our coverage is hockey - nothing else but hockey articles year-round! A main point of emphasis here is the American Hockey League (AHL) and more specifically the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

The plan moving forward is to expand our hockey coverage to give our readers not only the best and latest information about the Phantoms, but to also provide plenty of exclusive content to keep you - the reader - more informed about happenings from around the AHL.

While the future remains murky as to how exactly we will accomplish our goal of better overall coverage of the league, I can say that the plan is for this website to cease to exist before next season begins. Not to worry though, our Phantoms and AHL coverage will continue on in a completely new independent website that is in the beginning stages of creation. Rebranding our coverage and changing the new of our future operation was a difficult decision to make, but it's believed to be for the best.

In addition, readers will need to create an account (for free) to view basic articles such as Phantoms' game previews and home game recaps. However, I'll be introducing premium content that requires a subscription (very inexpensive in the $3/month range) to read our exclusive coverage of Phantoms' road games as well as weekly features, prospect profiles and monthly prospect development reports.

Full details on the new website, including it's expected launch and the new name we will be working under moving forward sometime later this summer. Feel free to ask any questions or voice any concerns you have in the comments here, on Twitter (@TonyAndrock) or by emailing me (

Stay updated on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms' off-season news, player movement and more in the only place you'll find dedicated coverage of the team. I plan to have a 'Phantoms Off-Season Guide' online later this week for a clear view of how the team's off-season is going from all angles.

Does Samuel Dove-McFalls Have A Future With Flyers Organization?

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Dove-McFalls could be newest addition to Phantoms' roster

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

With all the buzz surrounding some of the Philadelphia Flyers' top prospects, a down year for forward Samuel Dove-McFalls - the Flyers' 4th round draft pick in 2015 - had taken him all but off the radar heading into the 2016-17 season.

A knee injury limited Dove-McFalls to just 29 regular season games in 2015-16, but a full season in his fourth and final year in the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs - including a trip to this year's Memorial Cup - might be enough to earn the 6-foot-1, 202 pound two-way forward an entry-level contract with the Flyers. And in just the nick of time.

According to, the Flyers have until next Thursday - June 1st, 2017 - to sign McFalls to an entry-level contract or they will no longer own his rights and he'll be free to sign with other teams.

Overseas Exodus - Zengerle Leaves Lehigh Valley For Sweden

Monday, May 22, 2017
Mark Zengerle is moving on to pro hockey in Sweden in 2017-18. Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Zengerle: "I always thought Europe was going to be a destination for me."

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

After just one season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and three total years of professional hockey in North America, Mark Zengerle is looking forward to the next chapter of his pro hockey playing career in the fall.

Zengerle signed a one-year deal with Linköpings HC last week to play in Sweden's top pro league for next season, following his Phantoms' teammate and good friend Andy Miele (Malmö - SHL) overseas.

It was a little different for Zengerle than Miele, whose move overseas was well in the works even before the Phantoms' season came to an end. For Zengerle, it 'happened quick'. A week to week and a half later the deal was done.

"All of a sudden at the end of the year, I got a few phone calls and heard that they were interested," Zengerle explained of how quickly his deal with Linköping came to be. "With Miele going over and getting to talking, I always thought Europe was going to be a destination for me in my career at some point. I figured it would be a good time to get at it now and try to work my way up the ladder over there."

AHL Thoughts 5/21/17

Sunday, May 21, 2017
Is Jakub Vrana's future in the Washington Capitals organization in question? Photo: Amanda Statland/Highland Park Hockey
Editor's Note: Now that the main source of content for this website - the Lehigh Valley Phantoms beat - has entered its off season, there's going to be a different look this spring/summer before our annual AHL Free Agent Big Board starts to get put together leading up to free agency in July.

New content starts with my 'AHL' Thoughts - a new feature I might roll with weekly/bi-weekly if it receives positive feedback. Let me know in the comments below, on our Facebook page or tweet at @TonyAndrock/@H_P_Hockey with your thoughts.

Since the first AHL Thoughts post I wrote at the beginning of the month went over well with the majority of readers, it's back for a second time - new and improved with a full 30 thoughts around the AHL similar to Elliotte Friedman's oh so popular 30 Thoughts for Sportsnet.

After the jump, my 30 thoughts with news around the AHL. This edition focuses on the AHL's Conference Finals, coaching/management changes around the league and more!

Will Flyers Fill Coaching Vacancy From Within?

Thursday, May 18, 2017
Photos courtesy of Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Promotion From Phantoms Possible?

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

The Philadelphia Flyers - specifically general manager Ron Hextall - will need to hire an additional body to their NHL club's coaching staff this off-season.

Hextall opted not to retain the services of assistant coach Joe Mullen, making the announcement at the team's season-ending news conference back on April 13th shortly following the conclusion of the Flyers' 2016-17 season.

While there isn't a rush to do so right now, and the Flyers will certainly do their due diligence with any potential hire, the question still remains - who will be the newest Flyers assistant coach on staff for the 2017-18 season?

Perhaps the answer won't come from too far away.