The Los Angeles Kings
are off to a quick start in the Stanley Cup Final
and it's some prominent former Phantoms who are
leading the way.
Assistant Coach John Stevens was a 2012 inductee
into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame.
The former defenseman won two Calder Cups with
the Phantoms. As a player with Philadelphia in
1998 -- and as the head coach of the Calder Cup
winning team in 2005.
Stevens' two young guns on that Phantoms club
seven years ago were 20-year-old forwards Jeff
Carter and Mike Richards, who are teammates again
on the Kings this postseason. Carter led the entire
AHL in goals (12) and points (23) during the 2005
playoffs, while Richards chipped in with 15 points
in 14 games.
On the other bench with New Jersey is a former
Adirondack Red Wing standout who also won a Calder
Cup. New Jersey Devils assistant coach Adam Oates
was a rookie on Glens Falls when he notched 21
points in 17 playoff games to help the Adirondack
Red Wings to the Calder Cup in 1986.
Jeff Carter was a late addition to the Phantoms
that year. He joined Philadelphia in the last
week off the regular season after completing his
Major Juniors season in Sault Ste. Marie. The
Flyers' first round pick (11th overall) in 2003
had finished a fantastic season with the Greyhounds
where he lit it up for 34 goals and 74 points
in 55 games.
He quickly showed that his scoring prowess would
translate to the professional level with his great
run in the playoffs that culminated in a championship
sweep of the Chicago Wolves in the Final.
Mike Richards came to the Phantoms even later
than Carter. His Major Juniors team, the Kitchener
Rangers, made a longer run in the OHL playoffs.
So by the time he made it to the Phantoms the
team had already started their championship run.
He played in 14 playoff games scoring seven goals
and 15 points.
Not a bad way to enter the professional ranks!
Both won Calder Cup Championships just a few weeks
after making their pro debuts. And now the former
Phantoms are together again trying to win the
Stanley Cup in Southern California.