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Former Phantoms Eye Stanley Cup in L.A.

June 4, 2012

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.





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