Everyone knew it was coming, but the shake up of the minors has hit as the lockout has ended.
The Phantoms sent five players - Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Zac Rinaldo, Eric Wellwood and Tye McGinn - to the Flyers training camp and now will gain a few players from the ECHL.
Forwards Shane Harper, Andrew Johnston and Matt Mangene and defenseman Tyler Hostetter will rejoin the Phantoms. Harper, Johnston and Mangene all started the season with Adirondack and Hostetter made a brief appearance the previous year.
Harper was with the Phantoms until just a week ago. After tallying 27 points the previous season, he had just three after playing in 23 games this year. At the time of the move, Phantoms head coach Terry Murray said he hoped some time in the ECHL would help Harper find his game again and maybe build some confidence.
It appears to have worked. Harper, who estimates he played about 20 minutes a game, scored two goals and two assists in three games.
"I went down there and I was put on the power play and played a lot of minutes and I think I did what I needed to do to get my confidence back up a little bit," Harper said.
"I got to handle the puck a lot all week and got a lot of possession time, which is a part of my game. Now, I just need to carry it over up here."
Johnston started the season with the Phantoms but had just one goal in ten games when he was reassigned to Trenton on Nov. 19. He scored in his first game in the ECHL but then suffered a concussion and was forced to sit out for about a month before returning to the ice on Dec. 27.
Mangene played just four games for the Phantoms before suffering a concussion on Oct. 28, on a play in which he made an assist. Once Mangene was cleared to play, he was reassigned to Trenton, where he has tallied six assists.
Hostetter started the season with Trenton and has played 27 games in the ECHL, recording 11 assists in that time. He played seven games with the Phantoms last season and three the year before that, but has yet to score a point in the AHL.
The Phantoms did not lose any defensemen to Flyers training camp. Philadelphia reassigned defenseman Blake Kessel to the Phantoms last week, but he did not play in either game last weekend. With Gustafsson and Konan both hurt, the addition of Hostetter gives the Phantoms eight defensemen. That might give them the flexibility to continue to play Zack FitzGerald at forward, a position at which Murray has liked him this year.