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Connections finally made between Phantoms and community

2011-03-04T00:48:00Z 2011-03-04T01:01:55Z Connections finally made between Phantoms and communityBy Tim McManus -- Commentary Glens Falls Post-Star
March 04, 2011 12:48 am  • 

Something happened this week that I'm fairly sure wouldn't have last season.

After the Flyers traded Greg Moore in a surprise deal on Monday, there was an outpouring of dismay and well-wishes toward him online through Twitter, Facebook and our Phantoms Forum blog.

Dozens of fans used Twitter to reach him.

Moore noticed.

Late Monday night on his Twitter account (@MrBalloonHands), he wrote:

Can't get over what amazing support Glens Falls has given me.

And:

Goodluck to the phantoms for the rest of the season, will miss playing at the civic center! #bestheckelersinahl

There's been a good bit of love going back and forth between the team and fans lately. Not surprisingly, that has coincided with the team playing its best hockey of its two-season stint here.

Section N has earned international repute - if we count a TSN segment in Canada - as one of the toughest heckling groups in the league ever since they drove Binghamton goalie Robin Lehner crazy a few weeks ago.

After another weekend of rough treatment of goalies, they drew the notice of Mike Testwuide. He took to Twitter (@MikeTestwuide) after the games:

#PhantomsFans were out in force tonight! Gotta give it to the fans behind the visiting teams bench. #ProfessionalHecklers #Ruthless

We need to establish a legitimate name for those dedicated #PhantomsFans who #Heckle the visiting team. Any ideas? Let's figure this out.

It's no secret that last year's Phantoms didn't connect with the community. There's plenty of reasons for that on both sides.

Some in Glens Falls had unrealistic or dated expectations on what it meant to have a team here. And there were more than a fair share of prospects used to playing in Philly who couldn't or wouldn't make the adjustment.

Things are changing, slowly.

A large reason is simply that this is a better bunch of guys. There are more career minor leaguers, guys who get their role and embrace what it means to be the stars of a small town.

With this week's developments in Allentown, it looks as if the clock has begun ticking in earnest on the Phantoms' stay in Glens Falls. If another team is to replace them, hockey needs to gain some traction.

One way to get some traction is more guys like Moore.

Cheering for individuals is always more satisfying than rooting for the jersey, especially when you know the laundry is going to change sooner rather than later.

Moore flipped pucks to kids before games, he gave away his broken sticks, he answered questions on Twitter. He even played Words With Friends against fans online.

No surprise, he was a favorite.

Especially in a place like Glens Falls, hockey needs those kinds of guys to succeed.

So here's my plea to the Flyers. When you go shopping this summer, get some talent, of course. But try and bring us back a few Greg Moores too.

We'll thank you later.

Tim McManus covers the Adirondack Phantoms. He can be reached at tmcmanus@poststar.com. Follow him on Twitter (@PSPhantoms) or read his Phantoms Forum blog on poststar.com.

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