The Adirondack Phantoms' task on opening night got harder with the news that came down on Thursday.
The American Hockey League suspended center Ben Holmstrom for the first two games of the regular season for a check to the head during the final preseason game against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday.
Holmstrom will miss the opener Saturday night at the Civic Center against the Connecticut Whale and a home game on Oct. 14 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
The Phantoms will already be without forward Tom Sestito for the opener. Sestito is sitting out the final game of a suspension for a hit that occurred in a preseason game with the Flyers.
Holmstrom and Penguins forward Zach Sill, involved in a separate incident in another game, were the first two players to be suspended under the new AHL Rule 48, which prohibits hits that target the head.
This is the first league suspension for Holmstrom, who had 16 goals and 22 assists in 76 games last season and is one of the Phantoms' top penalty-killing players.
The Flyers have assigned several players to the Phantoms this week as they set their NHL roster late Wednesday afternoon.
Most notably, the Flyers sent forward and top prospect Brayden Schenn to the Phantoms.
Schenn, the fifth overall pick in the draft in 2009, was the centerpiece of a summer trade that sent captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings.
Schenn had 53 points in 27 games with the Saskatoon Blades last season. He also played eight games with the Kings and seven in the AHL with Manchester.
Schenn was widely expected to start the season with the Flyers, but was hindered by a shoulder injury at camp. His stay may not be long as the Flyers had to make several short-term decisions to get under the salary cap for opening night.
The Phantoms also received all-star defenseman Erik Gustafsson, forward Harry Zolniercyk and defenseman Oskars Bartulis, who last played with the Phantoms full-time two seasons ago.
Radio show announced
The Phantoms' weekly radio show is going public.
Broadcaster Bob Rotruck will host a show called the "Phantoms Power Hour" each Monday at 7 p.m from the new McGinny's tavern in downtown Glens Falls.
The show, which will air on flagship stations Classic Hits WNYQ-101.7 FM was previously broadcast from the Civic Center. The show features an interview format, with players and coaches making regular appearances.
The show debuts Oct. 17.
McGinny's is located at 193 Glen St., in the space formerly occupied by the Spotlight nightclub.