The Royals have been affiliated with Washington and Hershey over the last two years. One of those seasons delivered a Kelly Cup championship. But with uncertainty surrounding a renewal, the Royals have moved forward. On Wednesday, the team announced its new affiliation at Santander Arena with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Officials from the Royals and Flyers, fans and members of the media gathered in Reading to hear the official announcement from both teams.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL will also be a part of the affiliation. The team is beginning its first season in Allentown this coming year.
Reading expects to have six to eight players on NHL and/or AHL contracts on the team to begin the season. That includes two goalies, which have become coveted at the ECHL level.
Both teams are excited to have reached an affiliation agreement, but there are still some possibilities surrounding the Royals' old affiliates, the Capitals and Bears.
Royals' President Drew Bell says that nothing is being left off the table and that he's confident that a new affiliation agreement can be reached with those teams as well.