The Reading Royals and the Philadelphia Flyers announced Monday a new affiliation agreement between both teams. The extension takes the connection between the squads through the 2021-22 season with an option to renew for the 2022-23 season.
In 2014, the Flyers and Royals reached their first affiliation agreement to give Philadelphia an all-Pennsylvania minor league system for the first time since 1997-98 when the Philadelphia Phantoms and Johnstown Chiefs were in the Flyers’ farm system.
The Flyers, Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Royals form the closest geographical chain of affiliates in professional hockey.
The Royals have a proud history of affiliations with NHL franchises that has included stints with the Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals. The renewed agreement between the Flyers and Royals will mark the longest tenure Reading has had as an NHL team’s affiliate at eight years with the option for a ninth.
“We are excited to continue the partnership between the Royals and Flyers into our 20th Anniversary Season,” Reading General Manager David Farrar said. “We look forward to developing more players for the Flyers while achieving the ultimate goal of winning the Kelly Cup for a second time.”
The Flyers were founded in 1967 and were one of the six expansion franchises introduced in addition to the Original Six in the NHL. They’ve won two Stanley Cup titles in 1974 and 1975 and 16 division titles. Comcast Spectacor Chairman and CEO Dave Scott leads the franchise while President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Chuck Fletcher directs its on-ice talent.
“We are excited to extend our affiliation agreement with the Reading Royals,” Fletcher said. “They will continue to be an integral part of our development system and we look forward to working together in the coming years.”
The Reading Royals were purchased by the Berks County Convention Center Authority in 2019, paving the way for the Royals to bring competitive professional hockey in Berks County for years to come.
The 2021-22 season will be their 20th Anniversary Season in Reading after the franchise was relocated from Columbus as the Columbus Chill in the 2001-02 season. The Royals won the Kelly Cup in 2013 and are four-time division champions.