Matt Read arrives in New York to join new team Adirondack Phantoms, NCAA Hockey Tournament begins

Former Bemidji State men’s hockey player Matt Read signed with the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday and is currently in Glens Falls, New York with the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms.

He is expecting to participate in the pregame skate Friday and could appear in Friday night’s game against the Hershey Bears. The Phantoms play three games this weekend and there are 11 games left in the season.

He is expected to wear the No. 10 jersey for Adirondack. He wore No. 28 his freshman season with BSU and wore No. 19 the other three years.

Read talked with Scott Williams for a segment on Bemidji’s KBUN College Hockey Tonight radio show this week. You can listen to the interview and show in full here. (For my readers, I talk hockey on the show this week as well)

Read talked about the signing process with the Flyers with Williams and it appears Philadelphia made a good first impression.

Read was invited to attend a playoff game in Philadelphia last season and it was an experience that stuck with him. Read said he maintained a good relationship with Philadelphia’s scouting staff throughout his senior year at BSU.

Here’s what Read said in the interview with Williams:

“I fell in love with Philadelphia last year when I came here. I was hoping all year this was the team that came to the table. Certainly the history of the Philadelphia Flyers kind of reminds me a lot of Bemidji. I fell in love with Bemidji right from the start. I have great opportunity here. The Philadelphia Flyers organization is just a very great organization and I’m glad to be a part of it now.”

Seeing how Read’s signing was covered in big-market Philadelphia was interesting.

The Broad Street Hockey blog reported on it first with a post here and followed it up with a link post with the headline “Where the hell is Bemidji State?’

We in Bemidji are have become used to that question. It’s almost reminiscent of the Frozen Four a few years ago. One online story headline spelled Bemidji this way: Bimidji. It’s spelled right in the story so we can’t get too mad, right?

Dave Isaac of the Philadelphia Sports Daily has a story on Read here. He reports the Flyers have five forwards in their current lineup that are not under contract next season and Read’s reported salary cap hit ($900,000) will be less than two of those players (Nikolay Zherdev, Dan Carcillo).

Read’s three-year, one-way contract is worth $2.7 million. Isaac is reporting Read will earn $800,000 in his first year in 2011-12, then $900,000 in 2012-13 and $1 million in 2013-14.  Isaac reports those numbers in a story here, which also features an interview with BSU head coach Tom Serratore.

NCAA Tournament Picks

I’ve had a few people around town asking me about my picks in the NCAA Tournament (it starts Thursday). Below are my predictions for the regionals based mostly on observation and no research.

In the words of Mankato Free Press writer Shane Frederick: Release the hounds!

Midwest Regional
North Dakota 5, RPI 1
Denver 4, Western Michigan 2
North Dakota 4, Denver 3

East Regional
Minnesota-Duluth 6, Union 3
Yale 3, Air Force 1
Minnesota-Duluth 4, Yale 3

Northeast Regional
New Hampshire 2, Miami 1
Merrimack 3, Notre Dame 2
New Hampshire 3, Merrimack 1

West Regional
Boston College 5, Colorado College 2
Nebraska-Omaha 5, Michigan 4
Nebraska-Omaha 5, Boston College 4

That means my Frozen Four Field is

New Hampshire vs. Minnesota-Duluth
Nebraska-Omaha vs. North Dakota