Unconfirmed sources have reported The Phantoms have announced that the Lincoln Stars are sending '94 forward Ryan Lomberg to the Phantoms in exchange for a 3rd round Phase I (Futures) Draft and a 2nd and 6th round Phase (Entry) II Draft for 2105, all are conditional. No word on compensation. Lomberg played the last two seasons at the University of Maine before being suspended from the hockey program back in May after facing assault charges. Lomberg pleaded guilty to reduced charges and will pay fines and restitution. Lomberg's USHL rights had been traded to the Lincoln Stars from Muskegon, who he played with in 2011-2012. Lincoln looks like they have room for another overage player but have had to suspend two players over charges involving making and distributing a sex tape involving a 15 year old girl. Isuspect they didn't want any more controversy heading into training camp.

With Muskegon he tallied 22 goals and 18 assists and wracked up a good 154 PIMs in 52 games. He scored 7 goals and 7 assists his freshman season and 11 goals (3rd on his team) and 7 assists his sophomore season with 42 and 40 PIMs respectively. His 40 PIMs last season tied for the most on the team. He brings scoring and toughness to the team but could also be a liability if he spends too much time in the penalty box.

The USHL is a developmental league. There are going to ups and downs with some players, on and off the ice. It's hard to judge the character of a guy from a fight at a college party but at age 19-20, this is probably the only second chance he'll get in hockey. The Phantoms front office isn't going to keep a player around if his baggage is going to get in the way, no matter how good he is.

Edited to include the official announcment and compensation 8/6/14 12:32PM

I doubt this needs to be said but I will state the obvious; fighting in hockey is a controversial subject. When you mix unpaidunderage players to the mix the emotions, justifiably, become that much stronger. There are good arguments on both sides and fans, players, teams and league officials all need to have this conversation but I will save that here for future op/ed. I'm (for the most part) not going into that here, today I'd like to simply address the current USHL rules.

Some interesting events developed yesterday. First off, the Phantoms have acquired forward Alex Rauter from the Omaha Lancers for a conditional 8th round Phase II (Entry) draft pick in 2014. Rauter is 19 years old, 6'0", 198lbs in his 2nd year of USHL action and a Cornell University commit. He had 7goals and 4 assists last season in 27 games. In 13 games this year he's tallied 2 goals and 2 assists and is a +5 with 4 PIMS. The Lancers are a top contender in the west this season.

In other news, team captain Alfred Larsson has been placed on the 45 day IR, retroactive 10/27, so I think that makes him eligible to return for Tri-City on the 13th of this month.

I'll be back later this week with a brief recap of the last couple weeks on the road and a preview for this coming weekend.