Brent Johnson steals the show for Team White.
Royals Fans Gather for Annual Town Hall Meeting
Team mascot Slapshot shares a secret with the Royals’ Lion-Whispering Captain Yannick Tifu (All Photos Credit: M. Richter).
Every year, fans of the Reading Royals gather in late August for a town hall meeting. It gives them a chance to discuss the state of the team, changes in the roster (and affiliations, as was the case last year), see a few players, and get to know other members of the larger organization. It’s always a fun evening, but this year fans had their Kelly Cup Champion status to celebrate as well as the upcoming season.
In 2012, Royals fans gathered to meet representatives of their new affiliates – the Washington Capitals and the Hershey Bears. This time around, it was to discuss the team’s upcoming defense of their Kelly Cup victory and see a few familiar faces with special guests Yannick Tifu, Julien Cayer, and recently signed Royal (and locally raised defenseman) Matt Campanale.
It was an night of relaxed good cheer, with the majority of the meeting filled with all manner of questions as a microphone made its way around the audience. Topics ranged from “So, how exactly did you break the cup, Tifu?” (Answer: Several beers leads to a loss of manual dexterity) to hardcore roster strategy (Answer: Reading needs more Defensemen, because half of last year’s retired) in fairly equal measure.
The remaining time was used for what GM Mark Wallace called “Housekeeping.” These franchise updates included the expected launch of a new and improved team website, the introduction of food-drink-and-a-game combo tickets, and a few moments to highlight the Royals’ relationship with the now-Junior Royals hockey club (whose games are expected to dovetail with the regular Royals for much of the coming season).
The Royals will begin their Kelly Cup defense in exactly two months, with the season home opener taking place on October 19th against the Capitals’ previous affiliates, the South Carolina Stingrays.