AHL Griffins Assign Atherton To Reign
Defenseman Ranked Third in Team Scoring in 2007-08
ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs announced today that the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins have assigned defenseman P.J. Atherton to the Ontario Reign.
P.J. Atherton, 26, joins the Reign after spending four games with the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) and five games with the Las Vegas Wranglers (ECHL) in the 2008-09 season. While with Grand Rapids, Atherton tallied four penalty minutes as well as picking up a goal, an assist, an additional four penalty minutes and a +2 rating in his time with Las Vegas.
In 2007-08, under the coaching of Reign current head coach Karl Taylor, Atherton netted 16 goals, assisted on 25 others (41 points) and tallied 52 penalty minutes, as well as picking up two goals and two assists during the Royals’ 2008 playoff run. Atherton completed the season third in team scoring and fourth amongst the Royals in goals scored, and received a nine-game AHL call-up to the Manchester Monarchs where he registered three assists.
Prior to the Royals, Atherton suited up with the Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL) and the Springfield Falcons (AHL) during the 2006-07 season. He skated in 57 games for the Chiefs, alongside current Reign teammate Maxime Boisclair, netting five goals, 24 assists (29 points) and 50 penalty minutes. In his seven-game stint with the Falcons, Atherton netted one goal and an assist (2 points) and tallied two penalty minutes. Atherton enjoyed a successful collegiate career with the University of Minnesota from 2002-06, skating alongside current Reign players Kellen Briggs and Mike Howe. He played in 106 games with the Gophers scoring five goals, assisting on 12 others (17 points) and tallying 146 penalty minutes during his career, and helped Minnesota to a NCAA Championship in 2003.
The Tampa Bay Lightning drafted the Edina, MN native in the sixth round (#170 overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
In addition to the assignment of Atherton, the Reign announced that goaltender Dennis Cook has been added to the roster as an emergency backup goaltender, defenseman Shawn Germain returned from bereavement leave, center Jon Francisco was placed on the 3-day IR and right wing Brad Mehalko was transferred to the 7-day IR.
The Ontario Reign front office will close at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 26 and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 28 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Bring out a group of 20 or more to a Reign home game and find out how your group can REIGN over the arena for a night! Special pricing and Reign fan experiences are available for all Reign home games during the Reign's inaugural season presented by the Mission Inn. Contact a Reign representative at (909) 941-PUCK (7825) or visit www.ontarioreign.com for more information.
Single game tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com, at all TicketMaster locations, or by calling (213) 480-3232.