By Brian Compton
After spending the better part of five years in the ECHL, Reagan Rome was ready to make a major change.
He had his bags packed for Europe, eager to start making a better paycheck to help support his family.
And then Brad Church called. The new Phoenix Roadrunners head coach needed a veteran leader, and, more importantly, some stability on the blue line.
Had it been someone else on the line, Rome may have said thanks, but no thanks before calling a travel agent to book his flight to Europe.
But Rome and Church have history together. The pair helped the Reading Royals reach the conference finals in 2004 before falling to the Florida Everblades. Church was the captain of that Reading squad.
“He was a pretty good leader when I played with him,” said Rome, who will be close to irreplaceable in Reading as he was the team’s assistant captain and captain the past two seasons. “He was our captain in Reading and we went quite a ways (in the playoffs). That’s why I chose Phoenix. I know he’s a good leader and it seems like he’s putting a good team together.”
This has indeed become Church’s team after the 30-year-old replaced Ron Filion on March 22. The Roadrunners finished the 2006-07 campaign with a record of 27-40-5 and were ousted in the opening round of the Kelly Cup playoffs by Las Vegas.