|On Wednesday and for the rest of the year the Allen Americans added Scotty's initials "SA" to their helmets in his memory|
The Allen Americans lost one of their family this week with the passing of Scott "Scotty" Alexander after a brief but courageous battle with cancer. I first met Scotty several years ago when I was trying to put together some information about the team bus and was told he was the guy to talk to about anything related to the bus. I approached him at a hockey game as he was sitting in his usual spot in the loge section on the second floor at the east end of the rink with his wife and daughter. He seemed surprised that someone wanted to talk about the bus but was more than willing to provide all of the details to what he called "Big Red" and others have referred to as "The Ol' Girl." Scotty talked about the bus as if it was one of the family, "She is a 1998 Prevost the team bought from a place in Nashville and she has close to 1,000,000 miles on her. She has 23 bunks (five in the back for coaches and staff), one couch, and a little kitchen area in the middle." From that time on we would say hi at the games and talk hockey and whatever trip he was about to take with the team. I will always remember Scotty celebrating the first championship out on the ice with the team and in the locker room. He really enjoyed being part of the Allen Americans organization.
Finding a good bus driver in minor pro hockey is as important as finding a good player especially for the Americans who drive long distances in all kinds of weather with some very difficult logistics. Driving up to ten hours at time, mostly at night, through traffic, rain, wind, ice and snow is very stressful and a big responsibility that Scotty took seriously. Trevor Ludwig's wife, Holly, captured it best in a message she put on social media, "Scott is a member of the Allen Americans hockey family. He has driven my husband and teammates thousands and thousands of miles over the years. He always makes sure to deliver them home as quickly and comfortably as possible."
While most fans know Scotty as the bus driver his job was much more than driving the bus. His title was Director, Transportation Services. In addition to driving the bus he was responsible for cleaning and maintaining the bus inside and out. He worked with corporate sponsor Graham Truck Services which is in Sherman for any services and repairs that were needed. He took great pride in how the bus looked and operated which was a challenge at times with Big Red.
When the bus was first bought by the original owner of the Allen Americans it was set up as a separate company called Black Ice Transportation. Scott Alexander was hired to run the bus company. In addition to doing all of the Allen Americans trips Scotty was responsible for selling additional trips to other sports teams. While it was mostly hockey teams from youth teams to the Texas Stars and Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL, Scotty also sold trips to volleyball teams and baseball teams. It was his job to bring in additional revenue when the bus was not in use by the hockey team. Whether it was selling, scheduling, planning, logistics, driving, cleaning or maintaining, if it had to do with the bus it was Scotty's responsibility.
|Scotty not only drove and maintained the bus, he ran Black Ice Transportation|
Prior to working for the Allen Americans Scotty was the bus driver for the Fort Worth Brahmas and before that worked many years in hockey rink management. He was a rink operations manager for the Stars and StarCenters. He worked at their Farmers Branch StarCenter and was also at the Frisco StarCenter for quite a while. One of his duties while at Frisco was maintaining all of the pools and spas which he also did for a couple of years at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Scotty also spent a couple of year in Fairbanks, Alaska working for the the Fairbanks Ice Dogs which is a Junior A team.
As you can see Scotty was more than a bus driver and his love for hockey is apparent in the jobs he had over the years. He also coached youth hockey in the past and was a referee for amateur hockey as well.
In addition to the moment of silence that took place at the game on Wednesday the Americans plan an additional tribute to Scotty in the near future and it will most likely be at a game when the Missouri Mavericks are in town as Scotty and Richard Matvichuk were close.
Scotty's passing has been particularly difficult for Allen broadcaster Tommy Daniels. They spent a lot of time together on the road as they were roommates whenever there was a hotel stay. Up until this year Tommy did not have a bunk on the bus so he would sit in the jump seat right next to Scotty. Tommy had this to say about his friend, "Scotty was a great man, a great friend, a great bus driver, and a great teammate who always made sure we made it to our destination safe. A void has been left in our organization. We will miss our friend."
Steve Martinson had this to say about Scotty after the game on Wednesday, "I want to say how heartbreaking it is to lose Scotty, our bus driver. He got sick just as we were about to leave on our first bus trip of the season and had to go to the hospital and found out he had cancer and within a month he is gone. It is unbelievable, so give your loved ones a hug as you never know what can happen. It is very painful for all of us."
While we all know Scotty from his work with the team he was also a great husband and father. Our condolences go out to his wife, Lisa, and their young daughter.
|Scotty with his daughter|