After 18 glorious vacation days in Iceland & Greenland with lows in the 40's and highs in the 50's it is great to be home and it is time for an Allen Americans update. Had the chance to catch up with coach Steve Martinson yesterday to get the latest on his recruiting efforts, his trip to the San Jose Sharks development camp, rule changes for next season and many other topics.
- If you haven't been following the list of players signed and announced that number is now at five. (Chad Costello, Kevin Young, Riley Gill, Nolan Descoteaux & Aaron Gens).
- There are many other players from last season that will be returning for the 2015-2016 season. For those fans that don't like all of the turnover from season to season this will be a good year. There will still be plenty of new faces but nothing like past seasons. The only players not returning for sure are Spencer Asuchak (signed one way AHL deal with Chicago Wolves), Tyler Ludwig (retired) and Brian McMillin (signed with Dijon in the French League). As is the case every year some fan favorites won't be offered a contract, there will be some surprises, but the Allen fans will be very familiar with this team when opening night arrives at the Allen Event Center on October 16th.
- Why are there so many players returning from last season? Part of the reason is Allen is a great place to play and has won championships the last three years. Another factor is players don't have as many options as they did when the Americans played in the CHL. If a player doesn't want to go overseas the ECHL is the only AA option they have.
- There were many benefits from the week coach Martinson spent in San Jose at their development camp including getting to know all of the coaches, scouts and players. He has a good idea which players he will be assigned, however nothing will be decided until NHL and AHL training camps have taken place. The Americans will get some outstanding young players assigned and Martinson is very pleased to be working with the Sharks.
- As it turns out some of the systems utilized by Martinson and the Sharks are very similar including how they kill penalties. However, the terminology used is very different. Martinson will incorporate the San Jose terminology in Allen which will help players moving back and forth between Allen and San Jose during the season.
- Another advantage of the relationship with San Jose is the possibility of Allen players that don't have AHL deals being invited to San Jose's AHL training camp. You can look for several Allen players to get that opportunity this year.
- There are several ECHL rule changes for next year as most are aware of the changes in overtime (three on three) and shootouts (only three shooters) but a couple of other changes have not been widely discussed. ECHL teams can only have one AHL affiliation for next season after many years where multiple affiliations were allowed. This should help all ECHL teams obtain a NHL/AHL affiliation. Tulsa is announcing their affiliation today with the rumor from my Tulsa sources being it will be with the Winnipeg Jets. With the Missouri Mavericks affiliation with the New York Islanders and Allen with San Jose it will leave only Wichita without an AHL affiliation of the Central Division teams.
- Another rule change has to do with how many times you can submit player salary changes during the season. This is an "inside hockey" rule which is somewhat complicated to explain but some teams (Allen included) make numerous salary changes during the season to live within all of the salary cap restrictions. Prior to this year, teams could submit an unlimited number of salary changes to the ECHL office. Starting next season (2015-2016) the number of salary changes a team can make will be limited.
- Here are the up to date player signings for the ECHL Central Division teams. If you are interested in the player signings for all ECHL teams you can find that at thesinbin.net under "Transactions."
Chad Costello (F)
Kevin Young (D)
Riley Gill (G)
Nolan Descoteaux (D)
Aaron Gens (D)
Patch Alber (D)
Andrew Courtney (F)
Tanner Fritz (F)
Chris Owens (D)
Rocco Carzo (F)
Tristan King (F)
Josh Robinson G)
David de Kastrozza (F)
Danick Paquette (F)
Dax Lauwers (D)
Phil Brewer (F)
Kevin Carr (G)
Adam Pleskach (F)
Nathan Lutz (D)
Kyle Bochek (F)
Matt Larke (F)
Kenton Miller (F)
Todd Hosmer (F)
Anthony De Luca (F)
Tim Boyle (D)
Ryan Ruikka (D)
Andrew Blazek (D)
DID YOU KNOW: What a difference a year makes. Here is the blog post from one year ago today talking about all of the players from the 2013-2014 championship team not returning to Allen for 2014-2015. This was obviously before it was known Allen would be playing in the ECHL.
5/30/14 - Bruce Graham signs with Nottingham (England)
6/21/14 - Bryan Pitton signs with KH Sanok (Poland)
7/8/14 - Garrett Klotz signs with Indianapolis Fuel (ECHL)
7/8/14 - Anthony Maiani signs with Rungsted (Denmark)
7/14/14 - Mike Berube signs with Nottingham (England)
7/15/14 - Kale Kerbashian signs with Evansville (ECHL)
7/16/14 - Trevor Hendrikx signs with Cardiff (Wales)
7/17/14 - Dallas Ehrhardt signs with Missouri (CHL)
7/19/14 - Brian McMillin signs with Eindhoven (Netherlands)
7/28/14 - Greger Hanson signs with Cincinnati (ECHL)
7/30/14 - Darryl Bootland signs with Colorado (ECHL)
7/31/14 - Daniel Tetrault signs with Rapid City (CHL)
8/1/14 - Alex Lavoie signs with Florida Everblades (ECHL)
And for the players that have not announced what they are doing:
Phil Fox - Phil has been pursuing a coaching job and will probably not play this year
Ross Rouleau - Ross is working outside hockey and is not expected to play this year
Cain Franson - Cain is headed to college
Jarret Lukin - Heard Jarret was training and plans to play again but unlikely in Allen
Jonathan Zion - Most likely will sign in Europe but have heard nothing
Steven Tarasuk - Thought to be signing in Europe but have heard nothing.