Thursday, January 28, 2016

Practice Update, Steven Bros. Really Do Like Wichita Best, GoPro NHL Deal & Video, Makowski Scoring Prowess

In the last half of January, the Americans play 10 games in 16 days. The last three weekends of the month call for three games in three days and Allen is currently in the midst of playing Tulsa four games in a row. Throw in some travel, an All-Star break and you can see there is little time for practice. Here is the schedule from January 22 - February 6.

January 22 - same day travel to Wichita, Allen wins 4-3 in OT
January 23 - game in Wichita, Allen wins 3-1, travel to Allen after the game, arrive home 4:30 am
January 24 - afternoon home game against Wichita, Allen wins 5-4
January 25 - day off for players, no practice
January 26 - same day travel to Tulsa, Allen loses 2-0, arrive back in Allen 2:00 am
January 27 - no formal practice, optional practice for most, mandatory for some, no coaches 
January 28 - PRACTICE
January 29 - home game against Tulsa
January 30 - same day travel to Tulsa and return
January 31 - home afternoon game against Tulsa
February 1 - All-Star break, players off
February 2 - All-Star break, players off
February 3 - All Star break, players off
February 4 - PRACTICE
February 5 - home game Utah
February 6 - home game Wichita

- Not much time to work on those things coach Martinson has identified as areas in need of improvement. Two practices in 16 days.

- I stopped by the optional practice yesterday. It was optional for most players but mandatory for those players that have not been playing at all or have not been playing much in recent games. I counted 13 in attendance and they did some drills and also had some fun. There were no coaches involved.

- Photographer Dianne Webster was also practicing her hockey photography and here are a few of her shots from practice.

Is it the "evil eye" or "peace be with you" from goalie Peter Di Salvo

Looks like a David Makowski goal

Hockey's version of shirts and skins

Lots of smiles and smirks on optional practice days

- Ran across a couple of stories about the Steven brothers, who own the Allen Americans, that you might find interesting. This first one was written by Bob Lutz of the Wichita Eagle and talks about the ECHL being okay with three franchises (Wichita, Tulsa, Allen) being owned by the same owners. There are quotes from  ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna and Rodney Steven. The article covers a lot of territory and provides some historical background. Steven also makes it clear that Wichita is his favorite of the three teams. When Allen or Tulsa are playing in Wichita, Rodney is cheering for the Thunder. Steve Martinson is also quoted in the article. Check it out:

- This second story is about the re-purposing of Kemper Arena in Kansas City. Kemper Arena was built in 1972 with a capacity of 19,500 and over the years has been home to an NHL franchise (Kansas City Scouts), a NBA franchise (Kansas City Kings), as well as many other professional hockey, soccer, football and basketball teams.  This story was written by Lynn Horsley of the Kansas City Star. The city wants to transfer ownership of the arena to a private group after the public bonds are paid off in April. The Steven brothers are one of two groups that have submitted proposals for the arena. Here is the story: 

- Finally, here is a story about a renewed partnership between GoPro, the NHL, and the NHLPA which is an attempt to deliver hockey fans the behind the scenes look at the game. Sounds like the 11 part "NHL After Dark" series will be fun to watch. If you haven't read this story or looked at the video that is included, take the time to do so. Here is the link:

DID YOU KNOW: David Makowski is only ranked #31 in the ECHL in points by a defenseman because he has missed 17 games. However, if you look at average points per game he is ranked #4 in the league. Here are the top four in average points per game. You will notice three of the four have played for the Allen Americans. In case you were wondering about Eric Roy, who is now in the AHL, he had an average points per game while in Allen of .706.

1.00 - Matt Register (Matt is with Atlanta and played in Allen in 2011-12)
.731 - Drew Daniels (Drew is with Fort Wayne and played in Allen in 2012-13)
.729 - Mathew Maione (Mathew is with Wheeling but started the year in Brampton)
.720 - David Makowski


  1. Well, I still think Wichita not having an NHL affiliation hurts them. I want them to get one and do not know why they don't have one.

    Glad to hear that the Steven Brothers still have enough money to look into buying Kemper Arena. Hopefully that means they have to money to keep Allen running. It is tough when the Stars pack in 19,000 fans, that doesn't leave many fans to go to Allen games.

    It makes sense they like Wichita best, that is their home town. Doesn't bother me and doesn't seem to bother coach Martinson. It was interesting to see they bought Tulsa then Allen to help keep hockey in Wichita.

  2. stevens bros will take allen move them to kc

    1. Not saying that is not possible but the Missouri Mavericks are in the KC metroplex, Independence MO, like how Allen is part of DFW metroplex. Not sure Lamar Hunt Jr would like that and he is very rich!

      I could see OKC, a large city, had hockey that got moved to another city.

    2. Houston is a monster city. If there is a smaller arena with ice I could see that move.

  3. Funny how the brothers have enough money to buy an arena, but they don't have enough for their current investments. Do they really know how to invest or is the plan to take current investments as tax write-offs? Just a thought.

  4. Kevin, thanks for your comments about all the possibilities related to hockey franchises. The list of possible ECHL cities is very long but only Worcester is being considered by the Board of governors next week as an expansion city. In my opinion Allen isn't going anywhere whether the Steven brothers own the team or some other group buys the team.