Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Weekly Update - 5/22/13

Welcome to the first weekly update of the off season. I have to admit I'm already looking forward to next season. However, the celebration of the Presidents' Cup continued all last week even as players were completing physicals and heading home. From the Fan Fest celebration at the Allen Event Center (AEC) the day after the championship game, to a team dinner at Bob's Steak & Chop House, to the season ticket holder event at Fairview Down Under, a trip to the Ranger's game to watch Yu Darvish pitch, to a gathering at Renegade Cigars the players had lots of opportunity to show off the hard earned trophy and fans had a chance to see it up close and personal and have their picture taken. The trophy has been to baseball games, schools, concerts, fan club outings and will continue to make appearances over the summer.
The Morning After - photo by

- The other topic of conversation amongst the diehard fans is when will there be an announcement concerning what league the Americans will be playing in next season. I'm sure there is a lot happening behind the scenes but things are somewhat quiet other then the same rumors I outlined last week  in my "Rumors Post" (May 13). The St. Charles Chill web site started taking deposits for season tickets but there is no detail. The web site is just a shell. Bloomington has left the CHL and will play in the SPHL. Fort Worth is supposed to announce this week they are not playing in the CHL this fall.  I did come across the info below on one of the message boards from someone in Rapid City which is nothing official, just rumor but interesting nevertheless.

"The ECHL welcome banners do reside at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center (home to the Rush) and Allen will be joining us. From what I gathered, there are/were indeed some legal hurdles and Allen is/was directly involved with us in these rumblings. As we all know - Allen has quite a bit more monetary resources than we do. They mentioned that the Rush were looking into other options last off-season, but - were told by the CHL that Casper would be moving in cutting down on expenses by providing a closer team. This also coincides with our owners venturing out to Casper and possibly even owning a stake in that organization. Although they could not give a date on the announcement - they expect it will be done sometime during the ECHL finals. Again, take it for what you will - but, I do not believe the individual that provided me this information has any reason to "stir the pot" - they will have a job either way."

- I thought it would be interesting to look at average attendance this season by league to see the variance and this is what I found:
AHL (AAA) - 5711
ECHL (AA)  - 4695 
CHL (AA)  -   3706
SPHL (A)   -   2804
USHL         -   2649 (Tier 1 Junior)
NAHL        -   1524 (Tier 2 Junior) 

As a frame of reference the NHL had attendance ranging from a high of 21,775 (Chicago Blackhawks)  to a low of 13,306 (New York Islanders).
Was looking at the list of playoff MVP's after Brian McMillin got the award this year. Some interesting names on the list. I had forgotten Wichita Thunder bad boy Les Reaney was the MVP when Rapid City beat the Americans in the 2010 finals. And of course Jason Deitsch was the MVP in 2009 when the Brahmas won. Two former Erik Adams teammates in Colorado are also on the list. Chris Hartsburg, son of NHL (Minnesota North Stars) great Craig Hartsburg, is now an assistant coach with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League & Greg Pankewicz is an assistant coach with the Colorado Eagles (ECHL).

CHL Playoff Most Valuable Player

2013 – Brian McMillin, Allen Americans
2012 – Mike Vaskivuo, Fort Wayne Komets
2011 – Jeff Kyrzakos, Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs
2010 – Les Reaney, Rapid City Rush
2009 – Jason Deitsch, Texas Brahmas
2008 – Rob McVicar, Arizona Sundogs
2007 – Greg Pankewicz, Colorado Eagles
2006 – Jeff Bes, Laredo Bucks
2005 – Chris Hartsburg, Colorado Eagles
2004 – David Guerrera, Laredo Bucks
2003 – Kahlil Thomas, Memphis RiverKings
2002 – Don Parsons, Memphis RiverKings

- For those not following the ECHL Kelly Cup finals The Reading Royals lead the Stockton Thunder 3-0 and can wrap things up Friday night in Stockton. Reading was the number one seed in the 14 team Eastern Conference while Stockton was the number four seed in the 9 team Western Conference.

- In the AHL race for the Calder Cup they still don't have the second round of the playoffs completed. In the Western Conference the Oklahoma Barons defeated the Texas Stars and will play the Grand Rapids Griffins who defeated the Toronto Marlies. Good luck Brett Skinner who had an assist in the last three Griffins victories.
In the Eastern Conference the Syracuse Crunch swept the Springfield Falcon 4-0 and await the winner of Wilkes-Barre and Providence. The series is tied 3-3 with the seventh game tonight in Providence.

- The Brampton Beast are continuing full speed ahead as I found this  advertisement:

Brampton Beast Hockey Club

Application Deadline: May 31, 2013   Starting Date: June 3, 2013
Position: Director of Public Relations
Job Description:
The Brampton Beast are seeking an experienced community and public relations professional for a full time employment opportunity. This is an excellent opportunity for someone who is looking to continue/develop a career in the sport and community/public relations industries. This is also an exceptional opportunity for someone who has a strong desire to be part of a brand new and growing organization in the sport of hockey.

- Went into the team store yesterday and was surprised that there is not any championship merchandise. Sure seems like a missed opportunity to make some money and get more recognition in the community. Also, noticed the team store hours have been greatly reduced and I assume it is because there is very little merchandise to sell.

- This will be my last update until I return from two weeks of fishing in Canada & Minnesota and my son's wedding in Washington DC. I know a lot will happen between now and then so there should be a lot to talk about in my next update which will be June 12.

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