Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer League Results, Fox/Snowden Stats, Owners Meeting, Top Players Head To Europe, Veteran Rules Impact

Thought it was time for my weekly update as I have accumulated a few miscellaneous items so here goes.

- The big summer league game between the Whalers (Ludwigs) and the Eagles (Belfour) turned out to be no contest. The Belfour team (Eddie plays defense) had Booter Bootland, Clarke & McMillin while the Whalers had Tyler Ludwig, his brother CJ and Silverthorn. Trevor isn't playing and I think Deitsch normally plays with them as well but didn't play. Here is a quote I got from the winning team, "The score was 11-4. It was such a blowout! Eagles first ever victory over the Whalers. Player/Coach Belfour was very proud."

- An interesting stat on Americans new players Phil Fox and John Snowden. Snowden scored a goal for for the Brahmas every 1.78 games (23 goals in 41 games) while Fox scored a goal every 2.09 games (21 goals in 44 games). Other than Scott Howes who scored a goal a game (21 goals in 22 games) while he was in Allen no other player on the Americans was below 2.50 games per goal. Style of play may factor into this but we have definitely acquired a couple of excellent goal scorers.

- Rapid City coach Joe Ferras appeared on a local radio show yesterday and answered some questions about the league, new ownership etc. He described the new ownership model as a democracy rather than a dictatorship and talked about the upcoming owners meeting which will take place July 17 & 18. We should know after this meeting what if any changes will be taking place for this season. Topics such as veteran rules, rosters, salary caps, and on ice rule changes are sure to be discussed. Hope Coach Martinson attends this meeting to share his thoughts and experiences on how to improve the game with some rule changes.

- I don't track this closely but it sure seems the CHL is losing top players to Europe at a much faster pace this year than in years past. In addition to CHL playoff MVP Brian McMillin heading to England here are just a few of the others:
Ryan Menei - Tulsa leading scorer to England
Sean Erickson - Tulsa top scoring defenseman to England
Neil Trimm - Wichita top scorer to Denmark
Tom Boron - Rapid City top goalie to France
Danny Battochio - Rapid City Goalie and former rookie of the year to Kazakhstan
Kip Brennan - Arizona enforcer, best in the CHL to Finland
These are just the players I have heard about as I am sure there are and will be many others heading to Europe. I have seen many European agents advertising for North American players to play in Europe so the demand is there for those interested.

- Asked Garrett Clarke, who is working for Otherside Landscaping, how a guy who grew up in the cooler climates of Canada was getting along working outside all day in the summer heat of Texas. His response was very short and I quote, "It's brutal"

- Here are the Brahma signings thus far.  There are still many quality players unsigned (Nutkevitch, Mayer, Westblom) :
Tomas Klempa = Tulsa Oilers
John Snowden = Allen Americans
Phil Fox = Allen Americans
T.J.Fox = Denver Cutthroats

- I have had a couple of questions about veterans as that will be a big consideration as Coach Martinson puts the 2013-2014 team together. If the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) from last year remains in effect here is how the rule reads. With new ownership this might change but it would have to be agreed upon by the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA). My guess is the rule will remain the same but that is pure speculation.
A Veteran shall mean a Player, other than a goaltender, who has played in 301 or more regular season games of professional hockey (including NHL, AHL, CHL, ECHL, IHL, UHL, or European professional games in equivalent Leagues).
For the 2012-13 season, each team shall be limited to five (5) Veterans (goaltenders exempt), plus one (1) returning Veteran from the previous season on the Clubs Season Ending Roster.
Here is my calculation on games by players from last years roster with over 200 professional games plus John Snowden. If you are under 301 games at the beginning of the season you are good for the entire year. This should help Jamie Schaafsma if he wants to stay in the CHL.

969 - Robinson
689 - Bootland
668 - Snowden
537 - Deitsch
483 - Skinner
391 - Lukin
339 - Pineault
339 - Silverthorn
324 - Hendrikx
305 - McKenzie
297 - Schaafsma
268 - Trevor Ludwig
240 - Howes
238 - Berube
207 - Tyler Ludwig

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Americans Sign John Snowden and Phil Fox

John Snowden Signs With Americans -
Press release courtesy of Allen Americans:

Allen, Texas – The Allen Americans came to terms today with former Fort Worth Brahmas forwards John Snowden and Phil Fox, on contracts for the 2013-2014 season.
Phil Fox graduated from Northern Michigan University in 2010, playing in 155 games over his four year college career. He scored 40 goals, while accumulating 65 points over those four seasons. He began his Brahmas career the next year, scoring 19 goals in 43 games. He missed the playoff series against Allen in 2012, due to injury. Fox has played one game at the American Hockey League level for Houston, which came last season.
“I’m really excited to be a part of the Allen Americans,” said Fox. "It’s a class organization from top to bottom. After two seasons in Fort Worth, I can say the fans were definitely the best part about playing there. I’m hoping those fans can continue to cheer for me by cheering for the Americans now."
John Snowden had 23 goals and 19 helpers in 41 games last season for the Fort Worth Brahmas. He played his first professional season in Texas back in 2003-2004 with the Texas Wildcatters of the ECHL. His best pro numbers came in 05-06 with Greenville Grrrowl of the ECHL, where he had 64 points in 69 games.
“The Allen Americans organization is thrilled to announce the signing of both Phil Fox and John Snowden to our team,” said Americans President Matt Canavan.
 In addition to these two former Fort Worth players, the Americans would like to extend a special offer to all Brahmas fans for the 2013-2014 season. For more information contact the Americans at
The Americans will open their fifth training camp in the CHL this October. Season Tickets for Allen Americans Home Games are on sale now by calling (972)-912-1000. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ludwigs Re-sign With Allen - Check Out These Pictures

Trevor (left) and Tyler with Dad in 1988 - focused on the puck even at age three
 The Ludwig clan will be together for another year as the Allen Americans announced today that Trevor and Tyler Ludwig have signed with the Americans for the 2013-2014 season.  Both are veteran defensemen who were top ten in scoring for defensemen in the CHL last year. This will be the Ludwig twins third season playing for the Allen Americans. Both brothers had call ups to the AHL (American Hockey League) last year.

Tyler Ludwig - photo by

 Tyler's 51 points (11 goals & 40 assists) in the regular season was second among defensemen in the entire CHL and he was also second in scoring for the Americans. He led all players in the playoffs in plus/minus with a +12. He had 16 points (5 goals & 11 assists) in the 19 games he played in the playoffs.

Trevor Ludwig- photo by
Trevor had a great year this year after coming off a knee injury which limited his playing time to 13 games in the 2011-2012 season. He had 9 goals and 20 assists in the regular season and 3 goals and 4 assists in the playoffs before breaking his jaw in the final series. Trevor was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the 6th round of the 2004 draft and has played 144 games in the AHL (American Hockey League).

Tyler, Craig, & Trevor Ludwig

The Ludwig name is synonymous with tough, hard nosed, shot blocking defensive play. Dad Craig, who has taken an active role as part owner of the franchise has two Stanley cup rings (Montreal - 1986 & Dallas - 1999). Maybe we will add a third Ludwig to the American's lineup one day as younger brother CJ is also a defenseman and played last year for Northern Michigan University.

Here is the official press release courtesy of the Allen Americans:

Allen, Texas – The Allen Americans of the Central Hockey League announced the signing today of defensemen Tyler and Trevor Ludwig to contracts for the 2013-2014 season.

The Ludwigs become the first two players signed this off-season by the defending Central Hockey League Champions.

“We are pleased to announce Trevor and Tyler are back with the Americans to continue the Ludwigs championship legacy in Dallas/Fort Worth,” said Americans President Matt Canavan. “They have won at every level from high school, to junior hockey, to professional and we anticipate that to continue.”

Tyler Ludwig finished tied with Darryl Bootland for second on the team in points this past season with 51 (11 goals, 40 assists), for his best numbers as a pro. Ludwig was also named to the All-CHL First Team, and finished second to Kevin Young of Wichita for the most points in the league by a defenseman.

Trevor Ludwig played in 62 games for the Americans last season, scoring nine goals for 29 points (best numbers as a professional). He also played in three games for Houston of the American Hockey League in 2012-2013. Houston, which has relocated to Iowa for the upcoming season, was Allen’s primary AAA partner last season. 

"I’m happy to be back with the Allen Americans,” said Trevor Ludwig. “It’s a great organization with a knowledgeable and experienced coaching staff. Winning the Presidents' Cup last season was an unbelievable journey that most players don’t get to experience. I believe we will have the ability to defend our title this season, which is an opportunity I’ve never had before. I’m excited about playing in a place where I call home and getting the chance to play with my brother, and most of all being an Allen American again.”

The Ludwig twins will begin their third season with the Allen Americans, having joined the team in year three of the franchise.

The Americans will open their fifth training camp in the CHL this October. Season Tickets for Allen Americans Home Games are on sale now by calling (972)-912-1000. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Martinson & Matvichuk Back for 2013-2014


Photo Scene_By_ Kimberly
Allen, Texas – The Allen Americans announced today the return of Head Coach Steve Martinson, and Associate Coach Richard Matvichuk for the 2013-2014 season.
The coaching duo led the Allen Americans to their first title in their four-year history. Allen will begin their fifth season in the Central Hockey League in October.
“Coach Martinson has never lost a finals series or a Game 7 in the post-season, while Coach Matvichuk is one of the most sought after young coaches in hockey today," said Americans Team President, Matt Canavan. “We are thrilled to have them both return to win another Cup.”
Steve Martinson came to Allen last season from, the now defunct, Chicago Steel of the ECHL. He was hand-picked by the Allen Americans NHL Ownership Group. Martinson was a former teammate of Americans minority owner, Craig Ludwig in Montreal.
"I'm looking forward to defending our title.  We have some of our top players signed and some top end new guys coming on board, said Americans Coach Steve Martinson.   Winning, loaning players to the AHL, and quality of life makes the Americans one of the best places to play in all AA hockey.  We have a lot of players interested in coming to Allen."
Richard Matvichuk made a name for himself as a player in Dallas/Fort Worth as a long time member of the Dallas Stars, winning a Stanley Cup in 1999. Matvichuk was the Americans' Associate Coach last season and handled the defensive core for Allen.
The Americans won both the Presidents' and Governors' Cups under Martinson and Matvichuk last season, winning the Presidents' Cup Trophy in 7 games over the Wichita Thunder, as well as the Governors' Cup for securing the league’s best regular season record.
The Americans will open their fifth training camp in the CHL this October. Season Tickets for Allen Americans Home Games are on sale now by calling (972)-912-1000. 

This article courtesy of the Allen Americans.

American's 5th Anniversary Logo, CHL Mileage Chart, Tulsa Ownership, Brennan & More

- As we head into our 5th season of hockey the Allen Americans are busy with championship cup visits and selling tickets for the upcoming season. I am happy to report season ticket sales are up from last year both in renewals and new accounts and things won't really get going until the schedule is released. With no uncertainties concerning the financial viability of all ten CHL teams for 2013-2014, the draft schedule is already in the hands of the teams. It always takes a few weeks to sort out all of the scheduling issues but the bottom line is schedules should be released in July and everyone interested in half season tickets can choose their games. It is hard to believe the upcoming season is our 5th anniversary year.
-Everyone should get ready for some announcements from the team as things will start happening at a faster pace in the coming two weeks. As other teams have started talking about players already signed I know some of the Allen fans are anxious to start hearing about our team signings. Trust me when I say it will be worth the wait. Allen is such a great place for the players. From the arena, to the ownership, to the area to say nothing of all of that free year around golf. Most importantly Allen has the reputation as a team that treats the players well. It is nice to have all of that going for you when you are recruiting.

- I found this mileage chart on one of the message boards and thought it would be of some interest. Obviously, with no Fort Worth in the league this year the American's bus will get plenty of use. Thanks to MavsFanJoe for putting this together.
- The Tulsa Oilers had a press conference today to formally announce what has been rumored for some time and that is the Wichita Thunder ownership (Steven Brothers) have purchased the Tulsa Oilers. I heard many times last year about money problems with the Oilers. This new ownership should help the Oilers immediately with an infusion of money which should help Bruce Ramsay, who will stay on as coach, in his recruiting efforts.

- Slovakian born Tomas Klempa who played last year for Fort Worth has signed with the Tulsa Oilers. Klempa has played with Wichita and Rio Grande Valley as well. He is a scrappy 5' 8" speedy forward that has scored close to a point a game in his CHL career. I know I heard from several of you hoping he would sign with Allen.

- Speaking of Tulsa their top scoring forward (Ryan Menei - 82 points in 66 games) and top scoring defenseman (Sean Erickson - 37 points in 66 games) from last year have signed to play the Elite league in the Untied Kingdom. Erickson will join Brian McMillin in Coventry and Menei will play for Sheffield.

- The Arizona Sundogs are holding a press conference tomorrow (Wednesday) to announce their new head coach. Rumor has it the coach will be Kevin Colley who is currently the head coach of the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL.

- I think the big showdown in the local summer hockey league is tomorrow night in Plano. There are two teams that the Allen Americans players who stay in town play for in the summer league. I know the Ludwigs are on one team and the other team I refer to as Ed Belfour's team.  I bet there is some trash talking going on before this game. I'll see if I can get the results and report on my next post.

- Talk of the new ownership group of the CHL is probably boring to most fans but I did hear some good news and that is every ownership group in the league will become part of Central Partners, LLC. Every team is doing its due diligence and it is taking some ownership groups longer to sign on but it will get done sooner rather than later.

- I have heard from two different sources that Kip Brennan is looking to play hockey in Europe this upcoming season. This is nothing new for Kip as he has played overseas in the past. He played for HIFK Helsinki in Finland in 2008-2009 and with Chekov Vityaz in Russia in 2011-2012. Maybe he is returning to one of these teams.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Exclusive Interview With The Ray Miron Presidents' Cup

It has been over a month since the dramatic overtime win at the Allen Event Center and we have been trying hard to get an exclusive interview with the Ray Miron Presidents' Cup. That mission has been accomplished and here is the first on the record interview the cup has given.

Q: Thanks for spending your time off here at Heritage Ranch for a day of rest and relaxation.  It is so nice to finally meet you in person as I have admired you from a far for many years. My first question is what should I call you since you have such a long name. Do you go by Ray,  Mr Miron, President or what?
A: Since we are doing this interview on my day off why don't you call me Cuppy as that is what my close friends call me.

Q: Exactly what do you do for a living?
Cuppy: Some people call me a party planner but I refer to myself as a celebration specialist. I basically show up to be the life of the party. I am excellent at my job as I know how to get a party started.

Q: Where did you work before you came to Allen?
Cuppy: I have to admit it is difficult to stay in one place so I've move around a lot. Last year I got a job in Fort Wayne and the year before that I was in Shreveport and the year before that in Rapid City, South Dakota. I really like it here in Allen so I hope I can keep this job next year.

Q: When did you start working in Allen.
Cuppy: I remember it was a Saturday, I think it was May 11th when I had to report to the Allen Event Center. I was so good that night people couldn't keep their hands off me. They were hugging me, kissing me, lifting me up in the air and we had just met. At first everyone I talked to was wearing the same red outfit and I have to be honest they must have been partying before I arrived because they stunk pretty bad. But after a while some pretty ladies started coming up to me and those kisses were much more enjoyable. It was a wild night if I say so myself and I have been around the block a time or two.

Q: What was the best and worst part of that first day at work in Allen.
Cuppy; That's an easy one. I had a couple of babies sit on top of me for pictures and I really enjoyed the little ones. The worst part was all of that cigar smoke everyone was blowing in my face. It was horrible. I was told the AEC was a smoke free environment.

Q: How has everything gone since that first day on the job?
Cuppy: I have been working my tail off (check my picture if you don't believe me) day and night. This is the first day off I have had since May 11. I have been to a couple of concerts and a Texas Rangers game but I didn't get to enjoy them because everyone wanted to touch me, hold me and take my picture. If you haven't figured it out I am a pretty big deal so I can't go anywhere without being noticed.

Q: Can you share other places you have appeared.
Cuppy:  I have been to sport's bars, gas stations, ice cream shops, cigars shops, pizza places, repair shops, bike rallies, and restaurants to name a few. And I must say I am a hit wherever I go.

Q: What has been your best and worst experiences thus far?
Cuppy: There have been so many. Having a few drinks with those stinky guys I met the first night after they shaved the beards and cleaned up has been a real treat. They have all been really nice to me. I am not going to tell a lie, they all have gorgeous women they live with and while I can't tell the entire story for fear of retribution I have been in a few beds the last month. I just hope none of the pictures get out. On the more serious side I love meeting kids and the school visits were great.

Q: You forgot to talk about your worst experiences.
Cuppy: I hate to throw anyone under the bus but one night after an appearance I didn't have a ride home so I ended up having a sleepover at Tommy Daniels place. I would not recommend that to anyone. That was above and beyond the call of duty. He did, however, take me go karting the other day and that was a lot of fun.

Q: Is there anyone you have gotten particularly close to since you have been in Allen?
Cuppy: There is one guy (one of the stinky guys I met the first night) whose name is McMillin who really likes me. He shows up at every event I have and constantly wants to be in my pictures. I know he is married but he even asked me if I was interested in taking a trip to England with him. I told him I wasn't interested and he has backed off a little bit. I noticed he has now started to bring his own trophy to my appearances, probably to make me jealous. I don't think he is very smart because all his trophy has on it is his name and it says MVP which isn't even a word.

Cuppy, thanks for sharing what your life has been like during your time in Allen and thanks for letting us follow you around during your day off. We look forward to see how you spend your day.

Can you believe the McMillin guy even found me on my day off!

I got in a couple of games of volleyball. Notice my vertical leap is amazing.
I "Eddie the eagled" the #3 par five.
The golf pro kept saying I was too rigid

Nothing like some quiet time wetting a line at the fishin hole.
Lounging at the pool

Anybody for some eight ball?
A frosty with some of my fans.
 A canoe ride at sunset is the best.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Shocker: CHL Not Sold To All Team Owners

I am sure everyone saw the CHL press release I put up earlier today and was widely publicized elsewhere, "Central Hockey League Sold To Team Owners."  When I read the press release it sounded like all owners were involved, however only a couple of the owners were named. I contacted, Bob Hoffman, in the CHL office for a clarification and asked if all teams were part of Central Partners, LLC. Bob was kind enough to provide me with the following statement/ clarification.

"A transaction of this magnitude has numerous steps to complete to finalize the entire partnership.  The ownership group is not static, but the continued goal and intent is to have ownership representation  consisting of every member CHL club.  The management team of Central Partners, LLC is Rodney Steven II (Chairman), Michael Carper, Cary Kaplan and Jordan Melville.  This structure is in place  to help achieve our goals to build a strong, unified league."  
If I am interpreting this correctly that means "sold to owners" at this time only includes Wichita (who also owns Tulsa), Missouri (who also owns St. Charles), Quad City and Brampton. While according to the statement this is a work in progress and the hope is to have all ownership involved that is not the case today. That means Allen, Arizona, Denver and Rapid City are not yet in the fold. Very interesting.

CHL Sold To Team Owners

CHL Sold to Team Owners (Central Partners, LLC)

Central Hockey League Sold to Team Owners

Central Partners, LLC Set to Lead CHL to New Heights

GLENDALE, AZ (June 20, 2013) – The Central Hockey League (CHL) is pleased to make a historic announcement as the League is now under the ownership and control of Central Partners, LLC, a collection of the franchise owners in the League.

The CHL now becomes an ownership owned league as the group is excitedly making plans to carry the two decade plus history of the League to new historic success.  Wichita Thunder Co-Owner Rodney Steven II has been named the Interim Chairman of Central Partners, LLC.

“The owners of the CHL’s clubs are proud to stand arm-in-arm as we move the League forward,” said Steven.
“The passion and vision of this group will help our League grow and will help the CHL earn the status of one of the top sports leagues in North America.”

“This process has been underway for some time now and with the collection of great minds and accomplished professionals that compose the ownership groups of the League’s teams, we are confident that the sky is the limit for the heights the CHL will rise to,” said Michael Carper (Co-Owner of the Missouri Mavericks and member of Central Partners, LLC).  “Great things are set to come for the CHL’s member clubs and for the fans of the teams and League.”

The CHL’s 22nd season is set to begin in October with 10 teams participating in the 2013-14 campaign including expansion franchise in Brampton, Ontario (Beast) and in St. Charles, Missouri (Chill).

“As the Central Hockey League moves forward into a new era, we are excited to have the group of team owners take ownership of the League,” said Duane Lewis, CHL Commissioner.  “This positive step is meant to put the CHL on its best foot forward as the owners’ common goal is one of competition on the ice, but full team support off the ice.  For the fans of the CHL, the transition is a seamless one, as they will see renewed rivalries, and new rivalries emerge, and a tremendous sense of pride as the teams take to the ice and their communities for the upcoming season and beyond.  Thank you to our longtime supporters, and to the new fans who come out to support their local teams.  See you on the ice soon!”

Central Partners, LLC would like to thank the former owners’ of the Central Hockey League, the Western Professional Hockey League, Inc., in particular Jim Treliving, George Melville and Rick Kozuback, for all their work over the last 20 years in moving the league forward and for all of their efforts in making the transition to Central Partners, LLC a successful one.  Additionally, the new League ownership group is pleased that the Quad City Mallards will remain under the ownership of QCM Holdings, Inc., with Jordan Melville and Rick Kozuback as Directors.

Jim Treliving, President of WPHL Texas Holdings Inc., states, “I am very proud to have been involved in the ownership, management and operations of the Central Hockey League over the past 20 years and look forward to the continued success of the Central Hockey League under the new ownership group.”