Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Deep Dive On The Schedule & Other News

Kudos to the CHL for getting the schedule out and it is still July. Great for the teams, especially the sales department, but also great for the fans so they can figure out the games they want to attend both home and away. Whenever you look at any schedule the saying "where you sit is where you stand" is always appropriate. With that in mind here are some of my thoughts as well as those I have heard from others.

The Allen schedule is below and it does not include preseason which has not been scheduled. All times are local times. This list is from the CHL master schedule with the first column being the CHL game number.
7 Allen Wichita Sat, Oct 197:05 PMIntrust BA
9 Wichita Allen Sun, Oct 204:05 PMAllen EC
14 Allen St. Charles Fri, Oct 257:05 PMFamily Arena
19 Allen Tulsa Sat, Oct 267:35 PMBOK Center
21 Allen Tulsa Sun, Oct 274:05 PMBOK Center
22 Tulsa Allen Wed, Oct 307:05 PMAllen EC
26 Denver Allen Fri, Nov 017:05 PMAllen EC
35 Allen Tulsa Sat, Nov 027:35 PMBOK Center
36 Tulsa Allen Sun, Nov 034:05 PMAllen EC
39 Allen Brampton Thu, Nov 077:00 PMPowerade Centre
40 Allen Brampton Fri, Nov 087:30 PMPowerade Centre
49 Allen Brampton Sun, Nov 102:00 PMPowerade Centre
52 Brampton Allen Fri, Nov 157:05 PMAllen EC
64 Tulsa Allen Fri, Nov 227:05 PMAllen EC
69 Tulsa Allen Sat, Nov 237:05 PMAllen EC
74 Allen Tulsa Sun, Nov 244:05 PMBOK Center
75 Allen Arizona Wed, Nov 276:35 PMTims ToyotaCtr
80 Allen Arizona Fri, Nov 297:05 PMTims ToyotaCtr
85 Allen Arizona Sat, Nov 307:05 PMTims ToyotaCtr
91 Rapid City Allen Fri, Dec 067:05 PMAllen EC
96 Rapid City Allen Sat, Dec 077:05 PMAllen EC
107 Missouri Allen Fri, Dec 137:05 PMAllen EC
113 Allen Missouri Sat, Dec 147:05 PMIndependence EC
118 Brampton Allen Fri, Dec 207:05 PMAllen EC
123 Brampton Allen Sat, Dec 217:05 PMAllen EC
130 Allen Tulsa Thu, Dec 267:05 PMBOK Center
134 Allen St. Charles Fri, Dec 277:05 PMFamily Arena
136 Tulsa Allen Sat, Dec 287:05 PMAllen EC
143 Wichita Allen Tue, Dec 317:05 PMAllen EC
147 Rapid City Allen Fri, Jan 037:05 PMAllen EC
152 Rapid City Allen Sat, Jan 047:05 PMAllen EC
161 Denver Allen Fri, Jan 107:05 PMAllen EC
166 Denver Allen Sat, Jan 117:05 PMAllen EC
170 Allen Arizona Fri, Jan 177:05 PMTims ToyotaCtr
175 Allen Arizona Sat, Jan 187:05 PMTims ToyotaCtr
181 Arizona Allen Mon, Jan 201:05 PMAllen EC
186 St. Charles Allen Fri, Jan 247:05 PMAllen EC
194 St. Charles Allen Sun, Jan 264:05 PMAllen EC
202 Allen Wichita Fri, Jan 317:05 PMIntrust BA
203 Wichita Allen Sat, Feb 017:05 PMAllen EC
209 Allen Missouri Tue, Feb 047:05 PMIndependence EC
211 Allen Quad City Wed, Feb 057:05 PMi-wireless
214 Allen Quad City Fri, Feb 077:05 PMi-wireless
218 Allen Missouri Sat, Feb 087:05 PMIndependence EC
225 Arizona Allen Thu, Feb 137:05 PMAllen EC
226 Missouri Allen Fri, Feb 147:05 PMAllen EC
232 Allen Missouri Sat, Feb 157:05 PMIndependence EC
238 Allen Denver Mon, Feb 174:00 PMDenver Coliseum
248 Allen Wichita Fri, Feb 217:05 PMIntrust BA
251 Allen Tulsa Sat, Feb 227:35 PMBOK Center
253 Quad City Allen Sun, Feb 234:05 PMAllen EC
257 Arizona Allen Fri, Feb 287:05 PMAllen EC
262 Arizona Allen Sat, Mar 017:05 PMAllen EC
274 Allen Missouri Fri, Mar 077:05 PMIndependence EC
278 Allen St. Charles Sat, Mar 087:05 PMFamily Arena
281 Allen St. Charles Sun, Mar 094:05 PMFamily Arena
290 Allen Rapid City Fri, Mar 147:05 PMRushmore
294 Allen Rapid City Sat, Mar 157:05 PMRushmore
297 Allen Denver Sun, Mar 164:00 PMDenver Coliseum
300 Wichita Allen Wed, Mar 197:05 PMAllen EC
303 St. Charles Allen Fri, Mar 217:05 PMAllen EC
308 St. Charles Allen Sat, Mar 227:05 PMAllen EC
315 Allen Wichita Sun, Mar 235:05 PMIntrust BA
316 Quad City Allen Wed, Mar 267:05 PMAllen EC
319 Denver Allen Fri, Mar 287:05 PMAllen EC
324 Denver Allen Sat, Mar 297:05 PMAllen EC

- Probably the best thing about the schedule is the length. It is one week longer than in the past which allows for one extra weekend to spread out the games. The number of weekday home games has been reduced to six. And if you factor in that three of those weekday games are traditional holiday games you have a much improved schedule. Those holiday games include our New Year’s Eve game, Halloween Celebration and the MLK game. Our New Year’s Eve Game will commence at 7:05pm in an exciting battle against the Wichita Thunder. This year’s Halloween game will take place on October 30th instead of October 31st. The date change will allow for kids and parents to wear their costumes twice! In addition, we will bring back our pregame trick-or-treating on the concourse as well as the popular haunted house. The Martin Luther King Jr. game on Monday January 20th is also “Kid’s Day Out.”

- So with two fewer midweek games and two extra weekends games it will help draw more fans and make it easier for families who have to factor in school nights. And I assume it is a little more money for the players with the extra time added to the schedule. A win all the way around.

-Here is a breakdown of our games which each team:

Arizona (4 home, 5 away) - Two trips to Arizona which includes the traditional three games during Thanksgiving and two games in January. Arizona come to Allen four times playing only one game each time. I think they use Allen as a stop over as part of their road trips.

Brampton (3 home, 3 away) - As expected only one trip to Brampton for three games in November (7th, 8th, & 10th). This road trip does not include any other games. Just the over 1300 mile trek to Brampton and return. We end up playing Brampton four times in a row as our next home game after this trip is against the Beast. I'm sure the team is figuring out the best way to get the equipment and team to Brampton. Let's hope the players get to fly on this one. Brampton actually comes to the Allen Event Center AEC twice as they come for only one game on November 15th and then return for two games in December. If you want to see a brutal schedule look up Bampton's schedule for the year. Lots of travel and time away from home in long stretches. (See note below)

Denver (5 home, 2 away) - The team travels twice to Denver (February 17th & March 16th) for one game each time. Denver comes to the AEC three different times (November, January & March).

Missouri (2 home, 5 away) - This unbalanced schedule will be fodder for the conspiracy theorist as they question why the powers to be had Allen play the Mavericks so many times away. Four of the seven games we play against the Mavericks are in February.

Quad City (2 home, 2 away) -  We never seem to play Quad City very often. The four games are the fewest we play any team. The Mallards visit the AEC twice this year for one game in February (23rd) and one in March (26th). The Americans visit Quad City only once for two games in February (5th & 7th).

Rapid City (4 home, 2 away) - Rapid comes to the AEC twice while Allen only goes to Rapid City  once.

St. Charles (4 home, 4 away) - Allen actually makes three trips to St Charles to get in four games. Always part of a road trip which includes Wichita or Missouri. St. Charles comes to Allen twice (January & March)

Tulsa (5 home 6 away) - It was to be expected we would play the team closest to Allen (230 miles) more than any other team. While it is not like Ft Worth (18 times including preseason) our 11 games with Tulsa is the most we play any team. This could become a rivalry as we play the Oilers early and often. In our first 16 games of the season we play Tulsa 8 times including three in a row twice and a stretch of five out of six. From December 28th to the end of the season (March 29th) we only play Tulsa one time.

Wichita (4 home, 4 away) - I am sure the league made a conscious decision to have the Americans play Wichita in a home and home series for the first two games of the season. The first game is in Wichita on October 19th. Again for the conspiracy theorists Allen didn't get the first game because of a scheduling conflict at the AEC. Dana Carvey, Dennis Miller and Kevin Nealon are in concert that night. If the AEC was available the Championship team would have gotten the 19th. So now the home opener will be on October 20th against Wichita. I personally think it would have been better to schedule a team other than Wichita for the home opener where the championship banner will be raised and whatever other celebration takes place. Obviously the league doesn't agree with me.

- I am sure one of the many things the team looks at when the schedule comes out is how many times they have to play three games back to back. Three games in three days is stressful especially if there is travel involved. Players are more prone to injuries in these situations. Here are our back to back to back games:
October 25,26,27 - St Charles (A), Tulsa (A), Tulsa (A)
November 1,2,3 - Denver (H), Tulsa (A), Tulsa (H)
November 22,23,24 - Tulsa (H), Tulsa (H), Tulsa (A)
December 26,27,28 - Tulsa (A), St. Charles (A), Tulsa (H)
February 13,14,15 - Arizona (H), Missouri (H), Missouri (A)
February 21,22,23 - Wichita (H), Tulsa (H), Quad City (A)
March 7,8,9 - Missouri (A), St. Charles (A), St. Charles (A)
March 14,15,16 - Rapid City (A), Rapid City (A), Denver (A)
March 21,22,23 - St. Charles (H), St. Charles (H), Wichita (A)

- Three times during the year the team plays four games in five days and all three include travel:
February 4th - 8th - Missouri (A), Quad City (A), Quad City (A), Missouri (A)
February 13th - 17th - Arizona (H), Missouri (H), Missouri (A), Denver (A)
March 19th - 23rd - Wichita (H), St. Charles (H), St. Charles (H), Wichita (A)

- As usual the Americans were able to avoid too many home dates during football season as the schedule is backloaded after football season. Here are the home games by month. The only regular season schedule conflict with Allen High School varsity football is November 1st. Playoffs might be another story.
October - 2
November - 5
December - 7
January - 7
February - 5
March  - 7

- Here is a breakdown of the games by day of week compared to last year:

                       2012     2013
Friday               10         13
Saturday           11         10
Sunday              4           4
Monday             2           1  (This is the MLK holiday game)
Tuesday             5           1  (This is New Years Eve game)
Wednesday        1           3  (This includes the Halloween game)
Thursday           0           1

- Arizona opens their season in Brampton on October 18th a mere 2200 miles away from home. Brampton's closest opponent is 650 miles away (Quad City) and most are well over 1000 miles. Brampton has one stretch (November 15 - December 8) where they play 11 straight road games.

- Here is the mileage chart for your reference. Thanks to "MavsFanJoe" for putting this together.

 - Not much new on player signing announcements. There should be some announcements next week as several players have been signed but not announced. I know several of you have asked me about your favorite player and whether they are coming back next year. I think the next few announcements will make many of you happy.

-With European teams starting to finalize their rosters there are fewer options available for players. And those hoping for an AHL contract may have to start looking elsewhere for fear they may have problems finding a spot if they wait too long. Coming to Allen, even if a player feels he belongs in the AHL, is a great way to get noticed. Just ask Scott Howes, Brett Skinner and Ryley Grantham who all parlayed their Allen experience into AHL promotions.

- Each year Allen has been able to get slots in AHL camps to give players an opportunity for exposure at that level. While there have been no announcements about where the team might be able to send players to AHL camps you can be assured that is being worked on as well as affiliation agreements. Probably still a few weeks away.

- In the former player signings department, Jake Newton, defenseman who played briefly for the Americans in 2011-2012 has signed with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL. Jake, who is a southern California native, played in Italy last year where he was named best player in the league and helped his team win the Itlay2 Championship.

- Ran into Jason Wallace yesterday at the AEC as he was saying goodbye to the staff. He leaves today for Austin to begin his new job as head trainer for the Texas Stars. Good luck, Jason.

- Replacing Jason is not easy as there are many vacancies around the country for trainers and not a lot of qualified candidates. The Americans have identified a potential candidate and hope to fill the position in the near future.

- 2013-14 Important Dates
Training Camp Opens: Monday, October 7
Preseason Schedule Begins: Thursday, October 10
Regular Season Opens: Friday, October 18
Christmas Break: December 23-25
Mid-Season Break: January 13-16
Hockey Day in Canada: January 18
Hockey Weekend Across America: February 28-March 2
Last Day of Regular Season: Sunday, March 30

- I hope to contact some of the new players next week for some 10 questions type interviews. If there is anything you want me to ask them let me know.

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