Monday, September 16, 2013

CBA & Vet Rule, Game Delays, Clarke Signs With Toledo

I was having a conversation with a friend after the triathlon took place at Cooper Clinic on Saturday and we were talking about how nice it is to have so much participation in the community by the team. One of the best things about following the Allen Americans and it applies to the entire CHL is the involvement of the teams in the community. Always willing to have players, mascot, dance teams, and front office participate in community events, fundraisers, school functions, sponsor events, fan get togethers to name a few. Two years ago a member of our Heritage Ranch fan club got hit by a puck during a game with Fort Worth. I received a call from team President Matt Canavan the next day to arrange for a visit to the fan who got hit. Three players (Erik Adams, Dylan King, & Ben Wilson) and two Ice Angels (Catherine & Rachel) came to the guys house in their Americans gear and spent about 20 minutes with him. They had a signed stick blade from the entire team and Erik Adams (at the request of the wife of the guy who got hit) had the Brahma player (Erik Spady) who shot the puck into the crowd autograph the puck. They now proudly display the ticket from the game, autographed stick blade, autographed puck, and a picture in a shadow box in their house. A simple example of the team going above and beyond the call of duty for the fans. The connection of the Americans with their fan base is outstanding and one of the reasons for their success. Here is a picture taken that day two years ago by the wife of the guy who got hit with the puck.
Players & Ice Angels visit fan hit by puck
- Had a couple of questions concerning the veteran rules and how do teams apply the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) when a new agreement has not been ratified. The facts are that the CHL is currently operating without a CBA as the last CBA expired May 31, 2013. The new CBA will not be officially ratified until an agreement is reached and both the owners and players vote which will most likely be close to the start of the season. The ideal situation would be to negotiate a CBA that has a duration of more than one year. The ECHL just approved a CBA with a five year duration (July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2018). It is only my opinion but with all of the issues surrounding the CHL one year CBA's will continue. It is also my opinion that the players have very little leverage in these negotiations because of the financial situation they are in. Going without a paycheck and a place to live for even a short period of time would be quite a burden. So the bottom line is the owners probably know what they want to do as it relates to the veteran rule or at least the Americans know what they would like to see in the CBA as it relates to veteran status. I have not talked to anyone from the team about this, however, with the situation the team finds itself in with seven veterans you can assume they are advocating a change. The most logical change would be to increase the number of professional games played before you are defined as a veteran. In the last CBA that number was 301. As a frame of reference the recently completed ECHL CBA placed the number at 260 games. While it won't be publicly known what the number will be until the new CBA is ratified, the teams will know in the next couple of weeks what the final outcome will be and can act accordingly. If the rule is not changed in the new CBA look for the Americans to reduce the number of veterans before camp starts on October 7th.

- The ticket sales contest that has been going on most of the summer is very close from what the teams are saying. If you recall the front office staff has been divided into two teams led by Trevor Ludwig and Darryl Bootland. My spies say Team Ludwig was out in front by more than $25,000 but the gap has been closing and Team Bootland is now within $3000. If you still need to get tickets now is the time. Call the office (972-912-1000) and talk directly to Trevor or Booter.

- Hockey is already underway in leagues around the world. Saw where Brian McMillin's team (Coventry Blaze) had an interesting game last night as their opponent (Fife Flyers) had their bus breakdown and the game was delayed 2.5 hours. Coventry won the game and are now 2-1 for the season. Brian had an assist and one of his rare penalties (he gets a penalty about once every 12 games). 

- Former American Dave Bonk who plays in Japan (Nikko Icebucks) had a game delay because of a typhoon. His team has started the season 0-4.

- Colton Yellow Horn is off to a fast start as he has five points (3 goals 2 assists) in his first three games and his team is 2-1.

- Ryan Hand who played seven games for the Americans in 2010-2011 has signed with the Wichita Thunder.

- Garrett Clarke announced today he has signed to play for the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL. This comes as a surprise and he will be missed.

1 comment:

  1. Barry, Was this the guy who was sitting in the Southeast corner next to the opposing players door when he got hit?