Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fox To IR, Lineups For Game & Skills Challenge

- Phil Fox will be starting the season on injured reserve. He had an injury from last year that did not prevent him from playing but the Americans felt it was important to get it fixed to eliminate the potential of problems during the season. Recovery time should be around three weeks. Phil plans to be at the AEC this afternoon for the intrasquad game. So if you see him hobbling around on crutches  wish him a speedy recovery. To me this is another example of how the Americans take care of the players.

- The big day has arrived as the intrasquad game finally takes place this afternoon at the Allen Event Center. Team store doors open at 2:00 pm, national anthem tryouts are at 3:00 pm, intrasquad game at 4:00 and skills challenge after the game. The Ice Angels will also be performing.

- The team store was getting new merchandise all week and late yesterday got another shipment. No jerseys yet but some new tees for the ladies came in and some Under Armour collared shirts have arrived.

- Had a chance to see the lineups for the intrasquad game and some interesting combinations. Matvichuk's team has more experience at defense (Berube, both Trevors (Ludwig & Hendrikx) and Ross Rouleau while the two young guys (Cintala & Byczynski) are on Martinson's team. All the former Brahmas are on team Matvichuk as are the three young signed players (Lavoie, Lessard, & Asuchak). Team Martinson has all of the returning forwards (Kerbashian, Schaafsma & Bootland) with the exception of Lukin. Goalies are split Fogal & Cook on team Matty and Pitton & Levine on team Marty. Hard to handicap this one.

- Pay special attention to the jerseys tonight as the white team will be debuting the new road jersey which looks great.

- Make sure to stay for the skills contest after the game. Here are the details. The skills challenge will be a team competition and there will be four events. There will be four teams (six players per team) and they were selected through a draft. Darryl Bootland (Team Red), Mike Berube (Team White), Trevor Hendrikx (Team Navy) and Jarret Lukin (Team Grey) selected the players. Here are the four events:
Fastest Skater: two players from each team will participate, players will skate one lap around the rink. There will also be a goalie race.
Hardest Shot: one player from each team will shoot three pucks.
Shooting Accuracy/Rapid Shot: two players from each team participate
Breakaway Challenge: All team members participate

I know the teams were created by a draft but on paper it appears Team Navy (Tetrault, Lachance, Micks, Kerbashian, Lavoie, & Hendrikx) has to be the favorite to win the skills challenge. Pick your favorite:
Team Red - Thibodeau, Trevor Ludwig, Wilson, Bootland, Tamblyn, Cintala
Team White - Tyler Ludwig, Berube, Robertson, Asuchak, Snowden, Lessard
Tam Grey - Short, Schaafsma, Byczynski, Lukin, Rouleau, Harrison

- By now most everyone is aware that the CHL has hired a new commissioner, Steve Ryan, to replace the departed Duane Lewis. There is no doubt he has the knowledge, skills and experience to take on the role as CHL Commissioner. The real question is whether he will take a hard look at the CHL business model and make basic changes to make the league more viable in the future. Rather than posting the CHL press release that most of you have already read here are a couple of things from the web.
Here is a quick look at his bio:
In 2008 Ryan started his own management consulting company, Ryan Enterprises. Prior to that Mr. Ryan was Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Major Indoor Soccer League, where he increased its visibility worldwide by negotiating television contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports World and by crafting the MISL All-Star Weekend. Prior to joining MISL, Mr. Ryan was President and CEO of Strike Ten Entertainment, where he was responsible for the management, marketing, television and licensing activities in support of the $10 billion U.S. bowling industry. From 1995 to 1997, Mr. Ryan served as president and COO of Pittsburgh Sports Holdings Company, whose properties included the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, the Pittsburgh Stingers, the Russian Penguins and the Southpointe Multiplex, an indoor soccer and ice-skating facility. He also spent thirteen years with the National Hockey League, where as President of NHL Enterprises, he oversaw all retail licensing, corporate sponsorship, international marketing, event marketing, publishing, television, video and creative services. A native of New York City and graduate of Fordham University, Mr. Ryan has been a member of Fordham’s President’s Council, its Advisory Board for the Graduate School of Business and the Fordham University Athletic Board. 

And from a story when he was commissioner of the MISL written by Terry Lefton of Sports Business Journal almost ten years ago:
What is the last book you have read?
Ryan: "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap.... and Other's Don't," by Jim Collins.
Music you are listening to right now?
Ryan: Elton John & Rod Stewart
Last vacation?
Ryan: Chatham, on Cape Cod
Is there a sporting event on your list that you haven't been to yet?
Ryan: I'd love to get to the Kentucky Derby and I haven't been to the Indy 500 so those would be the two on my list.
Best experience you have ever had working with an athlete?
Ryan: It would be Mario Lemieux and the leadership he showed in the community. He did so many things quietly in terms of visiting sick kids and such, and did them without looking for any acknowledgment or PR.
And your worst experience?
Ryan: The National Hockey League Players Association strike of 1992. It split us into us and them. That is not the way you can run professional sports today.
Is there a commissioner you learned a lot from?
Ryan: Pete Rozelle, for the way he conducted himself and went about growing the NFL. People forgot he was elected on the 23rd ballot and when he went in the NFL was on the edge of a cliff. He made the right moves and he did it with the collaboration of ownership.

- Minor League Hockey Report is doing a preview of all CHL teams and here is what they had to say about Allen for the upcoming season.  Zach Courter wrote this preview and the site ( is a great site to have bookmarked as they cover happenings all over the Central Hockey League. Here is part of what Zach had to say about the Americans:

Major Additions:  The Americans reloaded their off-season roster by adding several key members from the now defunct Fort Worth Brahmas roster. Allen added Ross Rouleau, John Snowden, Phil Fox, and goaltender Brad Fogel. In addition to the former Brahma additions, Allen added Central Hockey League veteran defenseman Daniel Tetrault. This will be Tetrault’s eighth year in the league, five of which he spent in Wichita.
Burning Questions:  The biggest question for the Americans will be can they replace playoff hero Todd Robinson, captain Jason Deitsch, and goaltenders Aaron Dell and Steve Silverthorn. All four played key rolls in the success of the Americans during their championship season. The Americans added Brad Fogel (15-12-2, 2.72 GAA and .902 SV. PCT) and Bryan Pitton, a five year professional. The Americans also announced the signing of Alex Bourret during the off-season however per the Allen Americans Blog, Bourret decided to stay home and play in a local league. Bourret last played in the Central Hockey League during the 2011-2012 season with the Wichita Thunder, recording 20 goals, 37 assists, for 57 points in only 43 games. The former first round draft pick would have added a huge spark to the Allen offense.

The one thing I would add to Zach's preview is the potential impact of the young guys that were signed this year. Alex Lavoie, Jonathan Lessard and Spencer Asuchak all look like they will have an impact on this team.  

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