Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thunder Penalties, Klotz To IR, Ring Pics, Schaafsma Story, Brahmas Lawsuit

- I know by now everyone has seen pictures of the championship ring but wanted to share a couple of side view shots that Chip Crail ( was kind enough to take for me which shows the detail on each side of the ring. One side has the Governor's Cup with "Americans" on the top and the year (2013) on the bottom and the other side which has the Presidents' Cup with the player's name on the top and the player's number on the bottom.

- Newly signed forward, Garrett Klotz, was placed on seven day injured reserve effective October 19th so he will not be available for the game with St. Charles tomorrow night.

- Had an opportunity to view slow motion video of two infractions from the game on Sunday which were reviewed by the league. The first was the slash against Charles Lachance when he went down  along the boards. You can see the Thunder player (Matt Robinson) appear to look up to see where the officials are and then deliver a vicious slash to the knee that looked like a deliberate intent to injure. The referee and the linesman all told the coaches they did not see the slash so no penalty was called and this is understandable since it was behind the play. It is also what triggered the brawl early in the third period and the hit Daniel Tetrault put on Robinson later in the period. If the league took action on this incident it would be a fine, not a suspension. Not sure of the outcome.
The other video was a slow motion view of RG Flath elbowing Tyler Ludwig in the head. It was a closeup shot and you can see Flath clearly lift his elbow and catch Tyler in the head. Again, a deliberate intent to injure and one the league takes seriously as hits to the head can put players out of action for a long period of time. I'm sure the Americans are not happy with the fact that Flath only got a two game suspension as the NHL rule would have called for a minimum of five games. Hockey is a game of emotion and all teams end up with incidents like these which they probably regret after the fact. The Americans will have their share as well.  If the rivalry with Wichita wasn't already amped up from the championship series last year these two incidents will make future games with the Thunder interesting. My guess is Flath and Robinson haven't seen the end of this yet.

- Found this article from Jamie Schaafsma's hometown newspaper:

Schaafsma back to defend CHL crown 
By Mark Malone, Chatham Daily News
Allen Americans forward Jamie Schaafsma of Blenheim holds his daughter, Sawyer. (Contributed Photo)
Allen Americans forward Jamie Schaafsma of Blenheim holds his daughter, Sawyer. (Contributed Photo)

Jamie Schaafsma is going to have a hard time topping last season.
He began it cradling his son Sutter, who was born four days before training camp.
He ended it hoisting the Ray Miron Presidents' Cup as a Central Hockey League champion.
“I put everything into hockey,” the 30-year-old forward from Blenheim said. “You train all summer and work all winter and go on road trips away from your family. You do it all to win a championship and achieve that final goal. It's rewarding.”
Schaafsma is back with the Allen Americans to challenge for another CHL title.
Contract negotiations took longer than he wanted, but he's excited to return. The team gave his family a Texas-sized helping of hospitality during his first season in Allen.
“We love it down there,” he said. “We know tons of people. We get treated well.”
He's joined there by his wife Nicole, their two-year-old daughter Sawyer and Sutter, whose first birthday was Oct. 4.
Schaafsma kept an enviable streak going last season by playing in a league final for the fifth consecutive year.
However, he'd lost the previous three – one IHL final with the Flint Generals and two Italian A2 finals with Gardena.
“I don't know if I could have taken another year of losing in the final,” he said. “I think I would have lost my mind.”
The Americans won Game 7 in overtime after rallying from two goals down in the third period.
“You can't really beat that kind of win,” Schaafsma said. “That was thrilling and super-exciting for me.”
The Americans handed out rings to their eight returning players and raised a championship banner at Sunday's home opener.
Schaafsma is ready to be one of their top players again. He was fourth on the team last season with 24-23-47 totals in 66 games after being signed as a secondary scorer.
“I knew I could give the team more help than they were expecting from me,” he said.
The lower expectations were a nice change, though. He played seven of his first eight pro seasons in Europe where, as an import player, he was under pressure to fill the net.
“It was just nice to go down and play my game and not have the added pressure of producing in Europe,” he said. “Play my game and do what I do best and do what I have to to help the team win.”
CHL teams can sign a limited number of veterans. However, European games don't count towards a player's career total, so Schaafsma isn't considered a veteran even though he plays like one.
He hasn't ruled out returning to Europe. The money is better and living overseas would a good experience for his children before starting school.
For now, though, he's happy in Texas. His family's apartment is on a golf course where he can play for free.
“Most of all, I'm excited because we have such a good team down there and we're competitive,” Schaafsma said. “We have a good core coming back and hopefully we can compete for another championship this year.”

- And finally a Brahmas story about a lawsuit written by Robert Wilonsky ( where the Texas Brahmas (CHL) have filed a lawsuit against the Lone Star Brahmas (NAHL) 

In federal court, hockey’s Texas Brahmas square off against the Lone Star Brahmas

The Texas Brahmas' logo ...

The Texas Brahmas of the Central Hockey League, formerly known as the Fort Worth Brahmas of the Central Hockey League, are no more — for now, at least. Franchise president Stuart Fraser told the Star-Telegram in June that the team’s suspending operations until it can find a suitable venue. “Our plan is to maintain the franchise in Tarrant County and hopefully have a new arena to play in down the road,” he told the paper. A lawsuit filed yesterday in Fort Worth federal court says the Brahmas will return either next year or in 2015.
Which is why the team filed that lawsuit — because someone else is using the Brahmas name and a very similar mascot, which the Texas Brahmas’ owners claim is infringing upon their hard-earned trademark.
... and the Lone Star Brahmas' logo.

That team is the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League, which plays its home games at the NYTEX Sports Centre in North Richland Hills. So happens the teams were once connected: Per the suit filed yesterday, the Fort Worth or Texas Brahmas let junior teams use the moniker and branding, but “when it became apparent” that Frank Trazerra and Salvatore Trazerra “were planning on and intending to own and operate a team in Defendant North American Hockey League,” the Texas Brahams told them to cut it out.
Apparently they didn’t. Which is why the Texas Brahmas filed the $300,000-plus suit.

DID YOU KNOW: The Tulsa Oilers and Wichita Thunder have been in the CHL since its inception in 1992 but there have been 34 different teams come and go since that time. 21 of the 34 teams lasted five year or less. The most interesting name was the franchise in Macon, Georgia from 1996-2001. They were called the Macon Whoopee and their logo featured a bird and a bee.

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