In the mean time here are a few of the other happenings around the Americans and the Central Hockey League:
- The CHL meeting is in its final day today and this will be the day where the rubber meets the road as all of the discussions will culminate in some actual decisions being made. If their are going to be changes made to the veteran rule, injured reserve, salary cap, helmet rule, number of teams that make the playoffs, number of games in the playoffs, number of referees in the playoffs, inclusion of an all-star game, and a host of other ideas brought forth by the general managers and coaches today is moving day. And then tonight is the awards banquet where the teams are honored in a number of categories. Here are the categories from last year with last year's winners.
Ralph Backstrom Soul of Service Award - Lew Rees, Arizona Sundogs
CHL Game Operations Franchise of the Year - Wichita Thunder
CHL Merchandising Franchise of the Year - Denver Cutthroats
CHL Community Relations Franchise of the Year - Arizona Sundogs
CHL New Media Franchise of the Year - Denver Cutthroats
CHL Broadcaster of the Year - Bob Rennison, Missouri Mavericks
CHL Communications Executive of the Year - Jason Mals, Wichita Thunder
CHL Corporate Partnership Team of the Year - Missouri Mavericks
CHL Group Sales Franchise of the Year - Missouri Mavericks
CHL Ticketing Executive of the Year - Luke Schuellein, Wichita Thunder
CHL Ticket Sales Franchise of the Year - Missouri Mavericks
Rick Kozuback Award - Greg Smith, Denver Cutthroats
CHL Leadership Award - Rodney Steven, Wichita Thunder
CHL Most Improved Franchise - Wichita Thunder
Brad Treliving CHL Executive of the Year - Brent Thiessen, Missouri Mavericks
CHL Franchise of the Year - Missouri Mavericks
Notice the conspicuous absence of the leagues two problem children from last year (Allen & Rapid City) in the award winners last year. Would assume the outcome will be somewhat different when the award winners are announced tonight.
- If you didn't have a chance to listen to the live podcast from Arizona last night you can do so by going to minorleaguehockeyreport.com and you will see "MLHR Live Podcast" at the top of the page. Though decisions have not been made on rule changes, all of the guests (Jim Wiley & Bob Hoffman from CHL headquarters, Allen American's coach Steve Martinson, Brent Thiessen President & GM from Missouri, and Tulsa Broadcaster Rob Loeber) provided great information that CHL fans would enjoy hearing.
- There were three player signings announced yesterday with forward Jeff Lee signing in Quad City and Wayne Savage (G) and Brandon Martell (F) signing in Rapid City. With these signings a total of 55 players have been signed thus far for the 2014-2015 season. That represents only about one third of the players that need to be signed (171) to fill out all of the rosters. Missouri leads the way with ten players signed and Tulsa has the fewest players signed at this point with two.
- If you are interested in seeing an up to date listing of players signed by team you can go to minorleaguehockeyreport and click on "2014-2015 Player Signings" at the top of the page. This list is always current.
- Another great resource for hockey fans is Hockey Mayhem which you can find at hockeymayhem.com. They have boards for all professional hockey leagues and a fairly active CHL group. A lot of good information for the avid fan and you can just browse or you can sign up and post your opinions and information. I particularly like their topic "2014-2015 CHL Signings and Departures" which includes whether the player is a veteran by CHL rules. They have the rosters from last year on the same tab which is nice to refer to as well. Check them out.
- It was mentioned the other day that Brian McMillin has signed to play in The Netherlands. The team he will be playing for is in the city of Eindhoven which is in the southern part of the country. It is the place where a couple of brothers (Gerard & Anton Philips) started Philips, a small light bulb factory in 1891 that grew into one of the largest electronics firms in the world. Brian's team is called the Eindhoven Kamphanen which means "fighting roosters" in English.
- One of the topics covered in the podcast last night was the release of the schedule for the upcoming season. A draft schedule has been out for sometime but there are still a couple of things to be decided (like is there going to be an all-star game) and some final tweaks as a result of the meeting this week. According to Bob Hoffman the final schedule should be out in the next week.
- If you are an Allen fan you have to listen to the Steve Martinson interview which was part of the live podcast from the meeting in Arizona. It was classic Martinson with his tell it like it is, open and honest approach to every question.
- Did a quick check of the transfers in and out of the CHL for the upcoming season and found a few interesting facts. The big one is 26 players from the CHL have signed to play overseas but only three players have moved from overseas to the CHL. The CHL has lost five players to the ECHL but four players from the ECHL have signed with CHL teams.
- For those that can't wait until opening night we are 93 days from raising another championship banner to the rafters of the Allen Event Center.
- If you haven't seen the YouTube video "Mic'd Up In The UHL" that has been making the rounds it might be worth a look with a couple of warnings. It is an old video of a Steve Martinson coached team, the 2004-2005 Rockford Ice Hogs in the United Hockey League. In one portion of the video the Ice Hogs are playing the Motor City Mechanics who had NHL stars Chris Chelios who was 42 at the time and Derion Hatcher who was 32 at the time playing for them because of the NHL lockout that year. The star of the video along with Martinson is Jason Ralph, a graduate of Union College and a career minor league player. This video makes the rounds every year and some find it funny and some find it offensive. But it does give you an idea of the chirping that takes place on the ice between players, coaches and officials. WARNING: Expletives not deleted and it is not politically correct.