With the protected list finalized the question arises as to which players that were not protected are the "real" free agents and unlikely to return to the Allen Americans. As a reminder, those on the protected list are:
Here is my educated guess on what the thought process was that went into why the following players were not placed on the protected list. The emphasis is on "educated guess" and only time will tell how accurate these are.
When the protected list was released on July 1st everyone wanted to know why Darryl Bootland was not on the list. That question was answered yesterday when the Americans announced that Bootland had been signed for the 2014-2015 season. It is great to have "Booter" back in the fold for next year as he joins Kevin Young, Jamie Schaafsma, Tyler Ludwig and Jonathan Lessard as the players already signed.
So with eight players on the protected list and five signed does that mean the rest are free agents and will not return? Definitely not in my opinion. Here is my educated guess on why the players from last year that are not on the list were not included.
Daniel Tetrault - He has retired but is living in the area so if (a big if) he could be coaxed out of retirement for the playoffs or as a periodic fill in it would only be with Allen so no need to protect him.
Bruce Graham - In the unlikely event that Bruce would return from Nottingham because his team is not in the playoffs Allen would probably be the only team he would consider so no need to put him on the protected list.
Trevor Ludwig - My thinking is Trevor either is signed and not announced or has not been signed because he has not been cleared by the medical staff for the injury that ended his season last year. This one is just a matter of time.
Anthony Maiani - Maiani has signed in Europe so this one confuses me as to why he wasn't placed on the protected list. Martinson thinks highly of him and would want to have his rights if things don't work out in Denmark or the team does not make the playoffs. There has to be something going on behind the scenes with this one.
Mike Berube - Have heard nothing about Mike's plans for next year or conversations with the Americans. When I talked to him at one of the championship celebrations he was unsure of his plans for next year. My conclusion is he was not protected because he is not returning and he is a free agent able to talk to all CHL teams.
Brian McMillin - Coach Martinson always refers to Brian as a glue guy on the team, he is a top notch defensive player that blocks shots, an outstanding penalty killer and can also contribute offensively. He was on the protected list last year so my guess is the reason he was not put on the protected list this year is because he has been signed but not announced.
Steve Tarasuk - Supposedly headed to Europe and not on the protected list so he is a free agent and can negotiate with any CHL team when he returns from overseas.
Phil Fox - This is a tough one to analyze as Phil battled injuries last year and was leaning to move from playing to coaching. However, as the playoffs proceeded he seemed to already be missing the competition. He is back in Minnesota for the summer and by this time he has either agreed to return to Allen or is a free agent. This one is a close call but if I know Phil he will be returning to Allen. It seems to me Martinson would have included him on the protected list, so Fox may be signed but not announced.
Jonathan Zion - Another player that you hear nothing about. He usually starts the season in Europe. He is not on the protected list so my conclusion is he is a free agent who can talk to all CHL teams.
Jarret Lukin - Jarret did not play a game for Allen after the end of November last year, is not on the protected list and is a free agent who can talk to all CHL teams. My conclusion is he will not be returning to Allen.