Thursday, October 2, 2014

ECHL Announcement Next Week? What Does It Mean? Players Get Their Numbers Assigned

Courtesy CHL Memes


-  When talking about what is happening with the ECHL it is best to be clear that anything on this blog is not based on any inside information, no sources provided information especially the Allen Americans front office and this blog is not the official blog of the Allen Americans. And has been said before blog readers are tired of speculation about what will happen so the only thing to reiterate is what has been reported here consistently since September 17, and that is the Americans will be playing in the ECHL and it will happen for the upcoming season. The only thing that has been changing is the date when this gets announced. It is still an unknown date but the best guess is it won't happen until next week. It really is a fill in the blank date but if forced to be specific the 7th - 10th would be the best guess and that is obviously a moving target. While there has been no official comments from either league there have been numerous tweets, posts, and comments from agents, beat writers and others talking off the record all day today. This all started with a tweet from agent Darryl Wolski last night (which he has subsequently deleted) that said the deal is done and and the coaches will be meeting in Chicago. Wolski usually knows what he is talking about. Many others have confirmed a meeting will take place next week on Tuesday including the ECHL Board Of Governors. Stay tuned!

- If you were to stop by the Allen Event Center there is no indication anyone associated with the Allen Americans is sitting around awaiting a decision regarding the ECHL. It is full speed ahead with ticket sales, marketing, sponsorships, promotions, etc. as if the team is playing in the CHL. When the announcement comes they will adapt as necessary.

- The Allen team is slowly starting to assemble, however most players will not arrive until next week primarily because the apartments that are provided by the team will not be available until just prior to training camp officially starting. The guys that have arrived recently and those that live in the area do skate together informally and that group has grown to six or seven this week.

- Most signed players have been assigned their numbers which are posted on the Allen Americans web site which is copied below. Returning players got their same number from last year with the exception of Trevor Ludwig who had the fans pick his new number (#17). Based on the "30 Questions" interviews done with many of the new players where one of the questions is "what is your favorite number" most were able to get their first choice of number. The only goalie with an assigned number per the team's web site is Willie Yanakeff who is assigned #37. Forward Devin DiDiomete has not yet been assigned a number.
- Assuming the announcement happens next week that the Allen Americans will be playing in the ECHL this year, what does that mean. Below is a recap of some of the differences between the CHL and ECHL. Many of these are a repeat from a prior post but if you scroll down you will find some new details.

- The assumption based on leagues moving into the ECHL in the past is that there won't be many if any transition rules. In other words, the ECHL rules will apply immediately. If that is the case opening day rosters would have to be submitted to the ECHL by 3 pm Eastern time on October 15th. Since the CHL teams are currently operating under the CHL time frames where the players will not report until October 10th you can see the possible dilemma. It could end up being a five day training camp before final rosters are submitted. And it certainly doesn't make sense to have a preseason game on the 17th as currently scheduled if the rosters are due on the 15th. This could all be resolved by the ECHL giving the CHL teams an extension to the ECHL final roster due date of October 15th.

- While many are speculating how the schedule will look the best guess is there will be an ECHL division made up of most if not all of the CHL teams. There will be a few tweaks but not a major schedule redo.

- There has been much discussion about the veteran rules as the CHL allows six vets and define a vet as over 300 professional games while the ECHL is four veterans and 260 games. This will cause some roster changes and some veteran players that are being recruited under the CHL rules will not be signed. In anticipation of a potential move to the ECHL coach Martinson has only three veterans signed and announced at this time by ECHL rules (Trevor Ludwig, Tyler Ludwig and Devin DiDiomete). Some of the other CHL teams are not in such good shape.

- In all likelihood the rights to CHL players from the team's protected list will be lost. The only way to get these players back (if they have signed in the ECHL) would be through trade or waivers. Those that are in Europe will become free agents.  As a reminder, those on the protected list for Allen are:
Spencer Asuchak - unsigned and currently attending AHL camp with Providence
Greger Hanson - signed with Cincinnati (ECHL) and attending AHL camp with Oklahoma City
Trevor Hendrikx - playing in EIHL for the Cardiff Devils in Wales
Kale Kerbashian - signed with the Evansville Icemen (ECHL)
Garrett Klotz - signed with the Indianapolis Fuel (ECHL) and attending AHL camp with Rockford
Alex Lavoie - signed with the Florida Everblades (ECHL) and attending AHL camp with Norfolk
Bryan Pitton - playing in Poland for KH Sanok
Ross Rouleau - Retired

- Roster size and salary caps are very similar between the leagues especially with the changes the CHL was planning for the upcoming season but there are differences. The ECHL active roster can be 21 for the first 30 days of the season and then drops to 20. This compares to the CHL which this year was going to have an active roster size of 19. These numbers do not include injured reserve players.

- The CHL salary cap was going to be $12,000 per week this year while the ECHL salary cap for 2014-2015 is $12,615 for the first 30 days of the season (because of the one extra roster spot) and then drops to $12,200.

- The rookie salary cap (maximum you can pay a rookie) is $550 in the CHL and only $510 in the ECHL so all of the rookies already signed in the CHL at the max salary will be taking a small salary cut.

- As for season ticket holders the best solution for what will be three additional home games (the CHL has a 66 game schedule while the ECHL plays 72 games) is to allow season ticket holders to buy those games on a game by game basis at their season ticket price. This is the most likely approach in Allen. This may be a team by team decision.

- The ECHL has had an agreement with CCM (a subsidiary of Reebok which is owned by Adidas)  for many years to provide all on ice equipment (sticks, visors, helmets, gloves and trousers) and last year became the exclusive provider of home and away jerseys for the ECHL.The conventional wisdom is the CHL teams would have some time to use the current inventory of equipment and transition at some date in the not too distant future to the ECHL prescribed equipment.

-  The ECHL signed a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) last year with a five year duration which doesn't expire until June 30, 2018. A big improvement from the year to year CBA in the CHL. Another indication of stability in the ECHL. All of the dollar amounts (salary cap, minimum salaries, per diem, playoff pool, etc) have been negotiated for all five years.

- As mentioned above the ECHL salary cap for 2014-2015 is $12,200 per week but there is also a salary floor which is $9100 per week.

- There is also a minimum salary in the ECHL and for this season it is $415 per week for players with fewer than 25 games and $460 per week for all other players. The CHL minimums for the 2013-2014 season were $345 for those with less than 25 games and $390 for those with more than 25 games.

- Per Diem when on the road is $39 per day in the ECHL for the upcoming season compared to $31 last year in the CHL.

DID YOU KNOW: The all time ECHL leading scorer for players with more than 90 games when you look at points scored per game is a CHL coach. Rapid City Rush coach Joe Ferras played 95 games in the ECHL from 1989 -1991 and had 198 points (77 goals 121 assists) for a whopping average of 2.08 points per game.

1 comment:

  1. Barry, any mention to what this means for the teams ownership? Can an owner own 3 teams in the ECHL? Any educated guesses?