- With the addition of Doremus and Pinkston there are now 26 players in camp (three goalies, 10 defensemen, 13 forwards) with the final roster of no more than 21 active players (excluding players on injured reserve) due in five days. You can look for the first cuts to be made as soon as Sunday following the preseason game in Wichita on Saturday.
- Wouldn't be a shock if coach Martinson ended up trading a defenseman next week as all ten of the defensemen in camp can play in the ECHL. No easy cuts or camp fillers in this group.
- Have had several questions about the new ECHL rule for this season that changes the end zone hash mark distance to five feet seven inches so here is an illustration (courtesy of scoutingtherefs.com) to show you what will be different this year. This is another rule where the ECHL is matching the NHL rule which changed in 2014-15 from three feet apart to the International Ice Hockey Federation standard of five feet seven inches apart. The rule is supposed to accomplish several things and should place even more importance on winning the draw and gaining possession of the puck. If the attacking team wins the faceoff, its forwards will have a little more room to get into shooting position and if the defensive team wins the faceoff it will be a little more difficult for the attacking team to regain control of the puck because defenders will have a split second more to handle the puck and make a decision. The additional distance should also prevent some of the predraw jostling, shoving and stick work that takes place. The new rule will will also impact power plays and three on three overtime where that little bit of extra distance could make a big difference. The key will be how well the linesmen enforce the new rule. Hope this explanation helps and it is something you can look for when you attend your first game. The blue and red lines in the illustrations below shows you the difference.
- A special thanks to Aaron Gens who came out to Heritage Ranch (where I live) yesterday afternoon to deliver season tickets and thank everyone for supporting the Allen Americans. We stopped at 22 homes and everyone was excited to chat with Aaron and very appreciative of him taking his time during training camp to personally deliver their season tickets. As you can see below fans wanted to talk to Aaron about hockey and his favorite pastime which is fishing.
- Congratulations to Tanner Eberle who has signed a contract with the Iowa Wild (AHL). Tanner made a big impression in a short time last year in Allen and had he not gotten an AHL deal would have returned to play for the Americans. It is disappointing he won't be in Allen but it is always great to see a player take the next step to his dream of making it to the NHL.
- If you track the ECHL transactions you may have noticed that the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) have sent CJ Ludwig, younger brother of Trevor and Tyler, to the Missouri Mavericks. If CJ doesn't get called up to the AHL he will see plenty of Trevor on the ice this year as Allen plays Missouri 11 times with six games being at the Allen Event Center.
- If you are on Twitter and not following all of the Allen Ice Angels suggest you do so immediately. They are in Mexico doing their annual calendar photo shoot and are sending back some great pictures.
- One of the most enjoyable parts of writing a blog is when I meet youngsters who are such big Allen Americans fans they want to write about the team, post pictures or video. I was recently contacted by ten year old Lily who with her dad (David) have started a weekly show they call Team Red where they talk about their favorite teams, the New Jersey Devils organization and the Allen Americans. Lily asked that I give her show a shout out in my blog and anything I can do to encourage a young fan I am more than willing to do, so this is for you Lily. They upload the show to YouTube on Thursday and you can find Lily's videos at the following link. buff.ly/1Vzhopl
- Had a chance to meet Dianne Webster at practice this week as she has been a constant presence with her camera. Dianne is an Allen Americans season ticket holder and an avid photographer who has done a lot of work in outdoor sports photography but had not tried hockey which presents some unique challenges with the speed of the game, lighting, angles and shooting through the glass. I asked Dianne to share some of her training camp pictures with me and she kindly obliged. Her are four samples. Nice work Dianne!
|Aaron Gens and the "youthful" Kevin Young share a laugh|
|All eyes on the puck|
|The new AEC ice - Wonder if those hash marks are correct?|
DID YOU KNOW: In the very early days of hockey the game started with the placement of the puck at center ice and on the signal by the referee, who rang a hand bell, the opposing forwards would perform a maneuver known as "Bully". That consisted of whacking the ice on their own side three times, then striking each others stick above the puck and then scrambling for the puck.