For a day off there was a lot of activity at the Allen Event Center (AEC) yesterday when I stopped by. Equipment manager Nolan Bowker was repairing equipment, trainer Jaime Garcia was repairing players, there were 10 players practicing (no coaches) on this day "off" and coach Steve Martinson was busy researching player stats, completing roster change paperwork, watching video, making and taking calls about players. Just a typical day around the locker room.
- Greger Hanson has been loaned to the Utica Comets (AHL) . The Comets play two home games this weekend. It is a great opportunity for Greger as Utica has lost some players recently and will give him a good look. If he plays well, this could be a long term assignment. Utica is in third place in their division and in a playoff spot.
- Joel Rumpel is in San Jose but did not play last night as the Barracuda beat Stockton 7-1. The Barracuda don't play again until Saturday. It is yet to be determined what happens with the goalie situation in Allen for the weekend. The Sharks are waiting for their newly acquired goalie (James Reimer) to arrive from Toronto after getting his immigration papers in order. When Reimer arrives Aaron Dell will most likely be returned to the Barracuda. If all this happens today or tomorrow, Allen should be assigned a goalie for their games with Colorado and Rapid City this weekend. Who gets assigned and when they get assigned is still up in the air.
- Riley Gill has been practicing and is ready to go so he will be on the road trip this weekend for sure.
- Congrats to Joel Rumpel who was named the ECHL goalie of the week yesterday. Last week Joel was 3-0 with a 2.30 GAA and .931 save percentage. His 48 save shutout in a 1-0 win on Friday was one of the best goalie performances of the year.
- Congrats also goes to Aaron Gens who was nominated for the ECHL player of the week. Aaron had four points (2 goals 2 assists) and was a +3 over the weekend including a game tying and game winning goal.
- The Americans are in good shape health wise. For the first time in a long time everyone is available including Dyson Stevenson who sat out last weekend. You can expect an extra player or two will make the road trip as insurance against any injury or illness, especially playing in Colorado on Saturday. The Eagles lead the ECHL in penalty minutes (1095), major penalties (59) and fights (58).
- The team will leave for Colorado tomorrow (Thursday) night at around 8:00 pm which means if all goes well they should arrive in Loveland Friday morning in time for breakfast.
- With the ECHL trade deadline fast approaching (March 10) look for a lot of trade activity over the next week. Rapid City traded arguably their best scorer, Cody Ferriero, yesterday to Utah for Ryan Walters and Josh MacDonald. Walters is a former Hobey Baker award finalist (2012-13) and was Utah's third leading scorer. This is just one of many high profile trades that will take place in the next week.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Thanks to all who have asked this question numerous times. Too many to name. Thanks to CEO Steve Violetta for providing the answer.
Q: Why haven't the championship banners been hung in the rafters at the AEC?
A: A specialized piece of equipment needs to be rented in order to hang the championship banners. The Americans are working with the AEC staff to coordinate a time when there are multiple tasks that need to be completed using this rented equipment. Until this happens the Americans will hang the banners in the concourse.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen has opened up an eight point lead over Tulsa in the battle for second place in the Central Division. The schedule favors Allen as the Americans have more home games remaining (11) than any team in the league while Tulsa has the fewest home games remaining (5).