*Please note: While Barry is on vacation, the views below do not reflect those of Barry or the Allen Americans Organization.
With today being Easter Sunday, we want to wish all our readers a very Happy Easter. Monday's blog will recap Saturday and Sunday's games.
(photo courtesy of Barry's Facebook gallery)
We all may recognize Barry Janssen in the stands, walking through the Allen Event Center, in the VIP room, or have heard him through our headsets with Tommy Daniels, but what do you know about him? He was born in South Dakota but was raised and spent most of his life in Minnesota. We are all aware of his genuine love for hockey, but this did not start with the Americans. Barry's passion started when he attended the University of Minnesota with NCAA hockey, and as a fan of the Minnesota North Stars. As most hockey fans in MN., he was devastated when the North Stars became the Dallas Stars. Barry witnessed something that most of us can only read about: at that time, the only death attributed to an injury on the ice. This was the death of Bill Masterton, MN North Star forward, on 1/13/1968, which resulted from being checked; as he fell his head snapped back on the ice.
(Sadly at the writing of this blog, a referee from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and linesman for the ECHL - Oliver "Butch" Mousseaux has also passed on March 25, 2016, from a fall, smacking his head on the ice, during pre-game warm ups, in Grand Rapids MI on Friday, 3/18/16
Barry is married to Nancy and they have 2 children. They relocated to Plano, Texas in 1994 and had not been following hockey until the inception of the Allen Americans. They were two of the first season ticket holders in 2009 and have not looked back. Barry considered himself just a fan until the 3rd year (2011-12) when he sparked interest where he lives in Heritage Ranch (an active adult resort community) and organized the Heritage Ranch Allen Americans Fan Club (different from the Allen Americans Fan Club which deals with support for the players and Allen American community). Heritage Ranch Fan Club now boasts over 200 members. Each year they host players, coaches and staff to talk about hockey, allow fans to get to know them, and conduct Hockey 101 class. Barry is also a Vietnam War Veteran and secures tickets for the vets living in Heritage Ranch as part of the Allen Americans "Seats for Soldiers" program.
When Barry is not at hockey or writing the blog he spends a good part of time fishing and/or hunting in Canada, Minnesota, North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas. He is not a golfer, but as the Vice President of the fishing club at Heritage Ranch, he collects lost balls at the golf course in Heritage Ranch for cleaning, then sells them to help defray the costs of stocking their 13 acre lake with fish.
This may come as a complete surprise to you! Barry and Nancy love to travel! (Whooda thunk it?) They have concentrated their travel on nature and adventure which has taken them to (this is gonna be lengthy): Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Kenya, Tanzania, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Costa Rica, Panama, England, Ireland, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Easter Island, Galapagos Islands, Greenland, and Iceland. One item on Barry's bucket list is to complete his quest of all 7 continents by going to Antarctica. He will probably go solo (or with friends) as Nancy will not travel through the potentially dangerous weather of Drake's passage which is where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet.
Barry also enjoys playing volleyball several times a week and tries to squeeze in bike riding on a regular basis.
In addition to Barry's bio, we asked him some of the following questions, and here are his responses:
What is your favorite music - not much of a music fan, but would have to say country
Favorite pizza topping - mushrooms and onion
Favorite CHL/ECHL uniform - the old Odessa Jackalopes and Quad City Mallards
Favorite Allen Americans rivalry - Would have to say Wichita and Missouri
Who do you text the most - Probably would be Coach Martinson
What is your least favorite chore - weeding the landscape
Related to hockey, what is your pet peeve - people who hear things then pass it on when they shouldn't, for example, when at the press conference, Marty will say he does not want something repeated and it leaves the room
What was your first car - '66 Chevy Chevelle; bought it new, 3 speed on the column, could not drive a stick shift so getting it off the lot was a challenge
If you could have a superpower - enduring health
If you could attend a sporting event - definitely playoff game 7 that I missed last year
Favorite holiday - Memorial Day because I am usually fishing in Canada (not this year if we are in the playoffs, Barry!)
Favorite store - without a doubt, Cabella's
Ideal fishing foursome - Aaron Gens, Riley Gill, and Brian McMillin
Favorite place visited - Safari in Africa
What would you do if you were ECHL Commissioner for a day - try to balance the schedule so we are not playing the same teams in our division 13, 14, and 15 times. Also, revisit the playoff seeding format.
Two things on your bucket list - visit Antarctica, South America for peacock bass fishing.
Most interesting place visited - Nepal; Himalayas
Most memorable interview - Darryl Bootland player profile
Funniest blog response - I asked "tell me something that your teammates don't know about you", Anthony Maiani told me he had a teddy bear collection in which I asked did he want me to put that in the blog and Maiani said yes.
Favorite blog post - One I reposted from Tulsa "Soldiers of Fortune" and I have to mention the two blogs of those who have passed, Chip Crail, and our bus driver Scott Alexander, those had large readership, both are meaningful to me.
Something no one knows about you - I went sky diving, rafted in the Grand Canyon, and went on a hot air balloon ride all in the same year, early 1990's.
Last, (courstesy of Paul Dolinar) if you could be a tree, what kind would you be - an old tree
The success of this blog is evident when you realize it is has over 600,000 unique page views. These views are 80% from within the U.S.A., 10% from Canada, and there are regular readings from Germany, England, France, Sweden, Ukraine, and Russia to name a few. Barry credits the encouragement of starting and success of the blog to Tommy Daniels and his advertisements during game time. These writers credit most of the success from the quality and substance of the material contained within. Keep it going, Barry.
Did you know: Masterton's death sparked a long running debate in hockey about the merits of wearing helmets. Despite several efforts to mandate their use, it was 11 years before the NHL made them compulsory for all new players beginning in the 1979-80 season.