Sunday, June 19, 2016

Allen Americans & ECHL Weekly Update - News You Can Use

As the off season gets into full swing for the Allen Americans there are a few happenings around the team and the ECHL worth sharing so here goes.

- Coach Martinson and family have made it home to Rockford, Illinois for the summer. It will be another short summer for the Martinson's who will be back in Allen around mid-August. A lot of work for Martinson over the next 10 days trying to get players on the protected list signed before qualifying offers are due June 30.

- Dyson Stevenson is back in Saskatchewan and in the midst of a big charity softball tournament he helped organize. Joel Rumpel is in Madison WI and had a charity golf and hockey game this week, Aaron Gens is in Minnesota to work a hockey camp and Riley Gill is headed to the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA) annual meeting in Orlando. Just a few examples of what the guys are up to already, just 10 days after winning the Kelly Cup.

- The ECHL is having their annual meeting this week (June 20-24) in Las Vegas. The Board of Governors (BOG) meet early in the week and then the team staffs meet later in the week. Typically, the BOG will consider issues related to franchises, rules changes and policy changes and if anything is approved it will be reported after the meeting. Later in the week, a myriad of topics will be covered. Here is the press release issued by the ECHL on the annual meeting.
 One thing to keep an eye on is Thursday morning when several awards will be presented. With the year Allen had they should be in contention in several of the categories. The following are the awards that will be presented Thursday morning:

Ticket Department of the Year
Ticket Executive of the Year
Marketing Department of the Year
Broadcaster of the Year
Media Relations Director of the Year
Website of the Year
Team Social Media Award
Overall award of Excellence

Two of the awards I will be especially interested in are Broadcaster of the Year where the voice of the Allen Americans, Tommy Daniels, should have a good chance after calling two consecutive Kelly Cup championships for the Americans. Tommy is the best in the business and to add the ECHL Broadcaster of the Year award to the same recognition he received in the Central Hockey League would mean a lot. The other category in which Allen should get consideration is Ticket Department of the Year. The Allen group increased tickets sales close to 500 per game during the regular season over last year and playoff attendance increased an average of 1500 per game over last season. Mike Martin and the entire sales staff deserves recognition so let's hope they are rewarded in Las Vegas.

- The other group that has a meeting this week is the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA). They will meet in Orlando June 20-24. One player representative from each AHL and ECHL team participates in an open discussion on a variety of Collective Bargaining and other PHPA related issues. It provides the players the opportunity to review the past year and provide input and direction for the upcoming season. Riley Gill is the player representative for Allen. The AHL President and CEO, Dave Andrews, and ECHL Commissioner, Brian McKenna both participate in the meeting giving a "State of the League" address and also meet in a closed door session with the player representatives to hear questions, feedback, and ideas directly from the players. There is also a golf outing during the week and even though Riley has been doing more fishing than golfing while in Texas, the PHPA better watch out as he is an outstanding golfer (as in scratch) who was one of the best high school golfers in Minnesota. Here is the press release from the PHPA on the annual meeting which has all of the details:

- Toledo Walleye coach Derek Lalonde has been hired as the new head coach of the Iowa Wild (AHL). Lalonde coached Toledo for the past two seasons to a combined record of 97-35-12. Here is the news release on his hiring.

- There have been a lot of stories written about Allen coach Steve Martinson since he won his 10th championship on June 9th. This one, written by Mark Monroe of the Toledo Blade, comes from a little different perspective as it takes Martinson all the way back to his first professional season (1981-82) as a player when he left St. Cloud State College in Minnesota and made his professional debut with the Toledo Goaldiggers. This is a good read if you haven't already seen it:

- Here is a story about bringing ECHL hockey to Portland, Maine. What is interesting is in the story they talk about bringing an existing ECHL franchise to Portland and the prospective team has already been contacted and a price has been worked out. There was speculation the team was Evansville/Owensboro but the owner denied the team is being sold. The following is the story from the Portland Press Herald: 

DID YOU KNOW: There are a lot of ways to look at the success of the Allen Americans. Below is the combined regular season record for the seven year history of the team (overall, home and road). Another indication how spoiled the Allen fans have been over the past seven years.

295-129-48 - overall record
151-59-26 - home record
144-70-22 - road record

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