Monday, July 11, 2016

Food For Thought - The Team, The Owners, The League

It is the off season and new information about the upcoming season is hard to come by so thought today would be a good day to share my thoughts on what might happen in the near future. Here goes:

- There have been just two player signings formally announced (Chad Costello and Riley Gill) but you can take it to the bank there are many more players that have agreed to terms and will be announced over the next few weeks. When all is said and done, the Americans will have more players returning to start the season than anytime in team history. 

- Bringing back key players that were on AHL deals last year will be key going forward. Eric Roy, Spencer Asuchak, Chris Crane and Rick Pinkston have to be key targets for coach Martinson. San Jose Barracuda coach Roy Sommer spent several days in Allen during the playoffs and you would have to think they may sign some Allen players. In addition to the guys on AHL deals last season, players like Greger Hanson and David Makowski may get some consideration. 

- One thing is certain, San Jose will work closely with coach Martinson to make sure the players assigned to Allen will help the Americans and also be developed for playing at the AHL level. Best guess is still 4-6 players from San Jose being assigned to Allen. 

I continue to believe a change in ownership for the Allen Americans is in the works and could be announced any day. Everyone who may have knowledge of what is happening says no comment but there is enough activity going on behind the scenes that gives me confidence that a deal has been struck but not announced. I have heard in the past that more than one group was interested in buying the team so it is a matter of when rather than if the team will be sold. To me a more interesting question is whether the new ownership is a local group or not. Again, my hunch is not based on any information provided by anyone in the Allen Americans organization so you can take it with a grain of salt. 

- It seems to be taking a long time to issue a press release on the decisions made at the recent ECHL Board of Governors (BOG) meeting. It has been three weeks since the BOG met in Las Vegas.  I followed up with the  league office and was told, "The BOG Meeting remains open as there are still several issues being discussed. We cannot issue any announcements until the Meeting is closed." It does make you wonder what issues are being considered. Based on the past BOG Meetings it could include issues related to ownership, policies and rule changes. Did the BOG deal with change of ownership in Allen, the Evansville/Owensboro franchise, or moving a team to Portland? The AHL just announced several rule changes including big changes to the fighting rules. Will the ECHL adopt the new AHL rules? Will there be changes in the division alignment as has been rumored? If there is a change will it effect Allen negatively as has been rumored? UPDATE: The ECHL will announce the 2016-17 divisional alignment at 1 pm ET today (Monday). Will there be changes to the number of reserve player that are allowed or signing a third goalie as suggested by some ECHL teams? The bottom line is when the press release is issued about decisions made by the BOG they could be significant but it is a wait and see at this point. 

- If you haven't seen the rule changes adopted by the AHL for next season here is a summary:

Rule 46 (“Fighting”)/Rule 23 (“Game Misconducts”) 
  • Players who enter into a fight prior to, at, or immediately following the drop of the puck for a face-off will be assessed an automatic game misconduct in addition to other penalties assessed. 
  • During the regular season, any player who incurs his 10th fighting major shall be suspended automatically for one (1) game. For each subsequent fighting major up to 13, the player shall also be suspended automatically for one (1) game. 
  • During the regular season, any player who incurs his 14th fighting major shall be suspended automatically for two (2) games. For each subsequent fighting major, the player shall also be suspended automatically for two (2) games. 
  • In any instance where the opposing player was assessed an instigator penalty, the fighting major shall not count towards the player’s total for this rule. 
Rule 82 (“Icing”) 
  • In addition to not being permitted to make player substitutions, the offending team on an icing violation also may not use its team time-out. 

Rule 1.10 (“Ice Cleaning”) 
  • The ice cleaning procedures used during promotional timeouts will also be used prior to overtime during the regular season, replacing the “dry scrape.” 

DID YOU KNOW: Former Allen Americans forward, Jack Combs, has signed to play with the Fischtown  Pinguins in the top German league. For the vagabond Combs it will be the 19th different team he has played for since turning professional in 2009-10. Incidentally, another former Allen Americans player, Jamie Schaafsma, played for the Fischtown Pinguins in the 2008-09. 


  1. Thanks for the post Barry, I see the new conference/division alignment has been announced, and Tulsa and Wichita are part of the Central, whereas we are in the Mountain, which stinks!

    The fact that our nearest opponent will be roughly 500 miles away and that most games will take place outside of our time-zone is also a major negative for the Americans.

    Hopefully the new ownership group is willing to put our boys on an airplane vs making them take a bus all over the Western half of the USA.

  2. Why realign after the schedule is done
    Is there a new one comming out

  3. Why realign after the schedule is done
    Is there a new one comming out

  4. ARFSOFT, There will be no schedule change for this season. I saw some comments by the commissioner and the league felt this was the best approach and would be more travel friendly compared to the playoff approach last season. It was done for the playoffs to avoid long travel issues. Playing within the division for the first two rounds will save travel dollars. This however, will most likely not be the case for Allen and the Mountain Division.