Saturday, October 8, 2016

It's Game Day! All the Details Plus Some Advice From Barry the Blogger

It has been four long months since the phrase, "it is game day for the Allen Americans" appeared in the blog. Today's rather meaningless exhibition game in Wichita is very different from the Americans last game on June 9 when they won the Kelly Cup. The team will leave around 10:30 this morning for a same day trip to play the Thunder tonight at 7:05. They will head back to Allen right after the game on the 360 mile trip and should arrive home very early Sunday morning.

- Coach Martinson was talking to players and putting the traveling squad together after practice yesterday. Unlike the regular season, this game will allow four lines so 12 forwards will make the trip along with six defensemen. Jamie Murray was on the ice yesterday for his first practice since being assigned by San Jose. He and Riley Gill will be the goalies. The third goalie in camp, Peter Di Salvo has been released. Most of the tryout players will make the trip to Wichita. A couple of the regular players will stay back in Allen.

Goalie Jamie Murray is back in Allen

- Per coach Martinson five players have returned from San Jose. Greger Hansen, Dyson Stevenson, Kyle Neuber, Eric Roy and Travis Brown. All but Stevenson will play tonight in Wichita. Tanner Eberle and Harrison Ruopp are still in San Jose. The Barracuda have their last exhibition game Sunday evening.

- Look for the training camp roster to be reduced after the team returns from Wichita. With all of the Allen signed players returning along with players being assigned from San Jose, it will be very difficult if not impossible for any of the tryout players to be around on Monday.


When I first started this blog back in 2012 I had an experience that had a big impact on me and it was a lesson learned that sticks with me today. The Americans had a player that got off to a great start at the beginning of the season and got a call up to the AHL. He played well in the AHL but suffered a concussion and it was reported that the team had "shut him down" for the season. Being an eager new blogger that knew the Allen fans would be interested I wrote about this in my blog. After posting the blog I headed over to the Allen Event Center (AEC) to attend practice as was my usual routine. While watching practice my phone rang at it was the player I had just written about. He wasn't angry but asked if I would take the reference to his injury out of my blog. He went on to explain how my reporting about his injury may effect his ability to get a contract in the future. After practice that day, Darryl Bootland, who was a friend of this player, took me aside and had a thoughtful conversation about how when your occupation is a hockey player your health is a significant factor when prospective employers are considering hiring you. While past concussions are always a red flag, any severe or recurring injury can be the difference between getting a job, being promoted or being released. Once something is written in a blog or on social media it is there forever for everyone to see.

So here is my advice which I have followed since that learning experience in 2012. If you are a fan and/or blogger do not talk about player injuries on social media. Unless the player publicly says something about the injury do not be specific. Remember, hockey is how these guys make a living and talking about concussions, knee injuries, shoulder injuries, etc. could impact their future employment. Don't repeat what you hear from other fans, read on social media or even witness in person. Talk in generalities such as upper body, lower body, injured, limping, etc. I assure the players will appreciate it.

DID YOU KNOW:  Darryl Bootland, who played in Allen for their first two championship is about to start his 15th professional season. He now plays for the Colorado Eagles. Affectionately known as Booter, he will turn 35 next month. Booter has 32 NHL games to his credit having played 28 games for the Detroit Red Wings and four with the New York Islanders.
Darryl Bootland


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