Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Practice Update, Allen Trades Guptill for D-Man Cure & Lavoie Rights, Off Ice Events & More

When general manager Steve Martinson arrives at the rink at 6:30 a.m., well before coach Steve Martinson arrives for 10:00 a.m. practice you know there is a lot of work to be done. Thus was the case yesterday as Martinson was trying to deal with the recent loss of five defenseman from the roster. Travis Brown, Eric Roy and Aaron Gens are injured while Jason Fram and Mike Brodzinski were recalled by San Jose. With only four healthy defensemen, Martinson was checking the ECHL trade wire, making calls to SPHL teams, talking to agents and getting updated medical reports on the injured players so he could come up with the best short and long term solution for the team.

- When I talked to coach Martinson after practice he was weighing several options from going with four defenseman on Wednesday to bringing in a player short term to making a trade. After lunch he decided the best solution was a trade with the Indy Fuel. Allen traded forward Alex Guptill to Indy for defenseman  Randy Cure and the rights for former Allen American Alex Lavoie.

- Randy Cure is a third year pro who played his collegiate hockey at Mercyhurst College, a NCAA Division 1 school in Erie, Pennsylvania. Cure is another of the long list of Minnesota players that have played in Allen. He is from my hometown of Bloomington, MN. Cure is a journeyman defenseman having played 86 ECHL games for five different teams since turning pro at the end of his collegiate eligibility in 2014. See below for Cure's complete playing history. If you are a fan of the movie, Miracle, Randy's older brother Joe played Mike Ramsey, the youngest player on the 1980 Miracle on Ice team, in that movie. Joe Cure auditioned for the part having no prior acting experience. Unfortunately Joe Cure was killed in a car accident in his adopted home of Montana in November, 2015.

- For those of you that got all excited when you heard Allen obtained the rights to Alex Lavoie in the trade for Guptill, I would say curb your enthusiasm. Alex is playing in Sweden in the second level league, Allsvenskan. Alex plays for BIK Karlskoga and he not only leads his team in scoring, he leads the entire league in scoring. In 26 games Lavoie has 27 points (8 goals 19 assists). BIK Karlskoga is in first place in the 14 team league with a record of 18-6-2. Do not expect to see Alex Lavoie in an Allen uniform this season.

- Coach Martinson spent time at practice yesterday using drills that concentrated on areas of weakness from the games in Wichita. Newly acquired forward Zach Hall was on the ice for the first time and will be in the line up on Wednesday. Travis Brown also practiced but was wearing the no contact yellow jersey.


- Tomorrow night will be the second "Winning Wednesday" promotion where any individual ticket holder has a chance to win free tickets if Allen wins the game. You will win one free ticket for each goal in the margin of victory. If Allen beats Colorado by four goals you win four free tickets. For those of you that attended the game last Wednesday you should have received an email yesterday from the Americans with a link to select your three free tickets as Allen beat Missouri 4-1. Email  Robert Fatta (robert@allenamericans.com) if you were not contacted.

- There will be another specialty jersey auction this Friday (December 16). This one is "Ugly Sweater Night" but have to admit this sweater is not that ugly as Christmas sweaters go. It is sponsored by radio station Star 102.1. Here is a picture.

- Each year the Allen Americans Fan Club has a Christmas party for the players. At this party the players hand paint Christmas ornaments which the fan club auctions to raise funds to help the players. It is always fun to see which players have artistic ability and which are creatively challenged. The auction will take place this Friday (December 16). Stop by the fan club table at the west end of the concourse to see the ornaments and make a bid.

- Here is a story put out by the San Jose Sharks about Aaron Dell's role as the Sharks back up goalie and his journey to the NHL. It is a great story but doesn't really cover what Aaron has overcome to make it to the NHL. The best part of his story is that he has had to work for everything he has accomplished. At every step of the way from juniors, college and in the pro ranks he was never "the guy" who was designated the top goalie on his team. He always started out as the number two goalie and through hard work and performance became the number one goalie. It was true in college when he started on the bench and beat out an all-conference goalie for the number one spot. He signed his first professional contract with the Colorado Eagles in 2012-13 but was waived in training camp. He then signed with Allen, where two University of North Dakota alumni (Ed Belfour & Craig Ludwig) who had just started working with the Americans. He was supposed to be the backup goalie to a veteran Kelly Cup MVP but won the starting job and led the Americans to their first championship playing in all 19 playoff games. The same thing happened when he got promoted to the AHL in Worcester and then San Jose as he earned his way to their top goalie. Aaron Dell has never been given a thing. He has climbed the hockey ladder through hard work, determination, and performance along with the support of his wife, Kelly, who is back in her home state of Minnesota finishing her degree at the University of Minnesota to become a Registered Dietitian. With that said here is the link to the story put out by the Sharks: https://www.nhl.com/sharks/news/dells-road-to-nhl-helps-him-succeed-with-sharks/c-284646582

Here are the statistics on Randy Cure courtesy of hockeydb:

Randy Cure

Defense -- shoots L
Born Apr 5 1990 -- Bloomington, MN
[26 yrs. ago]
Height 6.03 -- Weight 205

Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2008-09 Tri-City Storm USHL 6 0 0 0 8 -7 ----------
2008-09 Fairbanks Ice Dogs NAHL 12 1 2 3 12 5

2008-09 Springfield Jr. Blues NAHL 28 2 7 9 44 6

2009-10 Springfield Jr. Blues NAHL 37 2 9 11 32 -2

2010-11 Mercyhurst College AHA 18 1 0 1 6  

2011-12 Mercyhurst College AHA 34 0 1 1 16  

2012-13 Mercyhurst College AHA 20 0 1 1 18  

2013-14 Mercyhurst College AHA 41 0 8 8 32  

2013-14 Elmira Jackals ECHL 7 0 1 1 0 -9 ----------
2014-15 Evansville Icemen ECHL 30 1 3 4 32 -10 ----------
2015-16 Fort Wayne Komets ECHL 28 1 3 4 16 5 ----------
2015-16 Tulsa Oilers ECHL 3 0 0 0 2 -2 ----------
2016-17 Indy Fuel* ECHL 18 0 3 3 6 -14


DID YOU KNOW: Alex Lavoie was signed by Allen as an amateur at the end of his junior career in 2012-13. He played in one playoff game and had an assist before it was discovered the rules in the Central Hockey League (CHL) did not allow him to sign. The CHL rule was a team could sign two amateurs and they didn't have to play any regular season games. Allen signed Justin Kirsch and Bryce Aneloski but they both got injured, Kirsch played in five playoff games and Aneloski played in seven. The Americans thought the rule that allowed for two amateurs meant if one got injured they could be replaced. In fact, the rule meant once you sign two amateurs you are done. Allen signed Lavoie, the league approved his contract and he played one game before the error came to light. His contract was voided and he was sent home after one game. Technically Lavoie was a part of the 2013 CHL championship having played in only one game. Luckily, Alex Lavoie came back to the Americans in 2013-14 and had an incredible rookie season setting rookie records that may never be broken. He was Allen's leading scorer with 76 points (25 goals 51 assists). His 76 points were 19 more than anyone else on the team. He was the CHL's Rookie of the Year and won his second CHL championship.

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