Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Practice & Roster Update, Equipment Issues, Ticket Winners, Lambert Not Coming to Allen

If you attended the Allen Americans practice yesterday you would have seen a big group participating and nobody was wearing the gold no contact jersey. There were 21 players on the ice. For the record Allen has 24 players under contract. Kyle Neuber, Travis Brown and Aaron Gens are currently out with injuries.

- Coach Martinson is in the process of making a couple of changes to the practice schedule that will happen when skating coach Luke Chilcott and goalie coach Thomas Speer attend. Rather than the full practice starting at 10:00 am as in the past, Chilcott will spend the first 30 minutes alternating with the defense one day and the forwards the next. Speer will work with the goalies while Chilcott is working with the defensemen or forwards. Then the full practice will begin at 10:30.

- This change will accomplish two things. It allows Luke Chilcott to work with the players when the ice is fresh and the players aren't tired from a full practice. It also makes the process mandatory as everyone will participate. In the past only a few players would stick around after practice to work with Luke on their skating.

- With 21 players available tomorrow for the first of three games against Tulsa there will be three healthy scratches. The biggest unknown is whether Zach Hall will be back in the lineup. While he was a full participant in practice he is still considered day to day. If Hall is back in the lineup it could be a big lift for the Americans as he gives the team a puck carrying playmaker who has averaged a point a game since joining Allen.

- Something that fans may find strange is while the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA) agreement with the ECHL has very specific language about providing skates and other equipment to the players there always seems to be issues living up to the agreement. After a player is on the roster for 60 days they are entitled to a new pair of skates. Because there always seems to be budget issues this rarely happens on a timely basis. My understanding is several players have skates that are in such bad shape they can no longer be repaired and this becomes a safety issue. You would think the least ownership could do is provide the equipment required by the PHPA, especially when the old equipment is barely functional. This is no way to treat any team let alone a four time champion with a shot at a fifth. It is not asking a lot to provide the skates, goalie equipment and other items as required by the collective bargaining agreement. C'MON MAN!


- Wanted to followup on a story included in the blog a couple of weeks ago about an assistant coach coming in to help Steve Martinson. Denny Lambert played with Martinson and was looking to get back into coaching. He agreed to come to Allen to gain experience and help out coach Martinson. Lambert will not be coming to Texas as he has landed a more lucrative job as an associate coach in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Here is a link to the story announcing his new position.

- Former Quad City Mallards coach Terry Ruskowski is living in Dallas and still being paid by the Mallards. Sure would be great if could help out the Americans while he is figuring out his next step in coaching. If you recall, Kevin Colley helped out Allen because he lived in the area and was being paid by his former team, Arizona. Don't think anything is likely with Ruskowski but it is wishful thinking from someone who has always enjoyed watching him coach. Three huge hurdles would have to be jumped if this was to happen. First, Steve Martinson would have to be interested and reach out to Ruskowski. Second, Ruskowski would have to be interested in keeping his toe in the water of the ECHL by helping out the Americans. Third, the Quad City Mallards would have to agree to any working arrangement between Ruskowski and Allen since the Mallards ares still paying him. Highly unlikely but interesting to speculate about.

- Thanks to everyone that entered the trivia contest or drawing for free tickets for the game against Tulsa tomorrow night. The winner of the trivia contest was Madison Shields who was the first to answer the question about the former Allen Americans player that played junior hockey, college hockey and professional hockey with Chad Costello. The answer is former Allen defensman, David Strathman, who played in Allen in 2010-11. Chad and David played junior hockey together for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders, college hockey for Northeastern University and professional hockey for the St. Charles Chill.

- The winners of two loge seats for the game tomorrow night are Teresa Taylor and Bob Kendall. Congrats to all.

DID YOU KNOW: Last Saturday the Colorado Eagles scored seven first period goals on the way to a 9-4 win over Wichita. Seven goals in a period is tied for fifth all-time and has happened 11 times. Eight goals in a period has happened three times but the most goals scored in a period is nine and that has been accomplished just once in the history of the league. The Johnstown Chiefs scored nine goals in a period on November 10, 1990 against the Cincinnati Cyclones.

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