It is getaway day for the Allen Americans as they leave this afternoon for Independence, Missouri where they will take on the Mavericks tomorrow (Friday) night and then head to Indianapolis to play the Indy Fuel on Sunday.
- Two players that won't be with the team are forward Jake Marchment who was recalled by San Jose yesterday and immediately loaned to Indy. The Recall/Reassignment deadline was at 11:59 pm last night. The other transaction was defenseman Randy Cure being traded to the Wichita Thunder. Here is my take on what took place yesterday.
Jake Marchment - this recall/reassignment, which took place on the last day such transactions can be made, is similar to what happened with Matt Willows earlier in the season when he was recalled by San Jose and then loaned to Reading. Allen ended up getting Zach Hall and Miles Liberati from Reading. You have to believe Allen will get a player in return for Marchment ending up in Indy. If Allen doesn't receive a player from Indy today by the trade deadline (2:00 pm local time) you can assume any futures this year would have to be an AHL contracted player assigned at a later date. Who and when remains to be seen.
Randy Cure - You really have to read the fine print to figure this trade out. When first announced by the ECHL this was Randy Cure to Wichita for future considerations. However, late last night ECHL Weekly tweeted this, "Earlier announced trade should be Wichita Thunder receiving defenseman Randy Cure and futures from the Allen Americans." I think it is safe to assume Allen will be getting a player in return in this deal and that player will be in Allen for the playoffs. You may ask why wasn't the Wichita side of the deal mentioned in the announcement. The only logical explanation is the player coming to Allen isn't under an ECHL contract.
In my opinion both of these moves were made to strengthen the roster for playoffs. The AHL teams affiliated with Wichita and Indy have top players that could be assigned to Allen.
- The trade deadline isn't until 2:00 pm (local time) today so additional trades could still happen before the team leaves for Missouri. If there are no additional trades, 13 forwards and six defensemen will make the trip. That assumes Travis Brown is cleared to play which should be the case as he has been going all out in practice this week. Riley Gill may not be 100% recovered from his illness but was back at practice yesterday and will be on the road trip.
- I will have a full Allen vs Missouri game preview tomorrow but it is notable the Mavericks lost two more players to the AHL this week. Rookie Darren Nowick, the Mavericks second leading scorer was loaned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and rookie all-star defenseman Kevin Tansey was recalled by the Chicago Wolves. Missouri is in a battle to make the playoffs and trying to defy the odds with numerous players in the AHL and some key injuries. Here is a story from fellow Team Sin Bin writer Joe Rozycki, who covers the Mavericks, that talks about their current situation and options going forward: http://thesinbin.net/mavericks-looking-to-defy-the-odds-again/
- It was an exciting game in Colorado last night as the Eagles lost to Alaska 5-4 in overtime. Colorado came back from a 3-1 deficit after the second period by scoring three unanswered goals in the third period to take a 4-3 lead. Alaska then tied the score with one second left in the game and won in overtime. A tough loss for the Eagles but with the one point earned they now have a six point lead over Allen. Colorado and Alaska play again but not until Sunday so the Americans will have a chance to narrow the gap to four points if they can win in Missouri Friday night.
- There have been several stories in the past about bringing ECHL hockey to Portland, Maine since they lost their AHL franchise last year. Here is the latest: http://www.wcsh6.com/news/local/negotiations-to-begin-with-two-groups-to-bring-echl-team-to-portland/420793862
DID YOU KNOW: There is no better example of how different styles of hockey can be successful than looking at the top two teams in the ECHL. Toledo and Colorado are tied for the ECHL lead with 85 points. Toledo has the fewest penalty minutes (628) in the league, 28 major penalties, three ten minute misconduct penalties and no game misconduct penalties. Colorado has the most penalty minutes (1201) in the league, 55 major penalties, 11 ten minute misconduct penalties and 14 game misconduct penalties. There definitely is more than one way to skin a cat.