If you are an Allen Americans fan it has been rather quiet since their first round playoff exit but that is about to change with several critical dates this week. The future considerations deadline was yesterday. Friday (June 15) the season-ending rosters are due to the league office (3:00 pm EDT) and Saturday (June 16) is the first day to sign players for the 2018-19 season.
- Season-Ending Rosters - This roster can contain up to a maximum of 20 players and cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract for 2017-18.
- Each team is entitled to reserve the rights to a maximum of eight players from the list of 20 by extending a qualifying offer no later than June 30. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional games played). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to June 30.
- Future Considerations - There was a flurry of activity around the ECHL yesterday as all future consideration trades had to be completed by 3:00 pm EDT. The Americans only outstanding future consideration trade was with Quad City when Allen acquired Tristan King at the end of the season but the Mallards ceased operations so Allen was out of the future considerations activity. One former Allen player was involved yesterday as Rapid City forward Daniel Leavens was sent to Wichita to complete the trade just prior to Christmas when the Thunder sent goalie Shane Owen to Rapid City.
- I have had numerous questions about the release the Allen Americans issued on Tuesday with the title, "Big Announcements Coming from Coach Martinson this Saturday." Everyone wants to know what will be announced on Saturday. I doubt it is a coincidence that Saturday is the first day players can be signed for the 2018-19 season so a player announcement has to be in the works. As I have reported for the last couple of weeks the hope was the new affiliation would be announced prior to the ECHL summer meetings which will be in Las Vegas next week so maybe that will be one of the big announcements. Whatever the announcements are it will be worth the trip to the Allen Event Center to get the latest information. Announcements scheduled for 12:30. Here is the info issued by the Americans: https://allenamericans.com/big-announcements-coming-from-coach-martinson-this-saturday/
- The exodus of ECHL players heading overseas continues. Two former Allen Americans made the move in the last few days. Defenseman Garrett Clarke who played for the Indy Fuel last season will play in Romania next season and goalie Joel Rumpel, who started last season in Wichita and finished the season in Utah has signed to play in Scotland.
- Rookie Allen defenseman Gordie Ballhorn has decided to forgo professional hockey and will pursue a college career at the University of Saskatchewan. Ballhorn joins Jared Bethune to go the college route. The other two late season rookie additions (Braylon Shymr & Matt Foget) are expected to return.
- Here is a story about what is next for the Colorado Eagles as they transition from the ECHL to the AHL. The story covers who will be the coach, the schedule, how the roster will be built and affiliation possibilities. https://www.milehighhockey.com/2018/6/13/17457084/whats-next-for-the-colorado-eagles-ahl-avalanche
- A new five year Collective Bargaining Agreement will take effect July 1 and run through June 30, 2023. The weekly salary cap will increase from $12,800 last season to $13,000 per week for the upcoming season. For the duration of the CBA the salary cap will go to $13,300 in 2019-20, $13,600 in 2020-21, $13,900 in 2021-22 and $14,100 in 2022-23. If you figure 20 players on the active roster the average salary over the five years of the CBA will go from $650 per week in 2018-19 to $705 per week in 2022-23.
- Other dollar figures for the 2018-19 season include rookie maximum salary ($550 per week), rookie minimum salary ($470) and minimum salary for non-rookies ($510).
- Last season per diem when the team was on the road was $42 split between breakfast ($9), lunch ($12) and dinner ($21). Next season per diem will rise to $43 and will thereafter increase $2 per year so in the final year of this CBA (2022-23) per diem will be $50 per day.
DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL reversed a a four year decline in attendance this season which has to be good news for the league. Average attendance was the largest since the 2014-15 season. Here is average regular season attendance over the past five years according to the ECHL website:
2017-18 - 4424
2016-17 - 4252
2015-16 - 4386
2014-15 - 4598
2013-14 - 4764