- Tom Kurvers, the assistant general manager of the Minnesota Wild is a friend of mine since our playing days. It is a unique situation that will be beneficial. I expect we will be able to get a lot of guys into Iowa's training camp and a couple of players into the Wild's prospect tournament in Traverse City. I am really excited by this affiliation and think it will be a great opportunity for our players to move up.
- Right now we are looking at four or five players being assigned to Allen from Iowa including a goalie that will be a depth goalie for them but has been a top goalie in our league and has AHL experience. The number could increase over the next couple of months depending on who the Wild sign.
- This is just a one year deal with the Wild but I expect this to go on for a long time. Most affiliations are year to year. We are excited about working with them and they are excited to be working with us.
- We have signed a lot of players from last year but some have been told they have to come in under certain conditions. I have made it clear to some of the returning players they have to change some things and they have to do that early or they won't be here very long. There is a short window to prove you are serious about your career and show me hockey is your top priority. I expect this to be the most competitive training camp since I have been in Allen.
- We are way ahead of where we have been in the past with good young players because we added rookies at the end of last season. Couple that with the guys I expect to get from the Wild, guys we have coming back and new guys I am close to signing we should have a powerhouse.
- There are some players from the Colorado Eagles who are now free agents because the Eagles have moved to the AHL. There is a possibility a couple of those guys ending up with us but we will have to wait and see.
- There will be a couple of exhibition/preseason games in Allen.
- Josh Thrower may play at right wing this season.
- If you haven't been keeping track of the former Allen Americans who have signed with new teams for next season here is a partial list from the last few weeks:
Alex Guptill - signed in England with the Nottingham Panthers
Jared Bethune - headed to college at Queen's University
Peter MacArthur - signed with the Adirondack Thunder
Gordie Ballhorn - headed to college at the University of Saskatchewan
Stephon Williams - signed in Slovakia with HC Banksa Bystrica
Vincent Arseneau - signed with Utica Comets (AHL) but Allen retains his ECHL rights
Alexandre Carrier - signed with the Atlanta Gladiators
Bryan Moore - signed with the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Jaynen Rissling - from the Indy Fuel to the Nottingham Panthers (England)
Chris Crane - from the Orlando Solar Bears to the Norfolk Admirals
Daniel Leavens - from the Wichita Thunder to the Toledo Walleye
Corbin Baldwin - from the Idaho Steelheads to the Guildford Flames (England)
Jake Hildebrand - from the Tulsa Oilers to the Kalamazoo Wings
Tanner Eberle - from the Jacksonville IceMen to the Sheffield Steelers (England)
Harrison Ruopp - did not play professionally to the Manchester Storm (England)
Josh Brittain - from Banksa Bystrica (Slovakia) to Deggendorfer SC (Germany)
Joel Rumpel - from the Utah Grizzlies to to the Glasgow Clan (Scotland)
- Now that Allen has ended their affiliation with San Jose the Sharks, options for an ECHL affiliate are limited. Here is article from Fear the Fin that lays out options for San Jose but also covers the entire NHL affiliation status with ECHL teams. A good read: https://www.fearthefin.com/2018/7/24/17599268/san-jose-sharks-new-echl-affiliate
- Here is a video about the NHL player's with the worst tape job on their sticks. This will be a good topic for a blog post about the Americans this season. Dallas Stars' Jamie Benn, among others, gets some shade thrown their way on how they tape their stick. Check it out:
- There is little doubt one of the most anticipated events of the upcoming season will be the first ever Allen Americans alumni game and the events that will surround it. There hasn't been much information about this 10th anniversary event but it got me to thinking what criteria you would use to pick the best players to ever put on the Allen Americans famous red sweater. Games played is certainly important as are points but how much weight should be given to championships, leadership, community involvement, awards, attitude, locker room impact etc. Erik Adams, former Allen defenseman and assistant coach has been named ambassador for the alumni game and other special events surrounding the game. Before training camp starts I will interview Erik to get more details on what will surely be a highlight of the season.
- I saw on social media the Costello family headed to Germany (Krefeld) this week to prepare for the upcoming hockey season. Chad joins Greger Hanson who signed with the Krefeld Pinguine at the end of last season. According to the website eliteprospects.com there was a rumor back in April that Jack Combs would also be signing with Krefeld but nothing has been announced since. It would be interesting to follow these three former Allen Americans as they try and help turn around the Krefeld Pinguine who finished last in the 14 team league last season.
- After the Joel Chouinard "Life After Hockey" story was posted on Thursday (http://allenamericansblog.blogspot.com/2018/07/joel-chouinard-shares-his-approach-to.html) I had a couple of readers ask how they can contact Joel to talk to him about their financial future. Here is his contact info:
DID YOU KNOW: If Joel Chouinard, David Makowski, Mike Gunn and Spencer Asuchak return to the Allen Americans (Chouinard and Gunn have already been announced) they could all end the season in the top ten all time for games played with Allen. Asuchak needs just 17 games to be #1 all time which is currently held by Tyler Ludwig (247 games). Gunn could get as high as #4, Makowski #5 and Chouinard #6.