ALLEN, TX – It has been a while since I have provided a roster update and with the long-awaited announcement yesterday that David Makowski and Bryan Moore have signed one-year deals with the San Jose Barracuda (AHL) today is a good day to do a recap of where the Americans stand on the roster. Also, I want to try and answer a few questions I have been asked over the last week.
– Based on their performance last season it was anticipated that Makowski and Moore would have a chance to be signed by the San Jose Barracuda and that came to fruition yesterday. A great opportunity for both of them. If you haven’t seen it here is the press release issued by San Jose: http://www.sjbarracuda.com/news/detail/barracuda-sign-moore-and-makowski-to-one-year-deals
– A fan wanted to know if there is a chance Makowski and Moore could be assigned to Allen during the upcoming season. The answer is yes they can and probably will be in Allen at some point in the season. You always hope they have a great training camp in San Jose and they never return to the ECHL, but history would say it is likely they will be back in Allen at some point. They could earn a spot on the Barracuda opening night roster or they could be sent to Allen at the beginning of the season and get recalled when there are injuries. When you talk to players all they want is an opportunity at the next level so Bryan and David now have that opportunity and I am sure they will make the most of it.
– Still no formal announcement on where Greger Hanson will play next season but my reporting is that he has already signed an AHL deal and it is a matter of time before that is officially announced.
– I mentioned in my last article that Casey Pierro-Zabotel, Vincent Arseneau, and Jonathan Lessard are three players from the past that are free agents and have not been signed to ECHL contracts.
Could they be coming back to Allen?
You have to think Head Coach Steve Martinson would be in conversation with the players or their agents. I have heard unsubstantiated rumors Pierro-Zabotel will not be returning to the Colorado Eagles. More intriguing is Jonathan Lessard, who played in France last season. If you follow Jonathan on social media you may have seen him ask his friends if they know anyone that could help him get an American visa for his French girlfriend for at least six months. The plot thickens!
– The Americans roster now stands at five players officially announced, Riley Gill, Joel Chouinard, Mike Gunn, Eric Roy and Tanner Eberle. There are others signed that have not been announced. Five players already signed and announced is about average if you look at all ECHL teams (see “Did You Know” below). The range is from zero players (Jacksonville) to 12 players (Fort Wayne).
– Another question I get all of the time is when will coach Martinson sign the high-end goal scorers to replace all of the firepower that will not be back this season. It is possible that the top-six goal scorers from last season will not be back and the top-four have already signed elsewhere.
Hard to replace that top four; Hanson (35 goals), Costello (33 goals), Moore (27 goals) and Asuchak (26 goals). These four players combined for an average of two goals per game last season. I had a chance to talk with Martinson about this loss of goal-scoring and he assured me he has lots of irons in the fire and there are plenty of players interested in Allen. The delay is these top end players are all pursuing AHL deals as a first option and will sign with Allen if that doesn’t happen. It is only July and AHL teams are just now making decisions on signing free agents.
– I was also asked about the veteran rules by a fan who was trying to research games played on the website Elite Prospects. As a reminder, each team is limited to four veteran players (excluding goalies). You are considered a veteran if a player has played in at least 260 regular season games as a professional as of the opening day of the season.
Games played in all professional North American leagues at the “AA” level or higher count. European leagues that count toward veteran status are the top leagues in the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, and Switzerland. What are the top leagues in these seven countries?
Russia – Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)
Sweden – Swedish Hockey League (SHL)
Finland – Finnish Elite League (LIIGA)
Czech Republic – Tipsport Extraliga (Czech)
Slovakia – Tipsport Liga (Slovakia)
Switzerland – National League A (NLA)
Germany – German Ice Hockey League (DEL)
DID YOU KNOW: Here are the number of players each team in the ECHL has signed and announced. Remember, most teams have additional players signed but not announced.
Adirondack – 3
Allen – 5
Atlanta – 2
Brampton – 3
Cincinnati – 2
Colorado – 2
Florida – 4
Fort Wayne – 12
Greenville – 6
Idaho – 3
Indy – 5
Jacksonville – 0
Kalamazoo – 4
Kansas City – 5
Manchester – 3
Norfolk – 2
Orlando – 3
Quad City – 4
Rapid City – 4
Reading – 5
South Carolina – 6
Toledo – 4
Tulsa – 3
Utah – 3
Wheeling – 5
Wichita – 7
Worcester – 5
A reminder, for the latest list of player signings across the ECHL, visit The Sin Bin’s 2017 ECHL Transactions page!