ALLEN, Texas – Today is a critical day for Steve Martinson as he continues to put together the Allen Americans roster for the 2020-21 season. The deadline for making qualifying offers is this afternoon 3:00 pm EDT.
– Here is the list of players on the season-ending roster that could be given a qualifying offer. Remember, only eight players can be given qualifying offers and this is a way to retain the rights to players.
Spencer Asuchak – signed and announced
* => Veterans
Typically Martinson does not extend qualifying offers to veterans because the rules allow them to become unrestricted free agents on August 1st as long as they don’t sign with another team prior to that date. If Martinson does qualify a veteran it would be Matt Register, who spent the majority of last season in Iowa.
– I would expect qualifying offers will be extended to Jake Doty, Gabe Gagne, and Turner Ottenbreit just to retain their ECHL rights as they are expected to play in the AHL in 2020-21.
– Players like Lancaster and Topping may have to be qualified because they are still awaiting deals with an AHL club or clubs in Europe before they re-sign with Allen.
– Martinson has already agreed to terms with many players on the team from last season. The young players from last season that are not on the qualified list are most likely already signed but not announced.
– The bottom line is Martinson has more than enough slots to qualify everyone he wants to qualify. You may see some individual teams put out press releases prior to the ECHL issuing the complete list.
– The Americans will be announcing their second player this afternoon (Tuesday) and another key piece of the puzzle will be added.
– Tommy Daniels is trying to do two video interviews per week, on Wednesday and Sunday. It wasn’t finalized when I talked to him yesterday but his plan was to interview the Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin and post that interview on Wednesday. Guerin was the Assistant GM in Pittsburgh for five years before getting the GM job in Minnesota so he has a lot of experience dealing with the relationship between an NHL club and their AHL and ECHL affiliated teams. This should be an informative interview.
– Here is Tommy’s latest interview with Jake Doty with a special appearance by Jake’s young son, Dallas:
Komets Letter to Fans
There is much uncertainty about the start of the 2020-21 ECHL season with a reluctance to suggest the season will be delayed. Yesterday the Fort Wayne Komets issued a letter to their fans and season ticket holders that provided an update that covered some topics of interest. It would be helpful if all teams would issue such a letter to reassure fans of their approach to 2020-21. https://www.komets.com/en/news/2020/6/season-update
Other News and Notes
– I was doing some research for my ECHL Stats and Information post yesterday and was reminded why Martinson has said many times his 2020-21 team will be more physical than last season. The Americans finished the shortened 2019-20 season ranked #18 in average penalty minutes per game (12.02), #14 in minor penalties (285), #15 in major penalties (21), #15 in misconduct penalties and #24 in game misconduct penalties (1).
When the Americans won their two Kelly Cups (2015 & 2016) they were top five in almost all of these categories. When they won their first Kelly Cup in 2015 Allen was #1 in penalty minutes with 1644.
– This is my ECHL Stats and Information post from today. It just reinforces how tough it was when Allen won back to back Kelly Cups in 2015 and 2016. Going back 10 years, five of the top nine players with the most games played in one season are Allen Americans.
Most combined regular season and playoff games played in a single season in the last 10 years, since 2010–11:
98 – Brett Stern, Wheeling (15-16)
97 – Chad Costello, Allen (14-15)
97 – Jamie Schaafsma, Allen (14-15)
97 – Aaron Gens, Allen (14-15)
96 – Chad Costello, Allen (15-16)
96 – Matt Register, Colorado (17-18)
96 – Jake Marto, Colorado (17-18)
96 – Kevin Young, Allen (14-15)
96 – Mathew Maione, Brampton & Wheeling (15-16)
Did You Know?
With the rumor or maybe better described as wishful thinking, there is more talk than normal about the possibility of Chad Costello not returning to Europe for the 2020-21 season because of all the issues surrounding COVID-19. Unfortunately, there is as much uncertainty surrounding the ECHL as the leagues in Europe. If the stars aligned and Chad would sign with Allen and he was called up to Allen’s AHL affiliate he would be playing in front of all of his friends and family in his hometown of Des Moines.
A reminder of what Chad Costello can do in a Martinson offense. Scoring more than 110 points in a season has happened 26 times in ECHL history but 23 of the 26 took place prior to the turn of the century. Here are the three exceptions:
125 – Chad Costello, 2014-15, Allen Americans
122 – Chad Costello, 2016-17, Allen Americans
114 – Tyler Donati, 2009-10, Elmira Jackals
Martinson was the coach for all three of these achievements. Also, Costello is one of only 12 players who have scored 120+ points in one ECHL season. Chad’s 125 points in 2014-15 is 9th all-time and his 122 points in 2016-17 is 10th all-time. The eight players ahead of Costello on the single-season point list all set their marks between 1989-96 during the high scoring years of pro hockey.