It is the calm before the storm of the seventh game of the Kelly Cup Finals and with two days to go thought it would be a good time to talk about anything but the game. Here is a hodgepodge of items you may or may not find interesting but some things that will get your mind off the big game for a bit. Everything from “A” (Aaron Gens) to “Z” (actually “Y” for Yellow Horn).
– Aaron Gens and Riley Gill were teammates with South Carolina defenseman Michal Cajkovsky last season when they all played for the Reading Royals.
– When I first interviewed Jamie Schaafsma three years ago he told me his favorite childhood toy was a miniature hockey stick. Have yor ever seen his son Sutter without a miniature hockey stick? Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
– The Missouri Mavericks announced yesterday that they have reached an affiliation agreement with the New York Islanders. Missouri joins the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) as the Islanders primary minor league affiliates.
– Steve Martinson is always in the process of recruiting players and thinking about recruitment. He once told me one of the best things about winning a championship is it makes for a better summer because it makes for better recruiting. I remember seeing this “subtle” recruiting approach when he had a veteran slot open in January. “80 degrees in Allen today. Pretty sure a lot of guys went golfing today after practice. Have a vet spot open.”
– You are playing worse everyday and right now you are playing like the middle of next week….Herb Brooks.
– The Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA) is having their annual meeting next week in Orlando where all ECHL and AHL teams will send player representatives. Trevor Ludwig will be representing the Americans.
– Don’t have a complete birthday list but happened to notice from social media it is a busy week and they guys better be on their toes. Jennifer Adams has a birthday today, Riley Gill can give his wife a championship for her birthday as Angela Gill celebrates on Sunday and Holly Ludwig has a birthday on Wednesday. Happy Birthday ladies.
– Colton Yellow Horn who last played in Allen in 2011-2012 but is fondly remembered has signed to play in Austria (Orli Znojmo) for the 2015-2016 season. He played in Japan last year.
– Steve Martinson and South Carolina coach Spencer Carbery both played in the CHL for the Tulsa Oilers. Both were tough, physical players. Martinson played in 42 games for Tulsa in 1983-1984 and had 240 penalty minutes. Carbery played 63 games in 2006-2007 and had 157 penalty minutes.
– Speaking of penalty minutes the 432 Martinson had in Hershey in 1985-1986 is always discussed but he also had 108 penalty minutes in just 11 playoff games in 1986-1987 playing for the Adirondack Red Wings (AHL).
– St. Peter and Satan were having an argument one day about hockey. Satan proposed a game to be played on neutral ice between a select team from the heavenly host and Satan’s own hand picked boys. “Very well,” said the gatekeeper of heaven. “But you realize, I hope, we have all the good players and the best coaches.” “I know and that’s all right,” Satan answered unpreturbed, “We’ve got all the referees.”
– It is interesting to check out the web sites of the other Central Division teams and see everyone fully engaged in next season with 2014-2015 becoming a distant memory. From Rapid City promoting their “State of the Nation” event, to the big affiliation announcement in Missouri to several teams having select a seat events for next year. The closest thing to current hockey was Tulsa sponsoring Stanley Cup watch parties.
– In case you forgot there are big changes in the ECHL next year as there will be six divisions instead of four and only the division winner will be assured a playoff spot. Each conference (Eastern & Western) will have eight teams make the playoffs with the three division winners and the next five highest win percentage teams making the playoffs.
– The seven teams in the Central Division this year will be split as follows:
Brampton – moves to Eastern Conference, North Division with Wheeling, Kalamazoo & Toledo
Rapid City – moves to Western Conference, West Division with Alaska, Utah, Idaho & Colorado
Quad City – moves to Western Conference, Midwest Division with Evansville, Fort Wayne, Cincinnati & Indy
Allen, Missouri, Tulsa & Wichita – comprise the Western Conference, Central Division
– Sebastien Thinel who is second all time in assists in the Central Hockey League (609) and played many years for Odessa and more recently in Missouri has signed to play in France (Grenoble) for next season.
– When I do “30 Questions” with new players or write player profile stories one question always asked is do you have a favorite motto or saying and they are mostly hockey related. I always remember what Gary Steffes told me as it is much more profound. Gary said his was, “Until you find the cause for which you are willing to die for, you will never truly live.”
– If you have ever spent time in Minnesota (land of 10,000 lakes) you would understand why great hockey players and avid fishermen hail from there. Kyle Follmer, Brian McMillin, Aaron Gens, and Riley Gill all love to fish and have found some great fishing in ponds around the Allen area.
– Steve Martinson’s answer to the motto or saying question applies to life as well as hockey. “You can’t expect to be the best if you don’t work the hardest.”
– Super fan Mark Costello reached out to fans of the former CHL teams and offered to provide free tickets to game seven if they wanted to travel to Allen to cheer on the Americans. What a nice gesture! I think he has at least 20 coming for the game.
DID YOU KNOW: This is Steve Martinson’s 19th year as a head coach and you have probably heard many times he has won eight championships. Here is how he has fared according to hockeydb in all eighteen years with year nineteen to be decided on Sunday.
8 – Won Championship
1 – Lost in Final
6 – Lost in second round
2 – Lost in first round
1 – Out of playoffs