ALLEN, Texas – Most of the Allen Americans players have the day off today as coach Martinson starts the process of trimming the roster to get down to the 23 or 24 players that will be on the opening day roster that has to be submitted to the league office on Wednesday.
– My best guess is the opening day roster will have two goalies, seven defensemen, and 14 forwards. Remember, for the first month of the season there will be 18 skaters rather than 16 so four lines (12 forwards) will dress for games.
– Coach Martinson also has to factor in that another player will be assigned from San Jose in the near future and defenseman Kayle Doetzel is expected to sign with the Americans at some point. He is still at home dealing with family issues.
– I have heard rumors that at least three of the five remaining teams (Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, Idaho, Kalamazoo, Toledo) that have not announced if they are playing next season have made the decision to opt-out. If true, it means a lot of free agent players flooding the market in the next few days.
– The bottom line is the roster is going to be very fluid from this point forward and the changes won’t stop on Wednesday when the opening day roster is issued. This season even more than in the past will see a lot of movement of players on and off the roster.
– It is just six days before Allen opens the season in Tulsa. Because the team is living in their “bubble” the only change from the normal same day bus trip to Tulsa will be temperature checks for everyone before they go on the trip. The team usually doesn’t take extra players on the same-day trips to Tulsa so the temperature checks will probably have to be done before they arrive at the rink to board the bus. That way there will be time to replace players that have an elevated temperature.
– The team apartments this season are at Magnolia on the Green which is on the west side of Highway 75 just south of Stacy Rd. They are behind some new retail stores including Chipotle, Lazy Dog, Starbucks and Spec are to name a few. The apartments are brand new and still look like a construction site. The Allen players were some of the first occupants of what will be a big complex. If you haven’t seen it, here is a video of Josh Lammon and Les Lancaster giving fans a tour of their apartment.
– I follow a lot of hockey bloggers, writers, reporters, broadcasters, etc. to try to stay up to speed on what is going on in the hockey world so I can include content in the blog about more than just the Allen Americans. One of the many people I follow is Patrick Williams who, among his several gigs, covers the AHL for NHL.com and can be heard on the SiriusXM NHL Network. Patrick wrote the following on Twitter about bloggers covering the AHL but his sentiments are even more the case with the ECHL. I have gotten to know so many bloggers/online writers over the nine years of writing this blog about the Allen Americans. Starting with the Minor League Hockey Report and more recently with The Sin Bin, I have met some of the most professional, hard-working folks and most of them do it out of love for the sport. The ECHL’s primary media coverage in many markets is from these online sites. I want to identify myself with Patrick William’s comment and double down as it relates to the ECHL. I added ECHL to AHL in this quote. I also will say for me personally I have always felt welcomed by the “traditional media” and they have been very helpful to me. My mentor over the past nine years is a Hall of Fame newspaper sports writer. What is true is 90% of the time the only media in the Allen press box is online media.
“I know traditionalists in the hockey business decry “bloggers,” but a number of AHL/ECHL teams would literally have empty press boxes without online media and that is not an exaggeration.”
DID YOU KNOW: Here is a stat that helps tell the story of the talent on Allen’s roster. If you exclude the rookies currently on the Americans roster there are 18 players with one or more years of ECHL experience. Of those 18 players, there are 14 who have played in the AHL. In addition, three of the rookies are AHL contracted players.