ALLEN, TX – The second day of training camp was a repeat of day one with various drills to keep the pace up without over doing it. It seems pretty obvious that everyone is biding their time until more of the team regulars return this weekend.
One thing new yesterday was another coach on the ice. Each season Steve Martinson finds some coaches to help out. Goalie coach Thomas Speer, skating coach Luke Chilcott and former Allen Americans captain Jason Deitsch will be helping out again this year. However, Tony Curtale, who attended many practices last season and helped with the defense is now the head coach of the Wichita Falls Wildcats of the North American Hockey League. Martinson has enlisted the help of Lucas Reid to help this season. Reid who is from Canada has many years of experience in and around hockey. He was a regional scout for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western hockey league and prior to moving to Dallas was in a full-time position with Hockey Canada as their Athletic Development Director in their Saskatchewan branch. He has over ten years of coaching experience at all levels of youth hockey.
– I asked coach Martinson after practice what he was trying to accomplish on day two.
“I was working on a long pass drill to keep the pace up enough to try and get everyone in a little better shape every day but not try to kill them. The cross ice, three on three scrimmage at the end was just for fun with a little bit of skating. When you only have three lines and practice hard for an hour and twenty minutes they are tired. If you kill them today they can give you less tomorrow. You could get the team in shape faster if you skated them more but the skill would drop off in the practices. The guys showed up in good shape so we will take it slow. It is a long season.”
– Defenseman Nolan Descoteaux was signed by the Americans to a Standard Players Contract (SPC) last Friday. That brings to six defensemen that have been signed, Descoteaux, Ruopp, Pinkston, Gunn Chouinard and Gens.
– At this point there will not be any live stream of the Americans exhibition game in Wichita on Saturday. If there is any change I will let you know. If you are on Twitter and want to follow a live tweet of the game make sure you are following the Wichita Thunder (@Wichita_Thunder).
– If you have looked at the Americans promotion schedule you will see there are 10 specialty jersey auctions on the schedule. The team has released the mock-ups of two of the specialty jerseys and they have certainly been well received. If you haven’t seen them here is a photo along with all of the specialty jersey auction nights. It remains to be seen if so many auctions will have an impact on the prices paid for the jerseys.
October 21 – USA Hockey Jersey
November 5 – JDRF (diabetes) Jersey
December 3 – Sharks Affiliation Jersey
December 16 – Ugly Sweater Jersey
December 31 – Tuxedo Jersey
January 21 – Star Wars Jersey
February 3 – Texas Heritage Jersey
February 18 – USA Hockey Jersey #2
March 18 – Dinosaur Themed Jersey
March 25 – Military Themed Jersey
– The San Jose Sharks have assigned goalie Troy Groesnick to the Barracuda (AHL) and now have just two goalies in training camp, Martin Jones and Aaron Dell. Another big indication that Dell has won the competition to be the backup goalie when the season begins for the Sharks on October 12.
– Garrett Clarke is back in North America after starting the season in Europe. He has just signed a tryout agreement with the Brampton Beast.
– Here is a sample of photos taken by Dianne Webster of the second day of training camp.
DID YOU KNOW: Here is another of the “where are they now” series courtesy of Tom Manning, Director of Game Operations for the Americans. Britt Dougherty was one of several tough guys on the Allen Americans first team (2009-10). Because of injuries, Britt retired from hockey after that season. One thing he found in Allen was a girlfriend who eventually became his wife, Kelly Sklar. If you are a long time season ticket holder you may remember Kelly was an Americans ticket representative. Kelly was the ticket rep that sold me my season tickets that first season. Kelly kindly provided this update: