ALLEN, TX – It is time for another weekly update concerning the Allen Americans even though there is not much new to report. Here goes:
The Americans have announced eight player signings thus far (Chad Costello, Riley Gill, JP LaFontaine, Dyson Stevenson, Kale Kerbashian, Kyle Neuber, Gary Steffes and Joel Chouinard). There will be another player signing announced at the Allen Event Center on Saturday at 1:00 pm. Fans are encouraged to attend and chat with the announced player.
The biggest news regarding the roster is that Vincent Arseneau has signed with the Wichita Thunder so will not return to Allen. There hasn’t been a formal announcement from the Thunder but Arseneau appeared on a French language radio station in Quebec and said he had signed with Wichita because his good friend, Alexis Loiseau, had signed with the Thunder.
There is no question he would have been welcomed back in Allen and you can be assured the players and coach were encouraging him to return. It is hard to argue when a guy wants to play with his buddy. I am sure Arseneau will miss playing with the best passer in the ECHL, Chad Costello. Best of luck to Vincent who was a fan favorite in Allen.
– In the past when the Americans have lost a key player they sometimes turn around and announce the signing of a key player. It will be interesting to see if this happens once an official announcement of the Arseneau signing is made by Wichita.
– I am often asked what players I think will be returning from last season. I would put Aaron Gens and Greger Hanson in the cinch category as Gens was not given a qualifying offer which means he was signed prior to the due date for qualifying offers (June 30). Hanson was given a qualifying offer and would have had to sign that offer by August 1st and you would assume that is what he did. In the most likely to return category I would put Chris Crane, Spencer Asuchak, Eric Roy and Tristan King.
– Whenever I have a chance to check in with coach Steve Martinson he makes it clear he is spending most of his time trying to find defensemen to fill out the roster. They could come from guys on expiring AHL contracts, guys still trying to go to Europe but are not yet signed, players assigned by San Jose or they could be players that have played for Martinson in the past. Of particular need is right shot defensemen. Coach Martinson has lots of irons in the fire and will be firming up the defensive corp in the near future.
It sounds like a broken record but nothing new to report on the sale of the team. The original group that was close to buying the team is no longer involved. There is another group that was pursuing the team but the more time that passes the more likely that doesn’t happen. It is still a possibility a deal can get done but from my observation everyone seems to be moving forward as if there will not be an ownership change. This is definitely a wait and see situation but I would put the odds at less than 50-50 at this point.
– If you have an interest in how all of the ECHL teams are filling out their rosters a good reference is the “Transactions” section of The Sin Bin website (thesinbin.net) where they have all players signed by team. It is very interesting with Fort Wayne almost having their entire team signed, all the way down to Norfolk who has yet to announce a player signing.
Keep in mind these are the players that have been signed and announced. Coaches have very different approaches on when they announce that players have been signed. You can be assured there are many more players signed than the ones that have been officially announced.
Here are the numbers by team with former Allen Americans in parenthesis.
20 – Fort Wayne Komets (includes Jamie Schaafsma)
10 – Indy Fuel
10 – Orlando Solar Bears (includes Trevor Ludwig)
10 – Quad City Mallards
10 – Toledo Walleye
9 – Alaska Aces
9 – Elmira Jackals
9 – Greenville Swamp Rabbits
9 – Reading Royals
8 – Allen Americans
8 – Kalamazoo Wings (includes Ben Wilson)
8 – South Carolina Stingrays (includes Danny Federico)
8 – Wichita Thunder (does not include Vincent Arseneau who has not been officially announced)
7 – Adirondack Thunder
7 – Brampton Beast
7 – Cincinnati Cyclones
7 – Manchester Monarchs
7 – Rapid City Rush
6 – Colorado Eagles (includes Darryl Bootland)
6 – Idaho Steelheads
5 – Florida Everblades
4 – Atlanta Gladiators
3 – Missouri Mavericks (includes Bryce Aneloski)
3 – Tulsa Oilers
3 – Wheeling Nailers
2 – Utah Grizzlies
0 – Norfolk Admirals
– A couple of players that gave Allen fits over the years have recently signed to play overseas for the upcoming season. Sebastien Thinel who played for many years in Odessa and Missouri and played in France (Grenoble) last season has signed to play in Scotland (Fife Flyers). Winston Day Chief, who has played for Rapid City for the past five season, will be going overseas to play in Hungary (MAC Budapest).
– The ECHL finally issued a press release on decisions made from their meeting in Las Vegas, which began at end of June. Read what they decided on, here: http://thesinbin.net/echl-releases-results-of-board-of-governors-meeting/
DID YOU KNOW: Thus far there have been about 200 players signed and announced by the 27 ECHL teams. That is less than one third of the opening day rosters when over 600 players will be under contract. Lots of activity to take place in the next 50 days or so when players report to training camp.