ALLEN, TX – I want to start off by thanking everyone for all of the birthday wishes. To receive so many messages by email, phone calls, texts and on social media made turning 70 quite enjoyable. The Allen Americans family is amazing and to hear from so many of you was great.  It was also great to hear from former players overseas, writers and bloggers from around the ECHL and fans from around the league. This is the sixth year of my blog and one of the things I realized back in the CHL days was the uniqueness of AA hockey. There was something special about the relationship between players and fans and between fans from the different markets. That is a big part of why writing is so enjoyable.

– If you are anxious to get the hockey season underway, a reminder that the Americans are having a fanfest event on Saturday, September 30. If you haven’t attended these in the past, it is an excellent opportunity to meet the players and hear from Steve Martinson on the upcoming season. Come with your questions in hand for the coach. He is always entertaining and informative. Here is the press release with all of the details: https://allenamericans.com/americans-hold-fanfest-select-seat-event-september-30th/

Tommy Daniels put together a great story on the experience David Makowski and Bryan Moore had attending the San Jose Sharks (NHL) training camp last weekend. They are now assigned to the San Jose Barracuda, and that camp officially starts on Monday. If you haven’t read this story, it is a must read as David and Bryan describe the experience in their own words: https://allenamericans.com/americans-players-make-opportunity-san-jose-sharks-camp/

– The NHL is cracking down on slashing penalties this season and here is an article written by Paul Gackle that discusses the issue. Slashes across the hands sometimes result in broken fingers and that injury usually means 4-6 weeks out of the lineup. Kale Kerbashian, Zach Hall, and Eric Roy all dealt with this issue last season. The interesting discussion in this story is whether a slash to the stick should be allowed as a defensive tactic. Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic shares his opinion and the possible motivation the NHL has for the crackdown. Makes you wonder if this will be a point of emphasis for the ECHL this season. Here is the story: https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/21/sharks-vlasic-on-nhls-slashing-crackdown-its-all-about-scoring-they-want-goals/

– The Rapid City Rush announced Wednesday they have hired Joe Macdonell as team President. He comes with a wealth of experience and replaces Joe Ferras, who left the organization this summer to join the scouting department of the New Jersey Devils (NHL). Allen fans can attest that running a AA hockey team is a real challenge based on the Americans experience over the last few seasons. Ownership support is a big key. Best of luck to Joe and the entire Rush organization. Here is a story about Joe Macdonell from the Rapid City Journal: https://rapidcityjournal.com/sports/macdonell-named-new-rapid-city-rush-president/article_bbd534ef-fa79-551d-8c82-d94c5b419c37.html

– Former Allen player Tristan King who was part of the 2015-16 Kelly Cup championship was traded to the Quad City Mallards yesterday by the Orlando Solar Bears in exchange for future considerations. Here are the details: https://www.qconline.com/sports/quad_city_mallards/mallards-deal-for-king/article_fec62a37-187a-5c18-b523-8ce7b85d0c36.html

– The overseas watch continues as Costello, Asuchak and Brittain all have games tonight (Friday) and Sunday. It will be a chance for Chad’s team to gain ground in the standings as his Iserlohn Roosters play a team (Munchen) just two points ahead of them tonight and then the last place team (Wolfsburg) on Sunday. Spencer’s team (Zvolen) has won two in a row after starting the season with two losses, and Josh’s team (Banska Bystrica) is tied for first in the league. It will be fun to watch the outcome on Sunday as Asuchak’s team plays Brittain’s team for the first time this season. By the way, these two communities are only 13 miles apart.

DID YOU KNOW: Chad Costello and Spencer Asuchak both have just one point (a goal) in their first four games, but Josh Brittain has gotten off to a great start with seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) in five games. He leads the Slovakian league in goals, is second in points, seventh in penalty minutes, second in plus/minus, and his team is in first place. That is what you call making a good first impression. Congrats to Josh.