ALLEN, TX – Coach Steve Martinson trimmed the training camp roster by two yesterday, trading rookies Marcus Basara and Tyler Coulter to the Jacksonville IceMen for the famous “future considerations.”

The roster is now at 22 players including 12 forwards, eight defensemen and two goalies. I would expect this ends up being the opening day roster for the Allen Americans. It is not due in the league office until 2:00 pm (Allen time) on Wednesday so some changes could still take place.

I suspect this ends up being the opening day roster for the Allen Americans. It is not due in the league office until 2:00 pm (Allen time) on Wednesday so some changes could still take place.

– Just as a reminder there are three components to the total number of players on a team. The active roster can be 21 players for the first month of the season and then goes to 20. In addition, you can have two players on reserve plus you can have an unlimited number of players on a 21-day injured reserve as long as they are certified by the medical staff as injured. The 21 day IR is a minimum of 21 days, not a maximum.

– The catch on the active roster is they all have to fit under the weekly salary cap ($13,260 for the first month and $12,800 for the rest of the season). If you have a lot of rookies and AHL contracted players it is possible to carry 21 players on the active roster. Remember, AHL contracted players only count $525 toward the salary cap. After trading the two rookies Monday, Allen has just one rookie on the roster (Josh Thrower) and four AHL contracted players (Makowski, Moore, Schoenborn & Williams). With the rest of the roster made up of ECHL contracted players with a lot of experience, you can be assured coach Martinson will not have an active roster of 21 players. Martinson is a master of salary “capology,” so it will be interesting to see how many players are on the active roster for the games this weekend. In past years the active roster has typically been 18 or fewer because of the salary cap so it remains to be seen what that number will be this weekend.

– Another to-do item for Martinson is to pick the players that will wear an “A” this season to round out the on-ice leadership team. He has already named two of the leaders in captain Joel Chouinard and player/assistant coach Casey Pierro-Zabotel. There are so many leaders on this team it will be a tough decision for Martinson. He could go with the senior players in their first year in Allen, like Peter MacArthur, who was the captain of his ECHL team (Adirondack) the past two seasons or Mathieu Aubin, who wore an “A” in Utah and was captain in Cincinnati in the past. Vincent Arseneau wore an “A” in Wichita last season and returns to Allen for his third season. Maybe it is time to give David Makowski, who was captain of his college team, (University of Denver) and Spencer Asuchak, who has won three championships in Allen, an “A” for all they have done for the Americans. Any way you slice it there are many good candidates and as Chouinard told me recently it doesn’t matter who wears the letters, leadership comes in all forms and the Americans have a lot of players that will lead on and off the ice.

– Tommy Daniels hosted the annual media kickoff luncheon yesterday, and the media got to hear from Martinson, Chouinard, Pierro-Zabotel and Zach Hall. Two messages came across from everyone. First, they were impressed with the talent of the players in camp with the combination of speed, skill and toughness and second the expectations in Allen are very high. Unlike many other franchises in Allen anything less than a championship will be considered an unsuccessful season.

Chad Costello had his knee surgery on Monday. Ashley Costello posted, “Home resting from a long day. Surgery went well, now hoping for a fast recovery. Thank you for all the love and well wishes.”

– A couple of follow-ups to the article yesterday about the bus the Allen Americans will be using this season. Several readers let me know that Big Red had problems on the maiden trip for the Tulsa Oilers which made the team late for their preseason game in Wichita. I was aware of that when I wrote the story but decided to give Big Red a break. The cat is out of the bag now.

The other bus question I received was how much will Allen use the bus as opposed to fly to road games. The decision to bus or fly is based on cost. Some places like Rapid City are expensive to fly to. If the team is on a multi-city road trip that makes flying much more expensive. The bottom line is the team will be taking the new bus on most road trips. If there is a long trip to one city such as Idaho where the team plays two or three games and then returns to Allen, you will see them fly in that situation. Where you have a road trip to multiple cities like the Atlanta, Florida, Jacksonville trip in February they will take the bus.

Finally, I heard from several Rapid City fans what a great guy and bus driver Tim Acheson is and how lucky Allen is to have him. They also referred to Tim as “Slice.” Thought it was an interesting nickname so asked Tim how that came about. Here is his answer:

“It all started my first year in Rapid City when our player/assistant coach, Mark DeSantis started it. My name morphed from Tim to Timbo to Kimbo Slice (MMA fighter) to just Slice, although it goes quite well with my golf game.”

Welcome to Allen, Slice.

DID YOU KNOW: Steve Martinson has always had fewer players than allowed on the opening day roster because he opts to have more experienced players on his team. Here are the opening day roster numbers for each season Allen has been in the ECHL. The information is from echl.com. The maximum would be 21 active, two on reserve and unlimited on 21-day injured reserve.

2017-18: ?? Active, ?? Reserve, ?? IR
2016-17: 18 Active, 2 Reserve, 0 IR
2015-16: 18 Active, 2 Reserve, 1 IR
2014-15: 16 Active, 2 Reserve, 1 IR

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