ALLEN, TX – It was a site to see at the Allen Event Center community rink yesterday with a squad of 22 players and coach Steve Martinson on the ice for the first “real” practice of training camp. The only player not at practice was Peter MacArthur who had not arrived in Allen. He should be at practice today.
– With the probability of additional players being sent to Allen by San Jose and the likelihood Spencer Asuchak will soon return the players are certainly aware of the competition for roster spots on this team. With coach Martinson on the ice barking out commands it was a serious practice with the guys working hard through numerous skating drills. Would expect more of the same today. Practices are at 10:00 am each day this week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) so stop by if you get the chance and take a look at what is shaping up as an outstanding team.
– I get asked about what numbers players are wearing all of the time. All of the returning players from last season are wearing the same numbers except for Tanner Eberle who has switched from #22 to #77. Jonathan Lessard is wearing his familiar #91, and Casey Pierro-Zabotel is wearing #17. You can see all of the assigned numbers and the up to date roster by visiting the “Team” heading on the Allen Americans website (https://allenamericans.com/roster/).
I heard some talk in the locker room after practice that Peter MacArthur, who has worn #16 for many years, may end up with that number. Usually, the player with the most pro games get the choice of number, and that would be MacArthur but knowing Vincent Arseneau, who currently wears #16, he would voluntarily give it up. Arseneau has worn many different numbers over the years. He wore #19 last season in Wichita, so maybe the outcome will be MacArthur #16 and Arseneau #19.
– Chad Costello was injured in his game on Sunday, and will be out of action for a while. Chad was an ironman in Allen as he never missed a game in three seasons, a feat as amazing as his three 100 points seasons. He played in 276 consecutive games with the Americans if you count regular season and playoffs. He seemed indestructible while playing through all kinds of injuries. I had a chance to check in with Chad’s wife, Ashley, who shared that Chad will see a knee specialist on Wednesday and they will have more details after that. All they know at this point is surgery will be needed. I know all Allen fans wish Chad a full and speedy recovery.
– I am still carrying around the “Texas on Ice” book which is the history of professional hockey in Texas for the 50 years between 1942-1992. Tom Pease, who has been an off-ice official for over 45 years, including for the Dallas Black Hawks and Dallas Freeze was at practice yesterday and knew most of the old-timers pictured in the book. The book brought back some memories for Tom, and he started telling me some stories about former players that he is friends with. Tom is still active and will be a goal judge for the Dallas Stars this season, working half of the home games.
– I was asked at the Fan Fest on Saturday if I could talk about trades that involve future considerations and exactly what that means. My understanding is future considerations can be almost anything the two teams agree to, from a specific player to be named later, to cash to a mere promise of an undefined favor in the future. When the future consideration is a player, the futures can take many different forms. It can be a specific player agreed to at the time of the trade but announced at a later date, it could be a choice of several specified players, or it could be where a certain number of players are protected, and then the team with the futures gets their pick of the unprotected players. The bottom line is futures are whatever the two teams decide. They are often confirmed by an email between the two teams and in some cases are just a verbal agreement.
– There are still tickets available for the preseason games this weekend. The game on Friday night has been changed to an 8:00 pm start time from 8:45 pm. The Saturday night game is at 5:45 pm. Come on out and see the new Allen Americans team in action for the first time. It should be a good time in the cozy confines of the community rink. Call 972-912-1000 for tickets.
– I was asked if I knew when Jack Gulati will be visiting Allen again. I reached out to Jack, and he shared with me he will be in Allen for opening night (October 21) and also the Sunday game on October 22 and looks forward to meeting and greeting the fans. Jack said when he bought the team he would visit on a regular basis, and he has certainly lived up to that promise. Make sure to thank him for all he has done when you see him opening night.
DID YOU KNOW: This info from the new book “Texas on Ice” – In the 50 years before Texas got its own NHL team the state was home to five professional leagues and 13 franchises featuring 1011 players. Only nine percent of the players were American while 88 percent came from Canada. The other three percent came from 11 different countries; Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, England, Italy, Lebanon, and Yugoslavia.