ALLEN, TX – The big news from the Allen Americans yesterday was the signing of goalie Jeremy Brodeur who was loaned to Allen from the Evansville Thunderbolts of the SPHL. Jeremy is in his rookie season as a professional having finished his junior career last season with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League.

– Being the son of Martin Brodeur, the winningest goalie in NHL history, and playing the same position as his dad has to be unique. Jeremy has an older brother (Anthony) who is also a goalie, and he has a twin brother (William) who plays forward. Here is an interview when the boys were much younger (2013) that gives you some insight about being the sons of Martin Brodeur and also explains why Jeremy started out playing forward and then became a goalie.

– The signing of Jeremy Brodeur probably means Riley Gill will be out a while after the scary incident at the game against Orlando on Saturday. When you get driven into the goal post and hit the back of your head as happened to Gill in that game, discretion is the better part of valor. I am sure Riley and his medical team will be cautious as to when he returns to action. In the meantime, it is a great opportunity for Brodeur to get some ECHL playing time and you never know what the future will hold.

– The Allen Americans will have their last practice today before departing to Tulsa tomorrow (Friday) morning for the first of three games in a row against the Oilers. Friday and Saturday they play in Tulsa and then return to Allen for game three on Sunday afternoon. Unless there is a roster change today the team will leave for Tulsa with just nine forwards, six defensemen and two goalies.

– I have had many questions about the four-game suspension to David Makowski asking everything from what happened to what are his appeal rights. What happened was a collision between Makowski and an Orlando player in the first period which resulted in the Orlando player getting injured. The ECHL saw the play as an illegal check to the head thus the suspension. Others, including coach Steve Martinson, saw the play differently and as he told me yesterday, “Not only did the Orlando player change direction, he also lowered his head prior to contact. Makowski never changed direction. The Orlando player skated right into Makowski’s shoulder. In my opinion, it is a non-suspendable collision.”  It certainly is not unusual for the league and any team to draw different conclusions when reviewing the same play, but it is clear the league has almost total control of the outcome.

The question about appeal rights is much more straight-forward, and the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) does not give players the right to tell their side of the story to the decision makers either before or after a decision is made. Here is the exact language from the CBA.

“The Commissioner shall have the right in the exercise of his absolute discretion to discipline players for violations of the rules. Fines up to and including $1000 or suspensions up to and including 20 games shall be based on such investigation as the Commissioner deems appropriate and the fine and/or penalty imposed shall not be reviewable by any court or arbitrator or be the subject of a grievance. For suspensions ranging from 5 to 20 games the Commissioner shall brief the Executive Director of the PHPA. Suspensions by the Commissioner shall be in general accord with prior decisions for like conduct.” For suspensions that exceed 20 games the Commissioner must hold a hearing.”

A new CBA will have to be negotiated prior to the start of next season so if the PHPA wanted to change the way fines and suspensions are adjudicated to include more player input prior to a decision being made, the CBA negotiations would be the vehicle to approach that issue.

– The Allen Americans will be wearing a Halloween specialty jersey on Sunday, and the jerseys will be auctioned in a new and exciting way. The Americans have a new specialty jersey auction partner as all auctions will be done through BidPal. This will allow fans anywhere in the world to bid on the jerseys. The way this will work is you can start bidding on the jerseys the Monday prior to the game where the specialty jersey will be worn. The auction will end at the second intermission of the game the players wear the specialty jersey. The Halloween jerseys are already posted on BidPal so you can signup and bid right now. Here is the link:

Photo Courtesy: Allen Americans

–  Colorado and Wichita continued their torrid start to the season last night. Colorado defeated Worcester 5-1, and Wichita beat Tulsa 3-1. The Eagles and the Thunder are both 5-0 and lead the ECHL (along with Florida) with 10 points. The Americans are in third place in the Mountain Division with seven points. Allen has the opportunity to earn an additional six points this weekend.

DID YOU KNOW:  With Jeremy Brodeur signing with Allen it inspired me to look back on Martin Brodeur’s NHL records which include most wins (691), saves (28,928), shutouts (125) and games played (1266). He also had two goals and 45 assists in his career. Some of the quotes you see about Brodeur are most insightful.

“Some of his records are Gretzky-like”…..former coach John MacLean
“His net gets smaller when the game gets bigger”…..Jaromir Jagr
“There is Marty after the second period, having a Sprite and half a bagel, working on a shutout and he is talking and joking with the guys in the room. Then he will go out an stop ten shots in the third. There is just this calmness about him. Maybe it is because he still thinks of hockey as a game.”…..teammate Sheldon Souray
“I just don’t get nervous at a hockey rink”…..Martin Brodeur
“He probably read and tracked the puck and saw the game before it happened better than I think any goalie. I think he knew where the puck was going to be before any of the shooters did.”…..goalie Cory Schneider

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