ALLEN, Texas – If you have been waiting for the start of hockey season with the same anticipation I have, today is a big day. By 2:00 pm this afternoon, the Allen Americans training camp roster was due to the league office. It is possible the team could release the training camp roster and schedule as early as this afternoon, and fans will be able to see some names in addition to the 22 that have been already announced. A couple of reminders if you see the training camp roster this afternoon:
– Even though the training camp roster has a firm due date and time (today) players can be added or subtracted after it is turned in. I would expect there are some tryout players that won’t be on the list but who will be added prior to the first practice on Sunday.
– There will be quite a few players from the list of 22 that have already been announced who will not be in Allen for the start of training camp. As a reminder here, is that list of 22:
Jeremy Brodeur
Andrew D’Agostini
Josh Atkinson
Alex Breton
Joel Chouinard
Mike Gunn
Miles Liberati
David Makowski
Tate Olson
Eric Roy
Dalton Thrower
Josh Thrower
Spencer Asuchak
Chad Butcher
J.C. Campagna
Ben Duffy
Matt Foget
Thomas Frazee
Casey Pierro-Zabotel
Zach Pochiro
Braylon Shmyr
Kevin Sundher
Brodeur, Atkinson, Breton, Olson and Josh Thrower are at AHL training camps and will be involved in what I call the trickle down effect. Let’s use the Minnesota Wild as an example, since all of the players listed except Brodeur are at the Iowa Wild training camp. Minnesota plays its last preseason game tomorrow night (Friday) and open its season on October 4th. Minnesota will make its final cuts this weekend or early next week and send players to the Iowa Wild.
The Iowa Wild play preseason games tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday and open their season on October 5th. Until Iowa gets players from Minnesota, they won’t send players to Allen. This means these Allen players who do not make the Iowa opening day roster won’t be back in Allen until the middle of next week. They should be back prior to Allen’s preseason games on October 5th & 6th.
– Remember, there is one player on the list above that has been traded and won’t be at training camp.
– The ice at the Allen Event Center (AEC) has not been installed so all activities related to training camp will take place in the Community Rink. They should start installing the AEC ice next week.
– The ECHL issued a press release yesterday with the prices for ECHL-TV for the upcoming season. The prices are the same as last season’s early bird prices. It is striking to see the difference between the ECHL-TV prices and AHL-TV prices.
Here are a few examples:
The ECHL charges $8.99 for a single game, while the AHL charges $6.99 for a single game all access pass where you can watch all games that day.
The ECHL charges $99.99 to watch all away games for a single team, and the AHL cost is $39.99.
The ECHL charges $199.99 for an all access pass to watch all games, all season, all teams. The AHL all access pass is $79.99.
The ECHL charges $44.99 for a monthly all access pass, the AHL charges $19.99.
I know in the press release issued by the AHL earlier this month for the new AHL-TV streaming platform it mentioned they had partnered with a company called HockeyTech on this effort. HockeyTech also provides real-time scoring and statistical services for the AHL under the LeagueStat brand.
Here is the ECHL press release with all of the details if you are interested in buying one of the TV packages.
– The Allen Americans have announced they will begin using Ticketmaster’s digital ticketing system this year. I first heard about this software a year ago when Allen played preseason games against Kansas City at the Allen Community Rink. I had the chance to talk to Mavericks owner, Lamar Hunt Jr., at length as we ended up standing together on the glass watching the game. I was impressed with how open and engaging he was with me while I peppered him with questions.

One of the topics we discussed was customer service and Hunt mentioned a new Ticketmaster software upgrade the Mavericks had implemented which would allow season ticket holders the ability manage their own account. From what I understood, there were many benefits to this upgraded system but those that piqued my interest the most were the ability of season ticket holders to exchange tickets, transfer tickets and even renew their season tickets each year all without contacting the front office.

The Americans will be providing more information on this digital ticketing system over the next three Wednesdays. It is important to know everyone will be provided tickets as usual for the upcoming season.

– You don’t find many books written about ECHL hockey. I would like to recommend one written by Kansas City Mavericks play-by-play announcer Bob Rennison. The title of the book is, “A View From the Gondola: My journey Through Kansas City Mavericks’ 2017-18 season.” Aptly titled, Bob takes the reader through the team’s 2017-18 season as he experienced it. As described on Amazon, “This book gives readers a taste of ECHL hockey from the inside. Find out more about the work several people put in daily to make a minor league hockey team successful. Also, learn how important hockey fans are to players, broadcasters, trainers, equipment managers and team management in minor league professional hockey.” The book is available from Amazon. The cost is $18.00.

DID YOU KNOW: Steve Martinson is not one for pep talks and has often told me he doesn’t see his role to motivate professional hockey players. I saw this quote from NBA coach Gregg Popovich which captures the same sentiment as he talked about doing your job,

“If you are a plumber & don’t do your job you don’t get work. I don’t think a plumber needs a pep talk. You are a basketball player – You come ready….it’s your job.”

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