ALLEN, TX – I get to say something I haven’t said for many months, it is game day for the Allen Americans, at least for the five Allen players trying out with the San Jose Barracuda.

I haven’t seen the roster for the Barracuda’s preseason game in Bakersfield tonight but have been told all five (Basara, Archambault, Arseneau, Rissling, Thrower) are expected to play. Bryan Moore and David Makowski, who are under contract with San Jose, should also be in the lineup. Best of luck to all of the guys!

– When you are a tryout player you are assigned some crazy numbers, usually very high numbers. Here are the numbers for the five tryout players plus Moore & Makowski:
#73 – Marcus Basara
#78 – Bryan Moore
#79 – David Makowski
#86 – Josh Thrower
#95 – Olivier Archambault
#86 – Jaynen Rissling
#97 – Vincent Arseneau

– The Sharks and Barracuda announced yesterday that they had extended their affiliation with the Allen Americans through the upcoming season. Here is the press release issued by San Jose if you haven’t seen it: https://www.sjbarracuda.com/news/detail/sharks-barracuda-announce-affiliation-extension-with-allen.

I was asked by a reader last night why a press release was issued on this extension when there was never a press release issued the last couple of years. My take on this affiliation with San Jose is it relates more to coach Steve Martinson than the Allen Americans. I don’t know this for a fact but my opinion is if Martinson would have left Allen after last season, which was certainly a possibilty, he would have taken the affiliation with him. As for why no press release in the last couple of years it most likely had to do with past ownership issues related to the financial aspects of the affiliation. This press release and the ongoing affiliation is just another example of new ownership (Jack Gulati) improving relationships with an important stakeholder.

As an aside, when you read the press release you can’t help but notice it refers the East Coast Hockey League, a name that was changed to the ECHL 14 years ago. If AHL & NHL media can’t get this right after 14 years maybe it is time for the ECHL to rebrand itself.

Martinson’s quote in the press release says it all and why the San Jose affiliation has been a key to Allen’s success. It is almost impossible to have a successful AA franchise without an active affiliation. Martinson said, “San Jose has been the best affiliate I have been involved with. They genuinely care about the success of not only their contracted players but also the Allen Americans.”

– If you haven’t seen this two-part series about the ECHL written by Sam Donnellon from philly.com, it is a must-read. The headlines describe the subject perfectly.

Part one is called, “Long bus rides and long odds: The ECHL dream” https://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/echl-philadelphia-flyers-hockey-league-sam-donnellon-long-bus-rides-long-odds-20170925.html

Part two is called, “Once a graveyard for hope, ECHL now a launching pad” https://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/nhl-hockey-philadelphia-flyers-echl-reading-royals-andrew-macdonald-20170927.html

– Don’t forget about the Fanfest event on Saturday at the Allen Event Center. A good time to get back in the hockey spirit with other fans, the players, and the Ice Angels. You won’t want to miss coach Martinson who is scheduled to talk about the upcoming season and take questions starting at 1:00 pm. Here are all the details and activities: https://allenamericans.com/americans-hold-fanfest-select-seat-event-september-30th/

DID YOU KNOW: For you stats geeks the NHL issued a press release yesterday to announce they have completed the digitization of its entire statistical history. There is even a tutorial embedded in the release. They have added 15 million new player and game data points. Here are a couple of examples that were included of what you can find:

– In each of the league’s first two seasons, 1917-18 and 1918-19, minor penalties were three minutes in duration.
– In the early years of the league, goaltenders had to serve their own penalties – Chicago’s Mike Karakas was the last to do so on Decemebr 27, 1936.
– Through this digitization process Wayne Gretzky was moved to a plus/minus of +100 in 1984-85 (from +98) to become the third player in NHL history with a single season plus/minus rating in the triple digits. The top two remained unchanged through the process: Bobby Orr at +124 in 1970-71 and Larry Robinson at +120 in 1976-77.

Here is the press release: https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-historical-stats-press-release/c-291394420