ALLEN, Texas – Americans head coach Steve Martinson is now just two days away from submitting the training camp roster to the ECHL office. He has said all along this will be the most competitive training camp since arriving in Allen. Here are my thoughts on what the training camp roster might look like when it is finalized.
– There have been 21 players announced by the Americans so that would be the starting point. As a reminder here is the list:
– All of the players on the list above will not be at the first on ice practice on Sunday. Five (Brodeur, Atkinson, Breton, J. Thrower and Shmyr) are at AHL camps and may not be back by Sunday. If you look at the Iowa Wild roster there are only eight defensemen plus the three from Allen (Atkinson, Breton, Thrower) on tryout contracts. If there are any injuries one of the Allen defenseman may stay in Iowa.
– There will be other players added to the training camp roster that will increase the number. This will include a player signed to a standard player’s contract earlier that has not been announced, SPHL players that have been invited, and possibly local players that are unsigned for the upcoming season and will tryout. The bottom line is it will be a good sized camp when everyone arrives.
– According to the website, dropyourgloves.com, Mike Gunn led the Americans last season in fighting majors with 11. Josh Thrower was second with 10 fights but there is a chance he could be in Iowa at the start of the season. The next five players on the fight list are not returning (Bryan Moore, Alex Guptill, Jonathan Lessard, Colby McAuley, Vincent Arseneau). If Thrower doesn’t start the season in Allen, it would mean players that had 66% of the fights last season (42 of 64) will not be on the roster. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a tough guy added to the training camp roster in case Thrower stays in Iowa.
– Players have to go through physicals before training camp and there have been times when a player reports with an injury and can’t pass the physical so that is another issue to monitor.
– It is unlikely Martinson will make any trades before the start of training camp but he has made it clear on several occasions when talking to fans that if players show up to camp out of shape, they will be gone. Over the years, Martinson has often repeated his expectations for players. He is looking for players that put the team first, work hard on and off the ice, play both ends of the ice, win puck battles and finish checks. Here are a few Martinson quotes players need to keep in mind as camp starts.
“Don’t try and manufacture plays that are not there”
“What you did last year just gets you in the door”
“I can always find another favorite player”
“Trying to do too much is just a code word for dumb player”
“It doesn’t pay to be bigger if you don’t use it”
“I want players that want to win the game more than they want to score”
and my personal favorite, “Don’t pour gas on the fire unless you want a bigger fire”
– Here is the press release the Iowa Wild issued yesterday with their training camp roster. Josh Thrower is not listed because he is still on the Minnesota Wild NHL roster until he is cleared from the injury he suffered in the Minnesota prospects tournament. https://www.iowawild.com/news/detail/iowa-wild-announces-roster-for-2018-19-training-camp
– There are three former Allen Americans at the Utica Comets (AHL) training camp. Vincent Arseneau is under contract with Utica. Dyson Stevenson and Jake Hildebrand were invited on tryout contracts.
– If you have any interest in attending the Allen Americans preseason games against Kansas City on Friday, October 5th (7:00 pm) and Saturday, October 6th (4:30 pm). Tickets cost $10 and the games will take place in the Community Rink. The preseason games are a good chance to watch the players up close and if the games are like last season when Allen also played Kansas City in the preseason, they should be entertaining. https://allenamericans.com/preseason/
– The ECHL put out their “critical dates” for the upcoming season. You can check those out, here: https://thesinbin.net/echl-fan-guide/
– Chad Costello and Greger Hanson have started their regular season for the Krefeld Pinguine in Germany. Krefeld has played four games winning one in regulation and one in overtime, losing one in regulation and one in overtime. Chad has a goal and three assists in four games played. Greger has played in two games and has no points. The team sits in sixth place in the 14-team league.
Did You Know?
One of the subjects Martinson brought up to fans during the Q & A he had on Saturday was recruiting players that could help improve the power play.
If there is one stat that helps explain Allen’s first-round playoff loss to Idaho last season, it would be the power play. Of the 16 teams that made the playoffs, Allen’s power play was ranked #15 at 8.3% (2-24). The Americans power play in the four playoff games they played in Idaho was 0-13.
The last time Allen won the Kelly Cup (2016) they had the #1 ranked power play in the playoffs (27.2%).