ALLEN, TX – After five straight days of skating, drills and playing against each other the Allen Americans are more than ready to take on another team which they will do Friday and Saturday against Kansas City.

After close to two hour practices the last two days things will change today as Steve Martinson concentrates on special teams play. Martinson will divide the team into two groups with one group on the ice at 10:00 and the other at 11:00. It will be a practice that allows work on special teams but will also conserve some energy in preparation for the two preseason games this weekend.

– It is clear that Martinson is more than pleased with this team and this week of practice has only reinforced what he thought he had this summer during his recruitment effort. One thing fans forget is that recruiting is not merely finding the best players. What makes Martinson a good recruiter is his ability to combine many factors as he puts the overall puzzle together. The obvious factor is the salary cap so finding players at a good value is key, but other issues include housing costs and the combination of younger and older players. He has to factor in players whose sole goal is to get called up to the AHL versus players that want to get called up but are happy playing in Allen. Martinson has to think about the right combination of speed, toughness, side wall players, east-west players, north-south players, left shot/right shot, puck carriers, playmakers, grinders, and finishers. Martinson often says the key to being a good coach is recruiting the right players. All you have to do is look at the long list of players that had their best years playing for Martinson to realize he has a unique ability to recognize players that will excel in his system and are not being utilized correctly on other teams.

– Martinson has done several interviews and talked to many fans this week, and the message has been consistent. This team is going to be big, fast, skilled, tough and entertaining. He has said this team would be the hardest to play against since he has been in Allen. With all of the positives and bright outlook he often reminds fans things can look good on paper, but you never know what you have until you start playing games. It is looking great on paper, but it remains to be seen how the team comes together once the games begin. Fans will get that chance this weekend.

OTHER COMMENTS

– Many have been asking if there is anything new relating to Chad Costello and his injury. His wife, Ashley shared this with me this morning to pass along to all of his fans,

“Chad met with the knee specialist yesterday and his surgery is scheduled for Monday. The time frame for recovery is unknown until they get in there. It could be five weeks to a few months. Of course Chad is saying it will only be a few weeks. As you know he is so stubborn in playing through injuries he still thinks he is going to try and play on Friday. He said he is missing coach Martinson’s old injury stories.”

It is good to know Chad still has his sense of humor and there is little doubt he will come back stronger than ever.

–  If you track player movement on websites like eliteprospects.com this time of year, it is hard to keep up because there are so many with all of the training camps in progress. Here a few related to former Allen players.

Spencer Asuchak – He was released from his contract in Slovakia and flew to Canada yesterday
Greger Hanson – He was assigned to the Utah Grizzlies (ECHL) by the San Diego Gulls (AHL)
Matt Willows – Matt was assigned by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL) to Reading (ECHL)
Alex Krushelnyski – Alex was also assigned by Lehigh Valley to Reading
Jake Marchment – Jake was assigned to San Antonio (AHL) to Colorado (ECHL)
Garrett Klotz – Garrett was traded from the Norfolk Admirals to the Quad City Mallards
Harrison Ruopp – Harrison has signed to play senior hockey at home rather than play pro hockey
J.P. LaFontaine – I heard J.P. is not playing pro hockey this season at least at this point

– For those of you that buy one of the ECHL-TV packages, the early bird specials are now available. This pricing is good through October 22.

$199.99 – All access for the regular season
$44.99 – Monthly all access package
$149.99 – Single team package for all games (72 games)
$99.99 – Single team away package (36 games)

– As of yesterday, the San Jose Barracuda’s roster showed two goalies, 16 forwards, and eight defensemen. This number includes players that are injured. What does this mean for Allen? San Jose does not have a lot of extra players on the roster so any injuries as the season gets going will impact the Americans. Players that were going to be assigned to Allen may not get assigned, and players in Allen may be sent to San Jose.

DID YOU KNOW: Today is the sixth day of training camp and in just six more days the opening day rosters are due in the league office (October 11th).  However, once the opening day roster is submitted changes can be made at any time. The best example of this was in 2014-15 when four critical players were added to the roster in the week after the final roster was submitted. Justin Baker, Spencer Asuchak, Jack Combs & Greger Hanson.

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