ALLEN, TX – Yesterday, I made an attempt to look at the current Allen Americans roster (17 players signed and announced) and the roster from last season as it relates to scoring and pointed out why the numbers don’t tell all.

Today, I want to take a look at another premise between the two rosters. That premise is will the 2017-18 roster be tougher, grittier and harder to play against than the team last season. Coach Steve Martinson has said to me many times what he looks for in players is their willingness to finish their checks, move people from in front of the net, be fearless and make it difficult for others to play against. Yes, fighting is part of the equation, but that is not the primary factor of how tough a team is to play against. If a player is willing to stand up for his teammates and is fearless, that is a real asset.

With the appropriate caveat above, I thought it would be interesting to look at penalty minutes per game for the same list of players I used to compare points per game yesterday. It is a poor surrogate for grit and toughness, but it is measurable. Here are the results:

2016-17
4.64 –  Derek Mathers
2.80 – Bryan Moore
2.26 – David Makowski
2.00 –  Dyson Stevenson
1.89 –  Tanner Eberle
1.80 –  Harrison Ruopp
1.67 –  Mike Gunn
0.83 –  Spencer Asuchak
0.79 –  Zach Hall
0.67 –  Jake Marchment
0.63 –  Gary Steffes
0.58 –  Chad Costello
0.56 –  Travis Brown
0.50 –  Joel Chouinard
0.48 –  Greger Hanson
0.45 –  Eric Roy

2017-18
3.00 – Dalton Thrower
1.89 – Tanner Eberle
1.67 –  Mike Gunn
1.61 –  Josh Thrower
1.57 –  Zach Pochiro
1.18 –  Marcus Basara
1.10 –  Jonathan Lessard
0.97 –  Jaynen Rissling
0.83 –  Olivier Archambault
0.79 –  Zach Hall
0.65 –  Casey Pierro-Zabotel
0.50 –  Joel Chouinard
0.45 –  Eric Roy
0.42 –  Mathieu Aubin
0.18 –  Miles Liberati

– If you look at the raw numbers, the advantage goes to the team from last season even though both of these lists have seven players who averaged more than one penalty minute per game last season.

– Just like with the scoring comparison you need to keep in mind the roster for the upcoming season is not complete. If you add Bryan Moore (2.80), David Makowski (2.26) and Vincent Arseneau (3.67) to the list for 2017-18 there is little doubt it will be tougher and harder to play against than last year’s team.

– Don’t forget Kyle Neuber is also on the roster and is not included on either list above. Kyle has played just eight games for Allen over the last two seasons, but in those eight games, he has averaged 2.25 penalty minutes per game.

OTHER COMMENTS

– The Americans have hired a new trainer to replace Jaime Garcia who is now working for the Rochester Americans (AHL). Will have all the details on this new hire later this week.

– You may have noticed a photo the Americans posted of a joint meeting that was held in Reading last week with the front office staffs of the Royals and Americans along with some folks from the ECHL office. In talking to several of the attendees it was a very productive meeting and another step in working together to improve both franchises.

– Congrats to former Allen goalie, Joel Rumpel who just became engaged to his long time girlfriend Alexandra.

DID YOU KNOW: Last season, Allen had the second most fights in franchise history. But one player (Derek Mathers) had 30 fights by far the most in any season. Here are the number of fights and the leader for each season in franchise history courtesy of the website dropyourgloves.com. It is interesting the year Allen had the most fights (2012-13) the leader had the fewest fights (12). What made that team so tough was they had eight players with at least six fights that season.

2016-17:   85  (Derek Mathers 30)
2015-16:   71  (Dyson Stevenson 16)
2014-15:   79  (Garrett Clarke 16)
2013-14:   72  (Garrett Klotz 20)
2012-13:   91  (Garrett Clarke 12)
2011-12:   63  (Brett Clouthier 13)
2010-11:   72  (Liam Huculak 15)
2009-10:   64  (Liam Huculak 16)