ALLEN, Texas – Two days and two new players for the Allen Americans says all you need to know about the injuries that the team is dealing with as they prepare for two games against the South Carolina Stingrays this weekend.
– In addition to adding forward Johnny McInnis in the trade that sent Miles Liberati to Indy, the Americans have signed free agent forward Christophe Lalancette who was recently (October 24) released by the Orlando Solar Bears. These moves clearly point to the fact the Americans are short at the forward position. Braylon Shmyr (AHL call-up) will certainly be missed. Kevin Sundher (14-day injured reserve) and Casey Pierro-Zabotel are the known injuries but there has to be others for Steve Martinson to bring in two new forwards this week.
– Defenseman Josh Thrower would be an option to play forward but he was placed on the 14-day injured reserve yesterday (retroactive to October 20).
– As of this morning, the roster stands at 22 players, eight defensemen and 12 forwards including the two forwards just added. With the injuries (known and unknown) the question remains who will be available for Friday night and will the team have to play shorthanded.
– I had several questions about Braylon Shmyr’s call-up to the Springfield Thunderbirds so will use him as an example to talk about how this process works in general. Any Allen player that is not signed to an NHL/AHL contract is a free agent and can be called up by any AHL team. When that happens they are signed to a tryout contract (PTO). If they do well they could be signed to a Standard Players Contract (SPC). That is what happened with Oliver Archambault last season. Shmyr could be in Springfield for just a few games or he could end up being signed to a SPC and never return.
Martinson tells the story of having a player get called up for what was supposed to be just one game and the player never returned and had a long career in the AHL. The odds are Shmyr will be back in Allen but you never know and all players want is an opportunity to show what they can do at the next level. It is also a possibility Shmyr could get sent back to Allen and another AHL team could call him up. That is an advantage of not having an AHL deal, all 31 AHL teams could come calling. If a player has a contract with a higher league like Motte, Salituro, Jenys, Lang and Josh Thrower, who are all under contract with the Minnesota Wild organization, they will only get called up by the Iowa Wild unless there is some unusual situation.
It is important to remember that even if a free agent player, like Shmyr, would sign an SPC with an AHL team the Allen Americans would retain his ECHL rights. He could not be sent to the AHL team’s ECHL affiliate. Vincent Arseneau and Olivier Archambault are good examples, they signed one-way contracts with AHL teams but Allen retains their ECHL rights for this season because they were given qualifying offers by Martinson in the offseason Utica (Arseneau) or Syracuse (Archambault) want to send them to the ECHL they would come to Allen.
– There will be a complete series preview tomorrow with all of the details but Allen and South Carolina have many similarities. Both have had mediocre starts, Allen is 3-4-0-1 and South Carolina is 4-4-0-0. They are the top two teams in the ECHL in minor penalties (Allen 55 – South Carolina 53) and give up a lot of goals. Allen is ranked #22 allowing 3.75 goals per game and South Carolina is ranked #21 allowing 3.63 goals per game. It won’t mean anything to the players since Spencer Asuchak is the only player on the team who played in the last game between Allen and South Carolina at the Allen Event Center. However, Asuchak, coach Martinson and many Allen fans remember that game like it was yesterday. It was game seven of the 2015 Kelly Cup finals and Allen beat the Stingrays 6-1 led by Chad Costello and Arseneau who each had two goals. Here is a video of that game:
– Here is some background information on the two new Allen forwards courtesy of hockeydb:
Did You Know?
The Allen Americans defied the odds to win the 2015 Kelly Cup championship. Coming from the Central Hockey League they weren’t expected to get past the semifinal round when they met an established ECHL team, the Ontario Reign. It was quite a comeback as the Americans were on the brink of elimination trailing in games 3-1. The Americans had to win game five on the road which they won 6-2 and then return home to win game six (2-1) and game seven (3-1). The finals against South Carolina also required a comeback as Allen lost two of three games at home to start the series (because of scheduling it was a 3-3-1 series) and had to win two of three games on the road just to get the series back to Allen for game seven. It was quite a memory for Allen fans to witness comebacks in the semifinals and finals and have both series end at home in a seventh game.