ALLEN, TX – It has been just over a month since the Allen Americans played their last game, so I thought it would be a good time to cover a few topics for those of you suffering from hockey withdrawal earlier than normal.

– For anyone that has ever spent time at a fishing camp in Canada, the solitude and beauty are as great as the fishing. I just spent a week on Cedar Lake in western Ontario. It was my 20th year of this annual pilgrimage to Canada. It was the one positive outcome of Allen losing in the second round of the playoffs. I had not planned on going on the fishing trip because of the playoffs but Colorado changed the plans. The fishing was slower than normal but four of us still managed to land 275 walleyes, 50 northern pike, 25 smallmouth bass along with a few crappies and perch.

– Enough about the fishing, the scenery on these Canadian lakes is spectacular. Lots of islands covered in trees in various colors of green at this time of year. During the week we saw bears twice, many Bald Eagles including three different pairs fighting in the air in an amazing acrobatic display of flying, we saw a fox, several beavers and we fed an eagle with a perch as the eagle came close to our boat. There were thousands of geese still traveling north to the breeding grounds. An otter was playing and looking for food where we docked our boat at night. The sounds of Loons calling at sunset travels for miles. The bottom line is a week on a lake in Canada is so much more than fishing. The serenity, beauty, and camaraderie are as much fun as landing a big walleye.

– Congrats to the Colorado Eagles for their Kelly Cup victory and especially to former Allen Americans Darryl Bootland, Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Matt Register on a well-deserved accomplishment. Allen fans can’t help but wonder how things would have turned out had Casey and Matt been in Allen this season. If you can’t win the Kelly Cup the next best thing is to have a team from your division win it. And the streak of former Central Hockey League (CHL) teams winning the Kelly Cup remains intact. Seems like that rough and tough style from the CHL translates to the ECHL pretty well.

– Matt Register had arguably the best post season in the history of the ECHL. He is the first defenseman in the history of the league to be selected as the Kelly Cup MVP. He finished second in playoff scoring with 24 points (8G, 16A). Of his eight goals he had the game winning goal five times including twice against Allen. He also scored the game tying goal twice in the playoffs with less than a minute remaining in the game. Matt tied a game against Idaho with nine seconds left and against South Carolina with 25 seconds left. And lest Allen fans forget, Colorado beat the Americans both times they met in the regular season and Register had the game-winning goal in both games. That I would say is payback!

– I will do a special recruiting post in the next few days but thought is would be interesting to see what former Allen Americans showed up on protected lists around the ECHL. Protected lists don’t tell you very much as players that have retired, signed overseas and several other specific provisions can be protected. Teams will have to submit “season ending rosters” by June 15 and those rosters are limited to 20 players. June 30 will be the big date as each team will be able to qualify only eight players who aren’t already signed.

Adirondack – J.P. Anderson
Atlanta – Alex Guptill
Brampton –  Reggie Traccitto, Garrett Clarke, Justin Courtnall
Cincinnati – Joel Rumpel
Colorado – Matt Register, Casey Pierro-Zabotel, Darryl Bootland
Florida – Bryce Aneloski
Fort Wayne – Kyle Follmer, Jamie Schaafsma
Greenville – Tristan King,
Idaho – Corbin Baldwin,
Indy – None
Kalamazoo – Ben Wilson
Kansas City – None
Manchester – Rick Pinkston, Daniel Doremus, Tony Turgeon
Norfolk – None
Orlando – Trevor Ludwig, Chris Crane
Quad City – None
Rapid City – Nicholas Miglio
Reading – None
South Carolina – Danny Federico
Toledo – J.P. LaFontaine
Tulsa – Reid Halabi
Utah – None
Wheeling – Kale Kerbashian
Wichita – Randy Cure

– A very important date for Allen fans is Tuesday (June 13) at 3:00 pm EDT. That is the date all future consideration trades need to be completed. The Americans have to send a player to Wichita to complete the transaction that had Alex Krushelnyski assigned to Allen and they will have to send a player to Indy to complete the transaction that had Tyler Barnes assigned to Allen. My prediction is there will be some sad faces in Allen when these trades get announced.

– Special teams were excellent for the Allen Americans in the playoffs. It was even strength that caused the problems. Allen had by far the best special teams stats of any of the eight teams in the Division finals. Here is how the final eight ranked.

Power Play
24.6% – Toledo
24.4% – Allen
23.1% – Colorado
22.6% – Fort Wayne
18.9% – Manchester
17.4% – Florida
17.2% – South Carolina
12.2% – Brampton

Penalty Kill
90.0% – Allen
89.1% – Florida
86.0% – Brampton
85.7% – Manchester
85.3% – South Carolina
82.1% – Toledo
79.5% – Colorado
79.5% – Fort Wayne

One way to look at overall special teams performance is to combine power play and penalty kill percentages. Greater than 105% is considered excellent special teams play and anything under 100% is considered disappointing. Here are the percentages for the eight teams that made the division finals.

114.4% – Allen
106.7% – Toledo
106.5% – Florida
104.6% – Manchester
102.6% – Colorado
102.5% – South Carolina
102.1% – Fort Wayne
98.2% – Brampton

– Congrats to Daniel Tetrault who was named the head coach of the Rapid City Rush Thursday. Daniel won the only championship of his long and storied professional career in Allen in 2014.

I first interviewed Tetrault when he signed with Allen in the summer of 2013. Two things struck me about that interview were his open, friendly demeanor and his passion for hockey. Daniel was a leader on every team he ever played on. He is a natural leader. Former Wichita head coach Kevin McClelland, where Tetrault was captain for two years, best described the type of player he is, “He gives his heart and soul to his team. Some guys are leaders in the dressing room, some guys are leaders on the ice. Daniel Tetrault is both. One question I asked Tetrault back in 2013 was, if you could be anything besides a professional hockey player what would you be and without hesitation, he said “a hockey coach.” Just four years later he has reached his dream.

Daniel Tetrault lifting the President’s Cup (CHL) after the Americans beat Denver in the 2013 CHL Finals.

– The exodus to Europe is going full tilt with many of the best players fielding offers they cannot refuse. The leading scorer for Allen (Chad Costello), Rapid City (Ryan Walters), Orlando (Eric Faille) and Brampton (David Vallorani) are just a few examples of great players heading overseas next season. In total over 40 players from the ECHL (including Josh Brittain) have signed overseas with many more to sign in the next two months.

DID YOU KNOW: If you look at the team history of every team that has ever played in the ECHL, Allen has the highest overall winning percentage at .692 (138-55-23) and the highest road winning percentage at .708 (71-26-11).

Please consider becoming a Patron as a way to say thanks and support us for what we do!