ALLEN, TX – It is three days after my knee replacement surgery so thought it was time to talk about a few subjects that have come up this week. Here it goes in no particular order. If any of this doesn’t make sense, blame it on the drugs.

– Qualifying offers were due on Thursday. Each team was entitled to reserve the rights to up to eight players. Steve Martinson qualified just five players: Matt Register, David Makowski, Eric Roy, Greger Hanson & Ian Schultz. Why just five players? Remember, you don’t have to qualify players that have already signed. Also remember, veterans (260 pro games) can eventually become free agents even if they are qualified so often times they are not qualified. My guess is players that are not vets and not on the qualified list must already be signed. That would include Aaron Gens, Dyson Stevenson, JP LaFontaine and Kyle Neuber. If they haven’t signed they would now be free agents.

– Here is a link to all ECHL qualifying offers by team:

Thomas Carr has signed to play hockey in Gap, France next season. Carr joins his college teammate, Jordan Rowley, in heading to Europe to play hockey. Rowley is signed to play in Sweden. There are more players from last year’s roster with offers to play overseas so wouldn’t be surprised to lose one or two more.

– Have been asked about the Allen Americans Team Store closing and some have even wondered if that might mean the team is moving. The closing of the store has nothing to do with the potential ownership change. The space is going to be turned into office space for another tenant in the building. The same group that ran the Allen Americans team store in the past will continue in the future. There will be kiosks on the concourse and maybe even retail space somewhere else in the neighborhood.

– Things have been quiet on the new ownership front which leads me to believe that something is close. You have to think that once an agreement in principle is reached, there is a lot of work to be done by the lawyers and a lot of I’s to be dotted and T’s to be crossed.

– Toledo (Wednesday) and Missouri (Thursday) have announced new coaches. Dan Watson in Toledo and John-Scott Dickson in Missouri were assistant/associate coaches last season who got moved up to head coach. These are two outstanding franchises that would attract a lot of interest from excellent coaches in professional and junior hockey. I saw where Missouri had over 100 applicants for their head coaching job. For the teams to give the job to their assistant coaches says a lot about Watson and Dickson. I also think it says a lot about the power of the players on the team when they go to bat for the assistant coach to become the head coach.

– The last I had a chance to talk to Allen Ice Angels Director/Choreographer, Stephanie Di Biase she mentioned there are three Ice Angels still in the competition to become Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. The group has been cut down from over 500 to 44 on the way to the 36 that will make the team. As of last week Amy, Kelsey and Kelli were still competing. Good luck!<

– Meanwhile Stephanie is busy planning for the 2016-17 Ice Angels season. Tryouts will take place July 30-31. Another big decision is deciding where the team will go for their calendar photo shoot which takes place in October.

– Still no word from the ECHL on what decisions were made by the Board of Governors at their meeting last week. Have heard unconfirmed rumors that decisions were made concerning division/conference alignment along with some other issues so hope the league will issue a press release soon.

– Here is a recap of the awards given out at the ECHL meeting last week:

Tommy Daniels (Allen Americans) – Award of Excellence for Broadcasting
Mike Kelly (Florida Everblades) – Ticket Executive of the Year
Kristin Ropp (Cincinnati Cyclones) – Executive of the Year
DJ Abisalih (Wheeling Nailers) – Award of Excellence for Media Relations
Greenville Swamp Rabbits – Website Award of Excellence
Toledo Walleye – Social Media Award
Florida Everblades – Ticket Department of the Year
Cincinnati Cyclones – Marketing Award of Excellence

DID YOU KNOW:  Had a chance to look at the ECHL playoff MVP trophy recently and noticed there were six MVP’s with a connection to the Allen Americans. Here is the list:

  • 2016 – Chad Costello
  • 2015 – Greger Hanson
  • 2013 – Riley Gill (playing for Reading)
  • 2011 – Scott Howes (playing for Alaska)
  • 2007 – Steve Silverthorn (playing for Idaho)
  • 2003 – Kevin Colley (playing for Atlantic City)

Howes played in Allen in 2012-13, Silverthorn in 2012-13, and Kevin Colley was the assistant coach in Allen in 2014-15.

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