If you are an Allen Americans fan and track the ECHL transactions each day it might make you scratch your head as players are signed, released and moved on and off the reserve list. Much of this activity is related to capology, the study or science of the salary cap. It starts with the ECHL rules on the salary cap. As a reminder here are the three components of a roster:
1. Active roster – up to 21 players that must fit under the $13,780 salary cap. The active rosters will be reduced to a maximum of 20 players with a weekly salary cap of $13,300 on November 10.
2. Reserve – a maximum of two players in addition to the active roster that may consist of healthy or injured players. Salary paid to a reserve player does not count against the salary cap and a reserve player may be added to the active roster at any time, not to exceed the active roster maximum.
3. Injured Reserve – any injured player may be placed on injured reserve (IR). Once placed on IR a player must stay for a minimum of 14 days. They continue to be paid but their salary does not count toward the salary cap.
– As of today the Allen roster is made up of 23 players (three goalies, seven defensemen, 13 forwards). Roster moves this week included the deletion of defenseman Turner Ottenbreit (loaned to Iowa), the addition of goalie Evan Weninger and defenseman Theo Calvas and the movement of Ben Owen off the reserve and Spencer Asuchak on the reserve.
– Calvas was a free agent rookie defenseman who attended training camp with the Cincinnati Cyclones. With three defensemen loaned to Iowa (Josh Atkinson, Matt Register, Turner Ottenbreit), Martinson was down to six defensemen thus the signing of Calvas.
– The re-signing of goalie Weninger is perplexing to me. My reporting is goalies Dereck Baribeau and Jake Paterson are healthy and not headed to an AHL assignment. There are several other reasons Weninger could have been re-signed but it remains to be seen what this means.
– It you look strictly at the numbers it looks simple in managing the roster. With 23 total players, 21 allowed on the active roster and two on reserve, everyone is covered. There are two problems with this math. First, the active roster can’t exceed the salary cap of $13,300. This is where capology comes into play as Martinson has to get the right mix of players in the right categories and still stay under the salary cap. It is not as easy as putting the best players in the lineup. Second, only 16 skaters and two goalies can dress for the game on Friday so there will be some players sitting out as healthy scratches or placed on reserve that don’t typically sit out. Coach Martinson will have some tough decisions to make before Friday night. I would expect you will see several more Allen moves on the transactions on Thursday and Friday.
– Practice today for the Americans will be the typical Thursday practice before back to back games on Friday and Saturday. There will be less skating and a lot of time dedicated to special teams.
– A press release I received via email this week really caught my eye with a headline that included the words, “American Gets NHL Callup.” Turns out Amber Barros, who is the Director of Group Sales for the Allen Americans, has taken a job with the NHL Anaheim Ducks. She will be an Account Executive on their Service and Retention Team. Amber has been with the Americans for the last five seasons starting as an intern and advancing to her present position. I have had the pleasure to work with Amber and watch her do her job. Full of energy and always willing to go the extra mile. We have something in common in that we both attended the University of Minnesota even though she is a native Californian.
This is from the email I received which includes Amber’s own words, “I want to thank the Allen Americans organization for the opportunity to grow personally and professionally in the sports industry. The leadership in the front office has been a big part in shaping me as a professional and a great key to my success. Special thanks to the fans for your love and support. I look forward to crossing paths with you all again. I am excited to embark on this new journey as I join the Anaheim Ducks.”
Best of luck to Amber on her new endeavor. She will be working both Allen Americans games this weekend so if you know her it will be a chance to congratulate Amber and wish her well with the Anaheim Ducks. Maybe the toughest part of her new job will be cheering for the Ducks since she is a known diehard Los Angeles Kings fan.
– Since I am not writing a blog every day I was asked if I could share at the end of each blog when the next one will be published. The days I write a blog are driven more by what is happening with the team than any other factor. Game days and game recaps the day after games are a given but other days are more dependent on what info I have to share. I will do my best to share in advance when I will be posting a player profile or a special interest story. I just started asking the players about their jersey numbers, nicknames and advice from their fathers which will be the basis for several stories in the future.
DID YOU KNOW: Steve Martinson is starting his 24th season as a head coach in AA hockey and has won 10 championships including four consecutive championships in Allen. Did you know Martinson won his first championship in his very first year in coaching. In 1995-96, coaching the San Diego Gulls in the West Coast Hockey League (WCHL), Martinson’s team had a regular season record of 49-7-0 on the way to the WCHL championship.