I had a chance to sit down with Allen Americans coach and general manager Chad Costello earlier this week to see how his first week has gone. Chad’s to do list is as long as your arm and he is already fully engaged trying to get up to speed on the many issues related to the on ice product but also the myriad of off ice issues he has to deal with.
– The Kelly Cup playoffs are still in the conference finals round and the ECHL could go as late as June 15 before a champion is crowned. But the playoffs do not stop the planning for the 2022-23 season. Here are the critical dates that Chad Costello and all ECHL coaches will be dealing with in the month of June.
- June 1: Protected lists due (3:00 pm EDT) – Teams are allowed to protect as many players as they wish as long as they meet the guidelines. Players that signed a SPC in 2021-22 and were not traded or released, signed a SPC and were recalled to NHL/AHL and were not traded or released and players that received a qualifying offer last summer but did not sign the SPC and were not traded or released, can be included on the protected list.
- June 13: Future considerations trade deadline (3:00 pm EDT) – Allen made a lot of trades between February and April and most were for future considerations. The Americans acquired Luke Peressini, Jake Kearley, Josh Winquist, Nick Albano and Colby McAuley in trades. Costello will have to deal with these future considerations by June 13 and it may not be pretty.
- June 15: Season-ending rosters due (3:00 pm EDT) – This list may include up to 20 players and cannot include any players who did not sign a 2021-22 contract with Allen.
- June 16: First day to sign contracts for 2022-23 season – Costello can come to agreements with players before this date but the first day to sign contracts for 2022-23 is June 16. Allen typically spaces out player signings over the summer, but with a new coach I would expect the Americans will try to make a big splash with some early signing announcements.
- June 30: Qualifying offers due to players (11:59 pm EDT) – This is a big date because Costello will only be able to issue eight qualifying offers to reserve a player’s rights. Players who have signed contracts prior to June 30 do not have to be given qualifying offers so Costello will be working hard between June 16-30 to sign players that want to return to Allen. Veterans do not typically get qualifying offers because they can become free agents if they don’t sign the qualifying offer.
– Talking to all of the Allen players/agents will be critical as June 1st approaches, but Chad also has to develop relationships with the ECHL front office as they drive so many action items and reporting requirements. Then there is the recruitment of an assistant coach and other coaches (skating coach, goalie coach) to help out. Another huge issue on Chad’s to do list is finding a NHL affiliation which will be critical to success. Then Chad has to start recruiting players that will be new to Allen. As you can see everything is a tip top priority and this just scratches the surface of all the things on Chad’s to do list.– Way before Chad was called by Jack Gulati about the Allen coaching job he had made a commitment to play in a new professional 3-on-3 hockey league that will begin in June. Part of Costello’s agreement to take the Allen coaching job was that he could fulfill this playing commitment. The league is called 3ICE and it will consist of six teams each coached by NHL legends (Guy Carbonneau, Grant Fuhr, John LeClair, Joe Mullen, Larry Murphy and Bryan Trottier). The league commissioner is Hall of Famer Craig Patrick. All six teams will travel to eight locations for a one day single elimination tournament. The teams will fly in on Friday, play the tournament on Saturday and fly home on Sunday. The schedule is:
- June 18 – Las Vegas
- June 25 – Denver
- July 2 – Grand Rapids
- July 9 – Hershey
- July 16 – London, Ontario
- July 23 – Pittsburgh
- July 30 – Quebec City
- August 6 – Nashville
The league will conclude with a championship tournament back in Las Vegas on August 20.
– As they say on their website, 3ICE was created to bring fans one thing, pure unadulterated excitement. The games are two halves of eight minutes running time with the winners advancing. Six teams, six skaters, one goalie and a Hall of Fame coach on a full sized sheet of ice. Here are some of the rules that will ensure a fast paced game of 3-on-3 hockey.
- All penalties are penalty shots
- If goalie freezes the puck it is a penalty
- Pucks going into the netting remain in play
- No open ice checking (will still be puck battles)
- No video replay stoppages
– Chad will play on the Bryan Trottier team with a couple of other former Allen players (Matt Foget and Jake Newton). Other former Allen players in the league are J.C. Campagna and Jeremy Brodeur who are on team Carbonneau.– What started out to be a summer job for Chad Costello and the chance to play hockey has turned into a recruiting and networking opportunity for coach Chad Costello.– Here is a story from the Hockey News on 3ICE with details about the league and the rosters for all six teams: https://thehockeynews.com/news/former-nhlers-highlight-3ice-rosters-for-inaugural-season– How can the 3ICE league afford all of this high profile talent. A big part of the answer has to be the fact the league sold its international media rights to ESPN who plans to stream all games to 185 countries. Here are the details: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/3ice-announces-international-media-rights-agreement-with-espn-301477999.htmlDID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stat post today is about playoff special teams this season. As a comparison to the final four in the playoffs, the Allen Americans total in the playoffs was 90.2%. In their five playoff games the Americans were ranked #5 on the penalty kill (85.2%) and #15 on the power play (5.3%).Special teams are usually the difference maker in the playoffs. One way to compare special teams is to add together the power play (PP) percentage and penalty kill (PK) percentage for the four teams remaining in the Kelly Cup playoffs. Anything above 105% is considered excellent. The two Western Conference teams have had the better special teams thus far in the playoffs:117.8% – Toledo (PP 31.3%, PK 86.5%)113.9% – Utah (PP 34.4%, PK 79.5%)102.4% – Newfoundland (PP 23.1%, PK 79.3%)102.0% – Florida (PP 21.6%, PK 80.4%)