This week has the potential to be an important one as it relates to the Allen Americans roster. Today is the AHL trade deadline (3:00 pm EST) and whether the Iowa Wild are buyers, sellers or stand pat could dictate players coming to or going from Allen.
– The next step after the AHL trade deadline is what, if any, trades coach Martinson will make before the ECHL trade deadline which is Thursday (March 5) at 3:00 pm EST. There are several considerations as Martinson makes his decision. Here are a few of them.
– What players currently with AHL teams will be back in Allen come playoff time? Les Lancaster (Stockton), Jared VanWormer (Cleveland), Gabe Gagne (Rockford), Jake Doty (Ontario), Matt Register (Iowa), Turner Ottenbreit (Iowa) and Zack Sawchenko (San Jose) could all be on the Americans playoff roster. Cleveland and San Jose are in last place and will not make the playoffs. Rockford and Ontario are currently not in a playoff spot but could make the playoffs. Stockton is currently in a playoff spot (3rd place). Iowa has the #2 ranked winning percentage in the AHL and is the team most likely to make a deep playoff run.
– In addition to whether the teams above make the AHL playoffs what is happening with their NHL affiliate also has to be considered. Is their NHL teams making the playoffs. Will the Wild sign amateurs after they complete their college/junior eligibility that could play in AHL immediately.
– Coach Martinson will also be recruiting amateur players as their junior/college careers are completed. Sometimes these players become key contributors in the playoffs for Allen.
– Finally, coach Martinson has to find the right player if he is going to make a trade. He has said many times during the season he might need to trade some offense for better defense. That is easier said than done. He won’t make a trade unless the player he is acquiring is better than what the roster will look like at playoff time. Teams in playoff contention are not typically willing to part with high end defensive forwards for high end offensive forwards. One thing you can count on is Martinson will spend plenty of time on the phone between now and the trade deadline on Thursday trying to improve the team.
– Allen is down to 13 games left in the regular season with an eight point lead over second place Utah and nine point lead over third place Idaho. Here is Allen’s record this season against the teams they play in the final 13 games. The games remaining against each team is in parenthesis.
Tulsa: 6-2-0-0 (5 games remaining, 3H, 2A)
Utah: 3-2-0-1 (3 games remaining, 0H, 3A)
Kansas City: 3-3-0-0 (2 games remaining, 0H, 2A)
Idaho: 5-1-2-1 (2 games remaining, 2H, 0A)
Rapid City: 6-2-0-0 (1 game remaining, 1H, 0A)
– Florida won yesterday and became the second ECHL team to clinch a playoff spot, joining South Carolina. If Allen wins or loses in overtime or a shootout against Tulsa on Tuesday they will be the next team to clinch a playoff spot.
– Idaho and South Carolina are the two hottest teams in the ECHL right now with identical 9-1-0-0 records over their last 10 games. They will go head the head this week (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) for three games in Boise.
– The Allen Americans have six home games remaining and need to average 4684 per game to equal their attendance from last season. The five home games include two Saturdays, two Thursdays, one Friday and one Sunday.
– If the playoffs started today (based on winning percentage) Allen would host Rapid City and Idaho would host Utah. Rapid City and Tulsa are battling for the final playoff spot. They only play each other one more time and that game is in Tulsa. Rapid City has to play Utah four times, Idaho three times and Allen once. They do however finish the season with three games at home against Kansas City. In addition to their one game against Rapid City the Tulsa Oilers have five games against Allen, three against Kansas City and two against Wichita.
DID YOU KNOW: One thing that has distinguished the Americans team this season is depth. Allen already has five players with 20 or more goals with the possibility that Olivier Archambault (17) and Brett Pollock (16) could also reach that milestone before the season ends. Here are the number of 20+ goal scorers for each season since Allen joined the ECHL.
5 – 2019-20 (thru 59 games)
3 – 2018-19
2 – 2017-18
5 – 2016-17
3 – 2015-16
4 – 2014-15