The Allen Americans are gearing up for their third season in the Allen Event Center. After going to the Berry Conference finals and losing to the ultimate champions the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, the Americans set out to retool their lineup for the new season. They are not content with just getting to the postseason - they want that President's Trophy. Their offseason moves show their commitment to making that happen and proving that Allen is amongst the top programs in the Central Hockey League.
Central Hockey League (CHL) Upheaval
The big story in the offseason was the change to the CHL league landscape. After watching a few teams move to the ECHL and NAHL leagues, the CHL was also hit with a few franchises that collapsed altogether. The champions, the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, shuttered their arena and ceased operations shortly after the end of the season. There were major concerns that the CHL would not exist in any capacity this year. The good news is that the league is still operating and is having a full season, albeit with fewer teams than in the past. The big question mark for many fans is what will happen next season - will more franchises leave to join the ECHL or the NAHL? Will more franchises have to shutter their doors due to economic reasons? Only time will tell.
NHL Affiliation Added
The Allen Americans also reach an affiliation agreement with the Lake Erie Monsters/Colorado Avalanche clubs for the upcoming season. This is in addition to their existing affiliation with the Dallas Stars. The Allen Americans remain one of only three teams in the CHL to have an affiliation with an NHL club.
After the jump, a look at the roster changes that occurred during the offseason: who's staying, who's coming, and who's going.
Notable Returning Members:
With all of the uncertainty in the CHL, the Allen Americans maintained focus on the upcoming season by looking at the one aspect they can control: their on-ice personnel. They made some splashes early by locking up a few of last year's team members. Among the notable returning members:
It isn't an offseason without some departures, and the Americans did lose several fan favorites this summer. They lost two of their more dynamic play makers as well as their entire goaltending tandem from last season. A look at some of the players that will not be back wearing the red this season:
But their is always the excitement of new players added to the roster as well. The Americans have made a ton of signings this offseason, and next week we will have a more comprehensive look at the team as a whole along with training camp updates. Until then, a few of the notable additions the team made in the offseason include:
Training camp begins Monday, October 10, with all sessions beginning at 10 AM at the Allen Event Center. All sessions are open to the public. The Allen Americans will host their first preseason game on Wednesday, October 12 against the Tulsa Oilers. Their home opener for the regular season is Friday, October 21st when the puck drops at 7:05 PM.
Next week, we'll get an update on training camp as well as a look at potential lines for the Americans for this season. Until then, keep livin' in the red.