An Open Letter To The Arizona Coyotes, From OKC

Logo via Wikipedia

Hello Arizona Coyotes! My name is Eric Rodgers, and I wanted to reach out to your organization, in the event that the city council meeting with the City of Glendale happens to result in them kicking your team – their one and only main tenant – out of their arena. As much of a silly idea that they would do this, I want you and your team to know that there is another city that is full of hockey fans that would welcome your team with open arms, and that is right here in Oklahoma City.

Located just 14 hours east of your current building, Oklahoma City is a bright and vibrant city that, wouldn’t you know it, is now open to receiving a new hockey team. You see, our previous professional hockey team just left us for the west coast and we’re kind of sad at the fact that we won’t have any professional hockey this coming season. But that’s where you come in!

Now, the building that you would probably have to play in, the Cox Convention Center, isn’t the best building when you compare it to places like the Staples Center or the United Center, but the good news is that it is freshly renovated with great locker rooms and a new ice plant that was installed just five years ago. Now, if that doesn’t quite suit your needs, there is another building right across the street that you may be able to talk the basketball team into letting you share. They’re just a bit possessive is all, but I’m sure they’d be willing to talk things out with you.

Our city has glowing recommendations from hundreds of hockey players, many of which have played within your organization while you were affiliated with the San Antonio Rampage. Our team that just left, many of the players were sad to leave this city and the community here, and I think that right there shows a lot of just how much of an impression we leave on players coming through here. (Just ask Mark Arcobello)

I’m sure you’re wondering though, would this city be equipped to handle such a move in such a short amount of time. The answer, is yes. You see, when the New Orleans Hornets were unfortunately forced to temporarily relocate their franchise ten years ago, our city jumped up and supported the Hornets during their tough time. I’m positive that our fine city would do the same once again.

Another possible benefit (and I say possible, because I can’t guarantee it personally) is that our city has a strong reputation of franchises going from struggling in the standings, to becoming perennial contenders. When the Seattle SuperSonics relocated here to become the Oklahoma City Thunder, they were consistently finishing in the bottom five of their conference. Now, it took a season or two, but now look at that team! Four straight division titles before this season, but anyone has to admit that injuries took a big toll on them.

And that hockey team I mentioned before? They all came from the Springfield Falcons (your 2015-16 AHL affiliate, oddly enough) before the Edmonton Oilers decided they wanted their own franchise. They never saw the playoffs in Springfield, but once they came to Oklahoma City – boom, playoffs. As I said before, a lot of that will depend on you, but I’m just saying, we have a good track record.

You could easily keep the Coyotes name when you move here as well, seeing as we have a strong population of coyotes in this state. There’s even a bit of history with the nickname here in Oklahoma City! From 1994 through 1996, we had a Roller Hockey International team named the Oklahoma Coyotes, which saw many former Oklahoma City Blazers players skate with the team during the summers. Just please bring back your logo from 1999-2003 full-time, that thing was awesome.

Don’t get me wrong, of course, I hope that things go well with the city of Glendale and that everything gets worked out. But just in case, I hope that this letter lets you know that there are options, and that we’d love to have you.

Yours always in hockey,
Eric Rodgers

The ECHL’s Wild West Central Division – February

March 7, 2015 Central Division Standings

The Central Division Playoff Race

One week into March and the Central Division playoff race is changing game to game as four teams battle it out for the last three spots in the division. The Allen Americans have distanced themselves far enough from the rest of the group that none of the teams below them can ever catch up, so don’t even worry about that number one spot. The rankings above are based on points gathered by each team as of March 7th, including their Maximum Points and Pace Points.  This data is compiled using each team’s point percentage setting a team’s pace for the remainder of the season. These numbers can tell you a great deal about how your team is doing, however there are no guarantees at this point. No one team has been ruled out mathematically as yet, however for at least one, Brampton, the situation is dire since the team has already been eliminated by their current pace points.

Explanation for MAX PTS and PACE PTS seen in the last 2 columns above:

Pace is the team’s point percentage over 72 games. So for Brampton, 36.1% of 144 (max points) is 52.

Mathematical cutoff is when a team’s maximum points fall below the number of points that the 4th place team has achieved. To use Brampton as an example — if Brampton wins every last game, Wichita and Rapid City would need to earn 76 points to eliminate them. Brampton has already been eliminated by pace points, but not mathematically as yet.

 Thanks to Eric Rodgers for his stats and explanation.

February Games in the Central Division 

1| Allen Americans – 12 games in February – 6-3-2-1 (15 points)

The Allen Americans continue their roll through the Central Division however they are beginning to slow down just a bit. In their 12 games in February they only came away with 15 points which is the worst they have performed all season long. The Americans lost six games against the Ontario Reign, Wichita Thunder (1 in OT; 1 in SO); Quad City Mallards, Tulsa and Brampton (in OT). As of March 7th the Americans still hold top place in the overall ECHL, however the Fort Wayne Komets are very close, just 1 point behind.

Oct: 3 Games in October – 2-1-0-0- (4 points)
Nov: 12 Games in November – 9-3-0-0- (18 points)
Dec: 3 games in December – 9-1-1-2 (21 points)
Jan: 13 games in January – 10-2-1-0 (21 points)

Overall team stats through February: 36-10-4-3 (79 points in 53 games). Last month in 1st. Trending: →

2| Quad City Mallards – 14 games in February — 8-6-0-0 (16 points)

The Mallards have remained fairly steady in 2nd place, winning the majority of their 14 games in February although not by much. Quad City lost six games to Wichita, Missouri (shutout), Tulsa, Allen and Brampton (2 games). As of March 7th the Mallards have a solid 4-point lead over the 3rd and 4th ranked teams Wichita and Rapid City.

Oct: 4 games in October –  2-2-0-0 (4 points).
Nov: 13 Games in November – 5-3-3-2 (15 points).
Dec: 14 games in December – 9-5-0-0 (18 points).
Jan: 10 games in January – 4-5-1-0 (9 points)

Overall team stats through February: 28-21-4-2 (62 points in 55 games). Last month in 2nd. Trending: ↗

3| Wichita Thunder – 9 games in February — 5-3-0-1 (11 points)

Wichita only faced 9 games in February and lost 3 games in regulation to Quad City, Rapid City and Tulsa, and a fourth game in a shootout to Allen. Wichita played the number one ranked team Allen Americans in three back-to-back games, winning two of the series in overtime and a shootout, and losing one in a shootout. Near the end of February the Thunder had temporarily dropped into 5th place as the Oilers and Rapid City gained points on them, however now at March 7th the team has rebounded back into 3rd with 61 points, tied with Rapid City. The best news for Wichita is that they have games in hand over most of the teams except for the Allen Americans and the Brampton Beast — and to be truthful, neither one of these teams factor into their standings, except that Wichita will need to win as many games as possible against the two teams.

Oct: 3 Games in October – 1-1-1-0 (3 points)
Nov: 15 Games in November – 7-5-0-3 (17 points).
Dec: 12 games in December – 7-4-0-1 (15 points).
Jan: 13 games in January – 5-7-1-0- (11 points).

Overall team stats through February: 27-20-2-5 (57 points in 52 games). Last month in 3rd. Trending: ↗

4| Rapid City Rush – 13 games in February — 9-3-1-0 (19 points)

The Rapid City Rush went on a winning streak in February for the push to move up in the standings and they were very successful. Out of their 13 games the Rush only lost 3 in regulation and 1 in overtime: two shutout losses to Brampton, 1 loss to Missouri, and their 4th loss was against Tulsa in overtime. Other teams should be watching Rapid City very carefully since they can easily bump someone out of the playoff race altogether.

Oct: 6 Games in October – 2-3-0-1 (5 points).
Nov: 12 Games in November – 3-9-0-0 (6 points).
Dec: 12 games in December – 7-4-0-1 (15 points).
Jan: 13 games in January – 6-6-0-1 (13 points)

Overall Team Stats through February: 27-25-1-3 (58 points in 56 games). Last month in 5th. Trending: ↗

5| Tulsa Oilers – 11 games in February — 6-5-0-0 (12 points)

The Tulsa Oilers are the Jekyll and Hyde team of the Central Division this season. They had an outstanding push in November, fell dramatically in December only to recover in January. While the Oilers won more games than they lost in February it was just barely as they gave up 3 games to Rapid City, and 1 each to Missouri and Quad City. Can the team rally again? That is the big question mark for March and the Oilers. Their pace points are even with Rapid City’s at 76, but Rapid City is also trending far more positively. Keep a watch on Tulsa — this is where they have to begin to win far more games.

Oct: 4 games in October – 2-1-1-0 (5 points).
Nov: 14 games in November – 8-4-0-2 (18 points)
Dec: 14 games in December – 4-10-0-0 (8 points).
Jan: 12 games in January – 7-4-0-1 (15 points)

Overall team stats through February: 27-24-1-3 (58 points in 55 games). Last month in 4th place. Trending: →

6| Missouri Mavericks – 13 games in February — 3-9-1-0- (7 points)

The Mavericks are in a very tough spot, losing far more than winning over the past month. Out of their 13 games they lost 4 games to Quad City, 4 games to Rapid City, 1 game to Wichita and 1 game to Allen in overtime. The team has been juggling their roster over the month of February but so far there are no positive signs of improvement. The situation is becoming very dire for the Mavericks and their pace points are not at all encouraging.

Oct: 3 Games in October – 1-2-0-0 (2 points).
Nov: 13 games in November – 6-7-0-0- (12 points).
Dec: 13 games in December – 6-4-1-2 (15 points)
Jan: 11 games in January – 4-6-1-0 (9 points)

Overall team stats through February: 20-28-3-2 (45 points in 53 games). Last month in 5th. Trending: ↘

7| Brampton Beast – 12 games in February — 5-7-0-0- (10 points)

The Brampton Beast are in the midst of a very rough season and we saw the first signs that they have accepted the fact that they cannot make any moves into a playoff spot. Brampton traded their defenseman Steven Tarasuk to the Allen Americans in return for Allen’s Brett Lyon in late February and just this week (on March 3rd) they traded their goaltender Grant Rollheiser to the Wichita Thunder for future considerations. While on their recent road trip to the southwest the Beast beat Allen in overtime which has a huge win for the boys, but sadly it is far too late. The Beast have not been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet, however they have been eliminated as far as their pace points.

Oct: 3 games in October – 0-2-1-0 (1 point)
Nov:  11 games in November – 6-5-0-0 (12 points).
Dec: 13 games in December – 3-10-0-0 (6 points).
Jan: 14 games in January – 4-9-1-0 (9 points)

Overall team stats through February: 18-33-2-0 (38 points in 53 games) Last month in 7th. Trending: →

The ECHL’s Wild West Central Division – January

  TEAM GP WIN LOSS OTL SOL PTS PT% MAX PTS PACE PTS
1 Allen Americans 41 30 7 2 2 64 0.780 126 112
2 Quad City Mallards 41 20 15 4 2 46 0.561 108 81
3 Wichita Thunder 43 20 17 2 4 46 0.535 104 77
4 Tulsa Oilers 44 21 19 1 3 46 0.523 102 75
5 Rapid City Rush 43 18 22 0 3 39 0.453 97 65
6 Missouri Mavericks 40 17 19 2 2 38 0.475 102 68
7 Brampton Beast 41 13 26 2 0 28 0.341 90 49

 

The Central Division Playoff Race Begins

At the end of January it is time to begin to take a closer look at the Central Division’s playoff race and the teams situation as it now stands. This data is compiled using each team’s point percentage setting a team’s pace for the remainder of the season. This can tell you a great deal about how your team is doing, but there are no guarantees at this point. No one team has been ruled out mathematically as yet, however for at least one, Brampton, the situation is dire.

Eric Rodgers has prepared the Central Division playoff numbers (MAX PTS & PACE PTS seen in the last 2 columns above) and provides an explanation:

Pace is the team’s point percentage over 72 games. So for Brampton, 34.1% of 144 (max points) is 49.

Mathematical cutoff is when a team’s maximum points fall below the number of points that the 4th place team has achieved. To use Brampton as an example — if Brampton wins every last game, Wichita, Quad City, and Tulsa would need to earn 91 points to eliminate them. Brampton has almost been eliminated by pace points, but not mathematically as yet.

 Thanks to Eric Rodgers for his stats and explanation.

1| Allen Americans – 13 games in January – 10-2-1-0 (21 points)

The Allen Americans continue their roll, even with the loss of one of their top scorers Jack Combs, winning 10 games out of 13 this month. The team was also without Greger Hanson for short periods, as he was loaned to AHL teams Worcester (1/21) and OKC Barons (1/31). However, don’t feel too sorry for Allen, they still have Chad Costello, the ECHL leader in points with 21 goals and 28 assists (69 points). Allen faced three non-division teams (Indy, Toledo and Kalamazoo) and came away with 1 win, 1 loss in regulation and 1 loss in overtime.  The only other Allen loss came this past weekend when they split of set of games against Rapid City in Allen. The Americans lead the entire ECHL league with 64 points, their closest competitors being the Florida Everblades at 62 points, and the Toledo Walleye and Fort Wayne Komets, both with 61 points. Not bad for an upstart former CHL team joining the ECHL at the last minute this summer!

Oct: 3 Games in October – 2-1-0-0- (4 points)

Nov: 12 Games in November – 9-3-0-0- (18 points)

Dec: 3 games in December – 9-1-1-2 (21 points)

Current Overall team stats: 30-7-2-2 (64 points in 41 games). Last month in 2nd. Trending: ↑

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Fri, Jan 2, 2015 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 3 at Allen 4
Sun, Jan 4, 2015 4:05 pm CST Wichita 2 at Allen 3
Tue, Jan 6, 2015 7:05 pm CST Allen 2 at Missouri 1
Sat, Jan 10, 2015 7:05 pm CST Missouri 3 at Allen 4 in OT
Sun, Jan 11, 2015 4:05 pm CST Missouri 1 at Allen 3
Fri, Jan 16, 2015 7:05 pm CST Wichita 2 at Allen 8
Sat, Jan 17, 2015 7:05 pm CST Wichita 4 at Allen 6
Mon, Jan 19, 2015 1:05 pm CST Missouri 2 at Allen 5
Fri, Jan 23, 2015 7:35 pm EST Allen 1 at Indy 4
Sat, Jan 24, 2015 7:15 pm EST Allen 3 at Toledo 1
Sun, Jan 25, 2015 3:00 pm EST Allen 3 at Kalamazoo 4 in OT
Thu, Jan 29, 2015 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 2 at Allen 6
Fri, Jan 30, 2015 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 6 at Allen 3

 

2| Quad City Mallards – 10 games in January – 4-5-1-0 (9 points)

Quad City Mallards have been hit and miss this month, partly due to recent call-ups. Parker Milner and Nicholas Rioux had short call-ups to the AHL’s Iowa Wild and Mario Lamoureux received a quick call-up to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.  Quad City faced all division rivals this month: 2 games against Missouri and QC lost both; 5 games against Wichita, QC won 1 in OT and 1 in regulation; 2 games against Rapid City, and QC won 1; and 1 game against Brampton which was a win for Quad City. As of the first of February, Quad City is in a 3-way tie for 2nd place with Wichita and Tulsa, with 46 points.

Oct: 4 games in October –  2-2-0-0 (4 points).

Nov: 13 Games in November – 5-3-3-2 (15 points).

Dec: 14 games in December – 9-5-0-0 (18 points).

Current Overall team stats: 20-15-4-2 (46 points in 41 games). Last month 4th. Trending: →

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Fri, Jan 2, 2015 7:05 pm CST Missouri 4 at Quad City 2
Sat, Jan 3, 2015 7:05 pm CST Quad City 2 at Wichita 3
Wed, Jan 7, 2015 7:05 pm CST Wichita 3 at Quad City 4 in OT
Fri, Jan 9, 2015 7:05 pm CST Wichita 4 at Quad City 1
Fri, Jan 16, 2015 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 4 at Quad City 3 in OT
Sun, Jan 18, 2015 4:05 pm CST Rapid City 1 at Quad City 3
Sat, Jan 24, 2015 7:05 pm CST Quad City 1 at Missouri 2
Wed, Jan 28, 2015 7:05 pm CST Wichita 4 at Quad City 2
Fri, Jan 30, 2015 7:05 pm CST Quad City 3 at Wichita 1
Sat, Jan 31, 2015 7:05 pm CST Brampton 1 at Quad City 3

 

3| Wichita Thunder – 13 games in January – 5-7-1-0- (11 points)

Wichita’s January has been up and down. During the early part of the month the team was playing short-handed as forwards Kenton Miller and Danick Gauthier received call-ups to the AHL, and Dalton Reum was injured in the January 7th game. Wichita added Travis Granbois and Mike MacIntyre to the roster, however the Thunder’s defense still played short-handed with only 5 players for a stretch.

The Thunder faced one non-division opponent this month, the Evansville IceMen, and split that pair of games. Of their division opponents they saw Quad City 5 times and won 3, lost 1 in Overtime and lost the other in regulation; 3 games against Allen and they lost all 3; they split 2 games against Rapid City; and the Thunder lost their 1 game against Missouri. As of the first of February, Wichita is in a 3-way tie for 2nd place with Quad City and Tulsa, with 46 points.

Oct: 3 Games in October – 1-1-1-0 (3 points)

Nov: 15 Games in November – 7-5-0-3 (17 points).

Dec: 12 games in December – 7-4-0-1 (15 points).

Current Overall team stats: 20-17-2-4 (46 points in 43 games). Last month in 3rd. Trending: →

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Sat, Jan 3, 2015 7:05 pm CST Quad City 2 at Wichita 3
Sun, Jan 4, 2015 4:05 pm CST Wichita 2 at Allen 3
Wed, Jan 7, 2015 7:05 pm CST Wichita 3 at Quad City 4 in OT
Fri, Jan 9, 2015 7:05 pm CST Wichita 4 at Quad City 1
Sat, Jan 10, 2015 7:05 pm CST Evansville 5 at Wichita 3
Sun, Jan 11, 2015 5:05 pm CST Evansville 3 at Wichita 4
Fri, Jan 16, 2015 7:05 pm CST Wichita 2 at Allen 8
Sat, Jan 17, 2015 7:05 pm CST Wichita 4 at Allen 6
Fri, Jan 23, 2015 7:05 pm MST Wichita 4 at Rapid City 5
Sat, Jan 24, 2015 7:05 pm MST Wichita 4 at Rapid City 3 in SO
Wed, Jan 28, 2015 7:05 pm CST Wichita 4 at Quad City 2
Fri, Jan 30, 2015 7:05 pm CST Quad City 3 at Wichita 1
Sat, Jan 31, 2015 7:05 pm CST Wichita 0 at Missouri 4

 

4| Tulsa Oilers – 12 games in January – 7-4-0-1 (15 points)

The Tulsa Oilers seem to have recovered from their horrific December. Tulsa traveled to sunny Florida to face a top ranked Florida Everblades and the Orlando Solar Bears and brought home 3 points in a respectable showing against their non-division opponents. They also faced some rather soft opponents in January as well, winning all 3 games against Brampton, and 3 out of 5 against Rapid City. Tulsa can’t afford another month like December’s and still expect to make the playoffs. As of the first of February, Tulsa is in a 3-way tie for 2nd place with Quad City and Wichita with 46 points.

Oct: 4 games in October – 2-1-1-0 (5 points).

Nov: 14 games in November – 8-4-0-2 (18 points)

Dec: 14 games in December – 4-10-0-0 (8 points).

Current Overall team stats: 21-19-1-3 (46 points in 44 games). Last month in 1st place. Trending: ↗

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Fri, Jan 2, 2015 7:35 pm CST Brampton 4 at Tulsa 5 in OT
Sat, Jan 3, 2015 7:35 pm CST Rapid City 1 at Tulsa 3
Sun, Jan 4, 2015 4:05 pm CST Rapid City 6 at Tulsa 3
Tue, Jan 6, 2015 6:35 pm MST Tulsa 6 at Rapid City 0
Fri, Jan 9, 2015 7:05 pm MST Tulsa 1 at Rapid City 2 in SO
Sat, Jan 10, 2015 7:05 pm MST Tulsa 5 at Rapid City 3
Wed, Jan 14, 2015 7:30 pm EST Tulsa 6 at Florida 5 in SO
Fri, Jan 16, 2015 7:30 pm EST Tulsa 2 at Florida 4
Sat, Jan 17, 2015 7:00 pm EST Tulsa 4 at Orlando 6
Fri, Jan 23, 2015 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 2 at Missouri 4
Thu, Jan 29, 2015 7:00 pm CST Brampton 2 at Tulsa 5
Fri, Jan 30, 2015 7:35 pm CST Brampton 2 at Tulsa 4

 

5| Rapid City Rush – 13 games in January – 6-6-0-1 (13 points)

Rapid City has been shuffling their roster in an effort to grab some much needed points in this crucial run to the playoffs.  Five new players joined their roster in January, along with 2 loans. Sitting in 5th position with 39 points, the Rush are 7 points behind the 3-way tie in 2nd and they seriously need to being a big push in February to narrow that margin .

Oct: 6 Games in October – 2-3-0-1 (5 points).

Nov: 12 Games in November – 3-9-0-0 (6 points).

Dec: 12 games in December – 7-4-0-1 (15 points).

Current overall Team Stats: 18-22-0-3 (39 points in 43 games). Last month in 6th. Trending: →

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Fri, Jan 2, 2015 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 3 at Allen 4
Sat, Jan 3, 2015 7:35 pm CST Rapid City 1 at Tulsa 3
Sun, Jan 4, 2015 4:05 pm CST Rapid City 6 at Tulsa 3
Tue, Jan 6, 2015 6:35 pm MST Tulsa 6 at Rapid City 0
Fri, Jan 9, 2015 7:05 pm MST Tulsa 1 at Rapid City 2 in SO
Sat, Jan 10, 2015 7:05 pm MST Tulsa 5 at Rapid City 3
Fri, Jan 16, 2015 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 4 at Quad City 3 in OT
Sat, Jan 17, 2015 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 3 at Missouri 1
Sun, Jan 18, 2015 4:05 pm CST Rapid City 1 at Quad City 3
Fri, Jan 23, 2015 7:05 pm MST Wichita 4 at Rapid City 5
Sat, Jan 24, 2015 7:05 pm MST Wichita 4 at Rapid City 3 in SO
Thu, Jan 29, 2015 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 2 at Allen 6
Fri, Jan 30, 2015 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 6 at Allen 3

 

6| Missouri Mavericks – 11 games in January – 4-6-1-0 (9 points)

Since the season started Missouri has almost turned over their entire roster with 23 players added, according to Elite Prospects. In January alone the team had 12 transactions of players added and deleted from their roster. Late in the month the team announced the release of Sebastian Geoffrion, and it has been rumored that his injury might be the issue unfortunately.  With 38 points, Missouri is 1 point behind Rapid City, but 8 points behind the 3-way tie logjam in 2nd place. The Mavericks have slightly better Maximum and Pace points over Rapid City and the clock is ticking.

Oct: 3 Games in October – 1-2-0-0 (2 points).

Nov: 13 games in November – 6-7-0-0- (12 points).

Dec: 13 games in December – 6-4-1-2 (15 points)

Current overall team stats: 17-19-2-2 (38 points in 40 games). Last month in 5th. Trending: ↘

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Fri, Jan 2, 2015 7:05 pm CST Missouri 4 at Quad City 2
Sat, Jan 3, 2015 7:05 pm CST Brampton 3 at Missouri 0
Tue, Jan 6, 2015 7:05 pm CST Allen 2 at Missouri 1
Fri, Jan 9, 2015 7:05 pm CST Evansville 4 at Missouri 1
Sat, Jan 10, 2015 7:05 pm CST Missouri 3 at Allen 4 in OT
Sun, Jan 11, 2015 4:05 pm CST Missouri 1 at Allen 3
Sat, Jan 17, 2015 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 3 at Missouri 1
Mon, Jan 19, 2015 1:05 pm CST Missouri 2 at Allen 5
Fri, Jan 23, 2015 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 2 at Missouri 4
Sat, Jan 24, 2015 7:05 pm CST Quad City 1 at Missouri 2
Sat, Jan 31, 2015 7:05 pm CST Wichita 0 at Missouri 4

 

7| Brampton Beast – 14 games in January – 4-9-1-0 (9 points)

The Brampton Beast are in the midst of a very rough season and only one month, November, has the team actually won more games that they lost. Brampton primarily faced a tough out-of-conference team lineup in January (Elmira, Wheeling and Reading) with a record of 3-6-0-0. The remainder of their schedule was against Central Division teams (Tulsa, Missouri and Quad City) with a record of 1-3-1-0. The Beast have not been eliminated from the playoffs yet, but they are certainly headed in that direction.

Oct: 3 games in October – 0-2-1-0 (1 point)

Nov:  11 games in November – 6-5-0-0 (12 points).

Dec: 13 games in December – 3-10-0-0 (6 points).

Current overall team stats: 13-26-2-0 (28 points in 41 games) Last month in 7th. Trending: ↘

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Fri, Jan 2, 2015 7:35 pm CST Brampton 4 at Tulsa 5 in OT
Sat, Jan 3, 2015 7:05 pm CST Brampton 3 at Missouri 0
Fri, Jan 9, 2015 7:05 pm EST Brampton 1 at Elmira 4
Sat, Jan 10, 2015 7:05 pm EST Brampton 4 at Reading 2
Sun, Jan 11, 2015 5:05 pm EST Brampton 2 at Reading 6
Fri, Jan 16, 2015 7:30 pm EST Wheeling 5 at Brampton 2
Sat, Jan 17, 2015 7:00 pm EST Wheeling 7 at Brampton 2
Sun, Jan 18, 2015 2:00 pm EST Wheeling 1 at Brampton 2
Fri, Jan 23, 2015 7:30 pm EST Elmira 3 at Brampton 1
Sat, Jan 24, 2015 7:00 pm EST Elmira 4 at Brampton 2
Sun, Jan 25, 2015 2:00 pm EST Elmira 1 at Brampton 4
Thu, Jan 29, 2015 7:00 pm CST Brampton 2 at Tulsa 5
Fri, Jan 30, 2015 7:35 pm CST Brampton 2 at Tulsa 4
Sat, Jan 31, 2015 7:05 pm CST Brampton 1 at Quad City 3

 

We will check back at the end of February to see how the West’s Central Division is doing and in the meantime head out to watch a few of these teams!

Call-ups in the Minor Leagues are all part of Player Development

Article co-written by Patricia Teter and Eric Rodgers, and cross-posted on ArtfulPuck and Tend the Farm.

_____

Every season fans in the Minor Leagues complain about call-ups from their teams and this is our advice to you: enjoy those call-ups and cheer on your players at a higher level. Someday you might just be able to say “I knew that guy when he played for my local ECHL club, and now’s he’s in the NHL!”

Call-ups are a part of life in the Minors — you can’t avoid it and it is best if you just accept how the entire NHL hockey development system works. It is designed to ultimately help the top-tier of professional hockey, the National Hockey League. The NHL calls-up a player from the AHL, the AHL is then short-handed and calls-up a player from the ECHL. This same scenario also happens if a player is injured in the AHL — the team needs an extra player to fill that spot. It is no different from when an ECHL team signs an extra player to fill in a missing spot on their roster – you are calling up that player from the SPHL perhaps.

We’ve watched a lot of minor league hockey at the AHL, ECHL and even CHL level, and we have covered a great many transactions of players moving up and down throughout the system over the years. We have also listened to the impatience and irritation of the minor league fans as their best players are called-up at crucial points in their season. Trust us, we’ve felt the same things every season! Understandably fans are frustrated — but on the flip-side, the players are thrilled for an opportunity to play at a higher level. THIS is why they are playing hockey, make no mistake about it! And don’t fool yourselves into believing otherwise! They dream of playing in the big show.

Last season we calculated that the AHL’s OKC Barons had 153 separate transactions during the 2013-14 season (this figure does not include the initial signings and training camp PTOs). The 153 moves included players moving up and down, to and from the team’s NHL parent club the Edmonton Oilers, and players moving up and down from their minor league club, the Bakersfield Condors and other associated clubs such as the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, and the CHL’s Quad City Mallards, Allen Americans, and Wichita Thunder. Most of the 153 transactions were between the NHL and AHL club, however when the AHL team’s roster was short in terms of game day numbers, the team would call-up a player from the minors.

And it is not always just players who are called-up! Don’t be surprised if you see your Coach called-up at some point as well. OKC Barons coach Todd Nelson was hired at “interim” Head Coach for the Edmonton Oilers in mid-December 2014 to replace the NHL’s clubs empty coaching spot after Dallas Eakins was fired. The OKC Barons team and their fans were extraordinarily excited to finally see their “Nelly” receive a much deserved promotion as an NHL Head Coach. Barons goaltender Richard Bachman said, “I’m sort of surprised he’s not already in the NHL. He’s a players’ coach. He listens to players and is very patient, sticks with his systems play even when things aren’t going well.”

Your minor league coaches understand the system and they realize that their best players will be called-up. They even recognize that players will move up to another league full-time, as in the case of Wichita’s Theo Peckham. Wichita Thunder’s coach Kevin McClelland explained at the time of his signing, “Peckham joined our hockey club, and I think he’s a big addition. Now, how long he’ll be here who knows? He’s got the ability to go on and play at a higher level, that’s for sure, and hopefully he’ll get that opportunity.”

This is how the system works and how it was intentionally designed. It benefits the NHL clubs, the minor clubs, and it always benefits the players involved. It gives players a chance to be seen and play for another club, receive advice and feedback from other team’s coaching staff and also it is a sign of recognition that they warranted a call-up to a higher league. This is what every hockey player dreams about — a call-up to the big leagues and an opportunity to move up in the system.

Over the years we’ve seen a lot of questions from minor league fans (and have replied to many!) but we thought it might help to explain how the development system works and what benefits are part of the system.  Recently Blake Sebring of The News-Sentinel wrote an opinion piece on “ECHL needs better system to deal with AHL call-ups: Too often good ECHL teams are getting hurt,” and he has some very good points, but he disregards the overall minor hockey league development system.

Q: What exactly is a development league, and why do they exist?

A: This can be defined multiple ways. When most people see the name “development league” they could assume that every player is under a certain age. While this is true a lot of times, another key part to developing young players is teaching them how to act and how to handle controversy. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by having some vets on the roster. People may see them as taking ice time from younger prospects, but they are an integral part to the process. But at the same time as those vets are developing their skills to continue their dream, they also add that experience and skill for the younger guy to play against.

Q: What is a “call-up”?

A: A call-up is a player who is requested at a higher league team, due to injury, suspension, or even the normal call-up of their affiliated teams players who have not yet signed an AHL contract. Teams are signing specific players – a Center, Defenseman, Goalie to replace that specific position – this is not a one-size fits all type of situation. An AHL team might have some players sitting in the stands, but it is rather crazy to play a left winter in a goaltender position!

Q: What is the difference between an “affiliated” and “unaffiliated” team?

A: About what it sounds like. An affiliated team is one in which the team has an agreement with a team of a higher league to provide each other with players throughout the season. Some are mutually exclusive, but most of the time they’re not.

Call-ups for “affiliated” teams are specified in the ECHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA):

“Recall to an NHL/AHL Team Having an Affiliation with the Member [i.e. Team].

(1) If a Member has an affiliation agreement with an NHL/AHL team, a Player
may be recalled on receipt by the Member of an executed try-out agreement.
The Player shall be allowed to report to that team.

(2) If a Player is signed to an NHL contract or a one-way AHL contract, the
Player may report to the NHL/AHL team upon notification to the Member of
his recall prior to departure.”

Statements by ECHL Stockton Thunder President and New York Islanders GM on their affiliation, July 31st, 2013:

“The Thunder is committed to helping our players reach their goals through NHL development, and our new affiliation with the Islanders will help us achieve this objective for them in a much bigger way. And, our fans can look forward to watching talented Islanders prospects, who will play important roles in our commitment to excellence, both on the ice and in our community, ” Thunder President Brian Sandy said in a statement.

“The culture of success in Stockton will benefit our prospects and develop them into better hockey players as they work their way from the ECHL, to the AHL and eventually playing for the New York Islanders,” said Islanders’ GM Garth Snow.

List of Affiliated teams – FYI: NHL team affiliations with AHL and ECHL Teams.

Q: Are there any benefits to my minor league team from this development system?

A: Yes. A higher league team can “assign” players to your team, and an ECHL club can benefit by only paying a minimum of the player’s salary. The rest of the salary is paid by the higher club, depending upon their contracts. This places a potentially higher caliber player on their roster and they pay minimum cost. This is very useful to ECHL clubs since the league has a weekly salary cap set for team rosters.

From the ECHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA):

NHL/AHL Affiliate Payments

Reimbursement for the services of an NHL/AHL contracted Player owned or assigned to a Member [i.e. Team] shall be calculated weekly as follows:  2014-15  — $525″

ECHL clubs are fully aware that those assigned players will most certainly receive call-ups throughout the season. The NHL club (or even AHL club) assigning the player wants their players to be playing consistently and developing properly. An example of this situation is the Edmonton Oilers assignment of their prospect goaltender Tyler Bunz with the ECHL’s Wichita Thunder.  The Oilers are not “affiliated” with the Wichita Thunder, however the Thunder are nearby the Oilers’ AHL Club the OKC Barons, and Bunz is essentially placed nearby to be the Barons Emergency Backup Goalie when necessary.

Q: What are ECHL waivers? And how is this system different from the AHL?

A: In the ECHL a team can place a player on “waivers” at any time – that means that even though a player and a team have signed a season-long contract between two parties, the team can release that player at any time. There are no guarantees. That is why you can potentially see far more individual players come in and out of an ECHL club than an AHL club in general.

Waivers are something that you don’t see a lot of in the AHL, because most ECHL players are signed to Professional Try-Out contracts when they are called up. PTOs generally are smaller salary contracts for the AHL team to sign a called-up player with, and allows them to only pay the player while they are with the team. If the AHL team likes the player enough to where they want to keep the rights of the player and not allow another AHL team to call them up, that is when you see the player signed to an AHL Player Contract.

Q: What are the differences in AHL One-Way Contracts and Two-Way Contracts?

A: One-Way and Two-Way Contracts work the same way with AHL deals as they do with NHL contracts. One-Way contracts mean that a player earns the same amount of money regardless of if they are with their AHL team, or playing with an ECHL team. A Two-Way contract means that they earn a higher amount of money while they are on their AHL team and earn a lower amount with the ECHL team.

Q: Can an AHL team who is unaffiliated with an ECHL team call-up a player?

A: Yes. The system is designed so that any higher minor league team can call-up a player who is not affiliated.

Q: What benefit is a call-up from an unaffiliated team? What does my team get in return?

A: According to the ECHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement the team receives $500 compensation for each player called-up to an unaffiliated team:

 “Recall to an NHL/AHL Team That Does Not Have an Affiliation with the Member [i.e. Team]. If the Member or the Player receives a try-out offer from an NHL/AHL team with no affiliation with the Member, the Player agrees he shall not accept the try-out offer until the Member has received a Five Hundred Dollar ($500) development fee from the non-affiliated AHL/NHL team for each call-up.”

Your team does not pay the salary for that player while they are called-up.

Your players benefit and often return with better skills and habits than before. As ECHL and CHL players were called-up to OKC the AHL coaching staff gives these players special attention. Higher league teams have more coaching staff, and even NHL coaching staff on site at times and this group gives time and guidance to any player coming into the team.

Q: If an unaffiliated AHL team calls-up a player, can they sit that player for weeks in the stands?

A: They could, but they would also be wasting their money if there is no good reason to keep the player. An AHL team generally signs lower league called-up players to a PTO (Professional Tryout Contract) at a higher rate and the player is paid a daily pro-rated salary. This contract is a short-term contract, lasting no more than 25 games. Teams do not like wasting money and they would far prefer to make money.

Many times called-up minor league players do play with the higher league, but sometimes they are just there for security — a spare scratch in the event they are needed on a long stretch of 3 back-to-back games. Perhaps one of their players is injured and they are uncertain if they can recover in time for a game. Normally a called-up player is returned fairly quickly.

Q: Is there any benefit to a player who is called-up? Even if they don’t play?

A: A call-up, even if they do not play in a game, gives players a chance to be seen and play for another club, receive advice and feedback from another team’s coaching staff, and it is also a sign of recognition that they warranted a call-up to a higher league.

In addition to that, a player is paid at a higher rate on a PTO, even if they don’t play.

Q: Are fans benefiting from these call-ups, affiliated or otherwise?

A: Absolutely. ECHL fans get the opportunity to see their favorite players receive a chance to further their career in a higher league. Most call-ups are made because the player called was one of the best players on the team. It’s a sense of pride that a fan can have that their favorite player was good enough to receive that look at a higher level.

Q: How do ECHL teams protect their “product on the ice” for their fans?

A: Hire excellent staff and coaches at the hockey operations level who will be able to not only create and develop a good hockey team every season, but who will also be able to move with the ebb and flow of the minor league system. Coaches that have the ability to make the changes needed and recognizing players’ skills are ones that see the most success. A called-up player isn’t just a compliment to the player, but also the coach and team itself.

And speaking of the team itself, you also need to have a front office staff that recognizes the importance of when a player is called up, and being sure to make a big deal of when something like that happens. All the time you see the ECHL promoting how many players have appeared in an ECHL game and have since played in the NHL. 553 players have done so over the course of the ECHL’s existence, 13 of which have made their NHL debut so far this 2014-15 season. All of those numbers are easily accessible on the ECHL website because it’s something they take great pride in, as they rightfully should.

| Please let us know if you have more questions about this topic. We are happy to share our thoughts on the process.

The ECHL’s Wild West Central Division — December

Happy New Year to the ECHL’s new Central Division! In the past month we have seen some big surprises among the Central Division teams, primarily the Tulsa Oilers and their lackluster finish to 2014. The Quad City Mallards have leaped over Wichita to move into 2nd place, while Rapid City and Brampton have swapped places at the bottom of the Division. (Click to view October and November Division recaps.)

The Fort Wayne Komets are currently at the top of the ECHL league with a record of 23-6-1-0 (47 points). They are followed by the Florida Everblades and the Toledo Walleye with 45 points each, and the Central Division’s Allen Americans with 43 points. Allen also currently sits at the top of the Western Conference.

Jan. 2, 2014: Overall Team Stats through the end of December 2014:

Rank Central GP W L OTL SL PTS PCT
1 Allen Americans 28 20 5 1 2 43 0.768
2 Quad City Mallards 31 16 10 3 2 37 0.597
3 Wichita Thunder 30 15 10 1 4 35 0.583
4 Tulsa Oilers 32 14 15 1 2 31 0.484
5 Missouri Mavericks 29 13 13 1 2 29 0.500
6 Rapid City Rush 30 12 16 0 2 26 0.433
7 Brampton Beast 27 9 17 1 0 19 0.352

 

Central Division Games for the month of December 2014 (ranked by the overall points listed above):

Central GP W L OTL SL
Allen Americans 13 9 1 1 2
Quad City Mallards 14 9 5 0 0
Wichita Thunder 12 7 4 0 1
Tulsa Oilers 14 4 10 0 0
Missouri Mavericks 13 6 4 1 2
Rapid City Rush 12 7 4 0 1
Brampton Beast 13 3 10 0 0

 

1 | Allen Americans – 13 games in December – 9-1-1-2 (21 points).

It comes as no surprise to anyone following ECHL league stats that the Allen Americans have started to separate from the rest of the Central Division with 43 points, and the Americans still have games-in-hand against most of this Division with the exception of Brampton with 27 games. The Allen Americans also are ranked No. 1 in the Western Conference.

Oct: 3 Games in October – 2-1-0-0- (4 points)

Nov: 12 Games in November – 9-3-0-0- (18 points).

Current Overall team stats: 20-5-1-2 (43 points in 28 games). Last month in 2nd. Trending: ↑

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Tue, Dec 2, 2014 7:00 pm CST Allen 7 at Tulsa 4
Wed, Dec 3, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 1 at Allen 5
Fri, Dec 5, 2014 7:35 pm CST Allen 4 at Tulsa 5 in SO
Sun, Dec 7, 2014 4:05 pm CST Missouri 2 at Allen 6
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 7:05 pm CST Quad City 2 at Allen 5
Sat, Dec 13, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 0 at Allen 6
Fri, Dec 19, 2014 7:05 pm CST Wichita 2 at Allen 1 in OT
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 4 at Allen 5
Sun, Dec 21, 2014 4:05 pm CST Allen 6 at Tulsa 3
Fri, Dec 26, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 3 at Allen 5
Sat, Dec 27, 2014 7:05 pm CST Allen 2 at Wichita 3 in SO
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 4:05 pm CST Allen 3 at Tulsa 4
Wed, Dec 31, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 3 at Allen 5

 

2 | Quad City Mallards – 14 games in December –  9-5-0-0 (18 points).

The biggest positive for the Mallards this month was their win over the top ranked Fort Wayne Komets 7-5. The most worrisome element of this month’s schedule is their 2 game loss to Brampton. Quad City’s head-to-head record so far this season against Brampton is 5-2-2-1 with Brampton’s record against Quad City 5-5-0-0, and the two teams will meet 5 more times this season. The Quad City Mallards are ranked 4th in the Western Conference.

Oct: 4 games in October –  2-2-0-0 (4 points).

Nov: 13 Games in November – 5-3-3-2 (15 points).

Current Overall team stats: 16-10-3-2 (37 points in 31 games). Last month 4th. Trending: ↑

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Tue, Dec 2, 2014 7:05 pm CST Quad City 2 at Missouri 3
Fri, Dec 5, 2014 7:05 pm MST Quad City 2 at Rapid City 3
Sat, Dec 6, 2014 7:05 pm MST Quad City 3 at Rapid City 2 in SO
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 7:05 pm CST Quad City 2 at Allen 5
Fri, Dec 12, 2014 7:05 pm CST Quad City 3 at Wichita 1
Sat, Dec 13, 2014 7:35 pm CST Quad City 4 at Tulsa 1
Wed, Dec 17, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 1 at Quad City 4
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 5 at Quad City 3
Sun, Dec 21, 2014 4:05 pm CST Brampton 1 at Quad City 6
Mon, Dec 22, 2014 7:05 pm CST Quad City 4 at Missouri 3 in SO
Sat, Dec 27, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 3 at Quad City 4
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 6:05 pm CST Brampton 4 at Quad City 3
Mon, Dec 29, 2014 7:30 pm EST Quad City 7 at Fort Wayne 5
Wed, Dec 31, 2014 7:15 pm CST Quad City 3 at Evansville 0

 

3 | Wichita Thunder – 12 games in December –  7-4-0-1 (15 points).

The Thunder had a very rough beginning to December but have roared back with 6 wins in their last 7 games. Their roadtrip games to Brampton and Elmira were fraught with disaster as they had to leave a top forward and top defenseman home due to Visa issues, and ended up with a short roster.  At the end of the month Wichita beat Allen twice, once in overtime 2-1, and the other in a shootout, 3-2, marking the Thunder’s first shootout win of the season. The Thunder are ranked 7th in the Western Conference.

Oct: 3 Games in October – 1-1-1-0 (3 points)

Nov: 15 Games in November – 7-5-0-3 (17 points).

Current Overall team stats: 15-1-1-4 (35 points in 30 games). Last month in 3rd. Trending: ↑

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Fri, Dec 5, 2014 7:30 pm EST Wichita 1 at Brampton 4
Sat, Dec 6, 2014 2:00 pm EST Wichita 3 at Brampton 1
Sun, Dec 7, 2014 4:05 pm EST Wichita 1 at Elmira 5
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 7:00 pm CST Wichita 4 at Tulsa 7
Fri, Dec 12, 2014 7:05 pm CST Quad City 3 at Wichita 1
Sat, Dec 13, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 0 at Wichita 5
Wed, Dec 17, 2014 7:00 pm CST Wichita 2 at Tulsa 1
Fri, Dec 19, 2014 7:05 pm CST Wichita 2 at Allen 1 in OT
Sun, Dec 21, 2014 5:05 pm CST Rapid City 5 at Wichita 4 in SO
Sat, Dec 27, 2014 7:05 pm CST Allen 2 at Wichita 3 in SO
Tue, Dec 30, 2014 7:05 pm CST Missouri 2 at Wichita 3 in OT
Wed, Dec 31, 2014 7:05 pm CST Wichita 4 at Missouri 3

 

4 | Tulsa Oilers – 14 games in December –  4-10-0-0 (8 points).

The Oilers dropped from 1st place to 4th this month with a string of 10 losses in their 14 games. This is bad news for the offensively rich team, but don’t count them out of anything just yet. There’s plenty of time left for this team to regroup and seriously work on their defense to continue their playoff race, but Ramsay’s team has to turn it around quickly since they lead the group with 32 games played. The Oilers are ranked 8th in the Western Conference.

Oct: 4 games in October – 2-1-1-0 (5 points).

Nov: 14 games in November – 8-4-0-2 (18 points)

Current Overall team stats: 14-15-1-2 (31 points in 32 games). Last month in 1st place. Trending: ↓

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Tue, Dec 2, 2014 7:00 pm CST Allen 7 at Tulsa 4
Wed, Dec 3, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 1 at Allen 5
Fri, Dec 5, 2014 7:35 pm CST Allen 4 at Tulsa 5 in SO
Sat, Dec 6, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 1 at Missouri 2
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 7:00 pm CST Wichita 4 at Tulsa 7
Fri, Dec 12, 2014 7:35 pm CST Brampton 1 at Tulsa 4
Sat, Dec 13, 2014 7:35 pm CST Quad City 4 at Tulsa 1
Wed, Dec 17, 2014 7:00 pm CST Wichita 2 at Tulsa 1
Fri, Dec 19, 2014 7:35 pm CST Rapid City 4 at Tulsa 0
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 4 at Allen 5
Sun, Dec 21, 2014 4:05 pm CST Allen 6 at Tulsa 3
Fri, Dec 26, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 3 at Allen 5
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 4:05 pm CST Allen 3 at Tulsa 4
Tue, Dec 30, 2014 7:00 pm CST Rapid City 5 at Tulsa 3

 

5 | Missouri Mavericks – 13 games in December –  6-4-1-2 (15 points).

The Missouri Mavericks are holding solid in 5th for now. A December highlight for the team was Captain Sebastien Thinel’s 1000th professional career point on December 30th in Wichita with two back-to-back goals in the 3rd period. This is not only a huge personal record for Thinel, but also sets a record as the first Missouri Mavericks player to reach that milestone. The Mavericks are ranked 9th in the Western Conference.

Oct: 3 Games in October – 1-2-0-0 (2 points).

Nov: 13 games in November – 6-7-0-0- (12 points).

Current overall team stats: 13-13-1-2 (29 points in 29 games). Last month in 5th. Trending: →

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Tue, Dec 2, 2014 7:05 pm CST Quad City 2 at Missouri 3
Sat, Dec 6, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 1 at Missouri 2
Sun, Dec 7, 2014 4:05 pm CST Missouri 2 at Allen 6
Tue, Dec 9, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 2 at Missouri 5
Fri, Dec 12, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 5 at Missouri 2
Tue, Dec 16, 2014 6:35 pm MST Missouri 2 at Rapid City 0
Fri, Dec 19, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 2 at Missouri 6
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 3 at Missouri 0
Mon, Dec 22, 2014 7:05 pm CST Quad City 4 at Missouri 3 in SO
Fri, Dec 26, 2014 7:05 pm MST Missouri 5 at Rapid City 3
Sat, Dec 27, 2014 7:05 pm MST Missouri 3 at Rapid City 4 in SO
Tue, Dec 30, 2014 7:05 pm CST Missouri 2 at Wichita 3 in OT
Wed, Dec 31, 2014 7:05 pm CST Wichita 4 at Missouri 3

 

6 | Rapid City Rush – 12 games in December –  7-4-0-1 (15 points).

The Rush have greatly improved from their October and November stats and have moved up from 7th last month. Rapid City has a better record than a number of higher ranked teams this month — Tulsa (4-10-0-0, 8 pts) and Missouri (6-5-1-2, 15 pts). If the Rush continue this push they could well be a surprise to some of the middle ranked teams. The Rush are ranked 13th in the Western Conference.

Oct: 6 Games in October – 2-3-0-1 (5 points).

Nov: 12 Games in November – 3-9-0-0 (6 points).

Current overall Team Stats: 12-16-0-2 (26 points in 30 games). Last month in 7th. Trending: ↗

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Fri, Dec 5, 2014 7:05 pm MST Quad City 2 at Rapid City 3
Sat, Dec 6, 2014 7:05 pm MST Quad City 3 at Rapid City 2 in SO
Fri, Dec 12, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 5 at Missouri 2
Sat, Dec 13, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 0 at Wichita 5
Tue, Dec 16, 2014 6:35 pm MST Missouri 2 at Rapid City 0
Fri, Dec 19, 2014 7:35 pm CST Rapid City 4 at Tulsa 0
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 3 at Missouri 0
Sun, Dec 21, 2014 5:05 pm CST Rapid City 5 at Wichita 4 in SO
Fri, Dec 26, 2014 7:05 pm MST Missouri 5 at Rapid City 3
Sat, Dec 27, 2014 7:05 pm MST Missouri 3 at Rapid City 4 in SO
Tue, Dec 30, 2014 7:00 pm CST Rapid City 5 at Tulsa 3
Wed, Dec 31, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 3 at Allen 5

 

7 | Brampton Beast – 13 games in December = 3-10-0-0 (6 points).

The Brampton Beast continue to have trouble not only outside their division with two losses to Toledo, but also within their division. In an effort to rework the team’s roster Brampton recorded 12 separate player transactions in December, the most recent being the addition of 39-year-old veteran forward David Ling. The Beast are currently ranked 14th (last) in the Western Conference.

Oct: 3 games in October – 0-2-1-0 (1 point)

Nov:  11 games in November – 6-5-0-0 (12 points).

Current overall team stats: 9-17-1-0 (19 points in 27 games). Last month in 6th. Trending: ↓

Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
Fri, Dec 5, 2014 7:30 pm EST Wichita 1 at Brampton 4
Sat, Dec 6, 2014 2:00 pm EST Wichita 3 at Brampton 1
Tue, Dec 9, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 2 at Missouri 5
Fri, Dec 12, 2014 7:35 pm CST Brampton 1 at Tulsa 4
Sat, Dec 13, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 0 at Allen 6
Wed, Dec 17, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 1 at Quad City 4
Fri, Dec 19, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 2 at Missouri 6
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 5 at Quad City 3
Sun, Dec 21, 2014 4:05 pm CST Brampton 1 at Quad City 6
Sat, Dec 27, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 3 at Quad City 4
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 6:05 pm CST Brampton 4 at Quad City 3
Tue, Dec 30, 2014 7:00 pm EST Toledo 6 at Brampton 3
Wed, Dec 31, 2014 2:00 pm EST Toledo 5 at Brampton 2

 

We will check back at the end of January to see how the West’s Central Division is doing and in the meantime head out to watch a few of these teams!

THE ECHL’S WILD WEST CENTRAL DIVISION – November

Earlier we looked at the very small set of October’s games and this month we have a much better idea of how the former CHL teams, now the ECHL’s Central Division, are performing this season. The Allen Americans and Tulsa Oilers have been battling it out for the top spot the past week, while Wichita has jump-started their season to move up in the standings. Other teams such as Rapid City have fallen rapidly, struggling to stop their losing skid.

Keep in mind the stats below are through the end of November (unless listed as “current”) and there have been some slight changes in the first few days of December.

The ECHL’s Central Division for the Month of November:

Rank Central GP W L OTL SOL PTS
1 Tulsa Oilers 18 10 5 1 2 23
2 Allen Americans 16 11 4 0 0 22
3 Wichita Thunder 18 8 6 1 3 20
4 Quad City Mallards 18 7 5 3 2 19
5 Missouri Mavericks 17 7 9 0 0 14
6 Brampton Beast 14 6 7 1 0 13
7 Rapid City Rush 18 5 12 0 1 11

 

Overall, as of Dec. 4th, the ECHL leaders are the Ft. Wayne Komets (at 28 pts with 18 games) and the Florida Everblades (at 27 points with 17 games) in the Eastern Conference. In the Western Conference the Allen Americans (at 26 points with 17 games) are even with the Idaho Steelheads (at 26 points with 21 games) however Allen continues to hold an advantage with fewer games played so far into the season.  For November the Central Division’s top 3 teams, Tulsa, Allen, and Wichita are pulling ahead while Quad City, Missouri, Brampton and Rapid City are falling, or continuing to remain behind the pack this month.

1 | Tulsa Oilers – 14 games in November – 8-4-0-2 (18 points).

The Tulsa Oilers are an offensive juggernaut this season with their top scorers Pleskach, Booras and Caig, however they continue to have problems with some teams, in particular the Allen Americans. From October through November the team remained in No. 1 in the Central Division.

Points for Oct: 5

Points for Nov: 18

Current Overall team stats: 10-7-1-2 (23 points in 20 games).  Trending: ↑

 

Game #: Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
774 Sun, Nov 2, 2014 4:05 pm CST Wichita 2 at Tulsa 3 in SO
775 Tue, Nov 4, 2014 7:00 pm CST Missouri 5 at Tulsa 4
779 Sat, Nov 8, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 4 at Allen 6
781 Sun, Nov 9, 2014 4:05 pm CST Tulsa 3 at Allen 2
788 Fri, Nov 14, 2014 7:35 pm CST Rapid City 4 at Tulsa 6
789 Sat, Nov 15, 2014 7:35 pm CST Missouri 7 at Tulsa 4
794 Tue, Nov 18, 2014 7:00 pm CST Wichita 3 at Tulsa 4 in SO
795 Wed, Nov 19, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 3 at Quad City 4 in SO
797 Fri, Nov 21, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 4 at Missouri 1
803 Sun, Nov 23, 2014 4:05 pm CST Wichita 2 at Tulsa 3
804 Tue, Nov 25, 2014 7:05 pm CST Allen 3 at Tulsa 1
808 Thu, Nov 27, 2014 7:00 pm CST Allen 5 at Tulsa 4 in SO
811 Fri, Nov 28, 2014 7:35 pm CST Quad City 2 at Tulsa 3
815 Sun, Nov 30, 2014 5:05 pm CST Tulsa 3 at Wichita 2 in SO

 

2 |  Allen Americans – 12 Games in November – 9-3-0-0- (18 points).

The Allen Americans, like the Tulsa Oilers, have some of the highest scorers in the league on their rosters with Steffes, Combs and Costello. In November the Americans have only lost games to Tulsa and Wichita, their current closest competitors; they also lost to Rapid City to start the month, but Rapid City has fallen hard in the standings from October into December. From October through November Allen moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 in the standings.

Points for Oct: 4

Points for Nov: 18

Current Overall team stats: 13-4-0-0 (26 points in 17 games). Trending: ↑

Game #: Date: Time: Visiting Team:  Home Team:
772 Sat, Nov 1, 2014 7:05 pm MDT Allen 2 at Rapid City 4
779 Sat, Nov 8, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 4 at Allen 6
781 Sun, Nov 9, 2014 4:05 pm CST Tulsa 3 at Allen 2
787 Fri, Nov 14, 2014 7:05 pm CST Allen 3 at Missouri 1
790 Sat, Nov 15, 2014 7:05 pm CST Allen 3 at Wichita 2
791 Sun, Nov 16, 2014 4:05 pm CST Rapid City 1 at Allen 3
796 Fri, Nov 21, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 2 at Allen 9
799 Sat, Nov 22, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 1 at Allen 4
804 Tue, Nov 25, 2014 7:05 pm CST Allen 3 at Tulsa 1
805 Wed, Nov 26, 2014 7:05 pm CST Allen 6 at Missouri 0
808 Thu, Nov 27, 2014 7:00 pm CST Allen 5 at Tulsa 4 in SO
814 Sat, Nov 29, 2014 7:05 pm CST Allen 1 at Wichita 3

 

3 | Wichita Thunder – 15 Games in November – 7-5-0-3 (17 points).

The Wichita Thunder is improving rapidly from their rather dismal beginning in October and early November. The team accomplished some impressive wins the past two weeks against equally good or even better teams, but Tulsa continues to be a thorn for the Thunder. The Thunder moved up in the standings from October through November, from No. 5 up to No. 3.

Points for Oct: 3

Points for Nov: 17

Current Overall team stats: 8-6-1-3 (20 points in 18 games). Trending: ↑

Game #: Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
773 Sat, Nov 1, 2014 7:05 pm CDT Missouri 2 at Wichita 4
774 Sun, Nov 2, 2014 4:05 pm CST Wichita 2 at Tulsa 3 in SO
778 Fri, Nov 7, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 3 at Wichita 0
783 Sun, Nov 9, 2014 5:05 pm CST Missouri 5 at Wichita 2
784 Tue, Nov 11, 2014 6:35 pm MST Wichita 3 at Rapid City 6
785 Wed, Nov 12, 2014 6:35 pm MST Wichita 3 at Rapid City 2
790 Sat, Nov 15, 2014 7:05 pm CST Allen 3 at Wichita 2
793 Sun, Nov 16, 2014 5:05 pm CST Missouri 1 at Wichita 3
794 Tue, Nov 18, 2014 7:00 pm CST Wichita 3 at Tulsa 4 in SO
801 Sat, Nov 22, 2014 7:05 pm CST Missouri 0 at Wichita 6
803 Sun, Nov 23, 2014 4:05 pm CST Wichita 2 at Tulsa 3
807 Wed, Nov 26, 2014 7:05 pm CST Quad City 0 at Wichita 2
809 Fri, Nov 28, 2014 7:05 pm CST Wichita 4 at Missouri 1
814 Sat, Nov 29, 2014 7:05 pm CST Allen 1 at Wichita 3
815 Sun, Nov 30, 2014 5:05 pm CST Tulsa 3 at Wichita 2 in SO

 

4 | Quad City Mallards – 13 Games in November – 5-3-3-2 (15 points).

Quad City has had a rough month in November losing their last four games to Missouri (twice), Wichita and Tulsa. The team split their road games in Brampton, winning only two of the five with the three losses going into overtime and one of those into a shootout. Quad City has remained at No. 4 but is trending slightly down for the future.

Points for Oct: 4

Points for Nov: 15

Current Overall team stats: 7-6-3-2 (19 points in 18 games). Trending: ↘

Game #: Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
771 Sat, Nov 1, 2014 7:05 pm CDT Cincinnati 5 at Quad City 4
776 Thu, Nov 6, 2014 7:00 pm EST Quad City 5 at Brampton 1
777 Fri, Nov 7, 2014 7:30 pm EST Quad City 7 at Brampton 2
782 Sun, Nov 9, 2014 2:00 pm EST Quad City 3 at Brampton 4 in SO
786 Fri, Nov 14, 2014 7:30 pm EST Quad City 1 at Brampton 2 in OT
792 Sun, Nov 16, 2014 2:00 pm EST Quad City 4 at Brampton 5 in OT
795 Wed, Nov 19, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 3 at Quad City 4 in SO
798 Fri, Nov 21, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 2 at Quad City 4
800 Sat, Nov 22, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 2 at Quad City 3
802 Sun, Nov 23, 2014 4:05 pm CST Quad City 3 at Missouri 4 in SO
807 Wed, Nov 26, 2014 7:05 pm CST Quad City 0 at Wichita 2
811 Fri, Nov 28, 2014 7:35 pm CST Quad City 2 at Tulsa 3
812 Sat, Nov 29, 2014 7:05 pm CST Missouri 2 at Quad City 1 in OT

 

5 | Missouri Mavericks – 13 games in November – 6-7-0-0- (12 points).

Of the 13 games in November Missouri lost more than they won. Consistency and a stable roster seem to be Missouri’s biggest issues. Over the month of November Missouri had 23 transactions (counting all Additions and Deletions to the roster) which over time becomes a huge problem for the entire team. Does this type of team movement bother remaining players? Absolutely! The team moved up from No. 6 to No. 5 through November, but to be honest, that is due to Rapid City’s fast decline for the month.

Points for Oct: 2

Points for Nov: 12

Current Overall team stats: 8-9-0-0- (16 points in 17 games). Trending: ↘

Game #: Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
773 Sat, Nov 1, 2014 7:05 pm CDT Missouri 2 at Wichita 4
775 Tue, Nov 4, 2014 7:00 pm CST Missouri 5 at Tulsa 4
780 Sat, Nov 8, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 2 at Missouri 3
783 Sun, Nov 9, 2014 5:05 pm CST Missouri 5 at Wichita 2
787 Fri, Nov 14, 2014 7:05 pm CST Allen 3 at Missouri 1
789 Sat, Nov 15, 2014 7:35 pm CST Missouri 7 at Tulsa 4
793 Sun, Nov 16, 2014 5:05 pm CST Missouri 1 at Wichita 3
797 Fri, Nov 21, 2014 7:05 pm CST Tulsa 4 at Missouri 1
801 Sat, Nov 22, 2014 7:05 pm CST Missouri 0 at Wichita 6
802 Sun, Nov 23, 2014 4:05 pm CST Quad City 3 at Missouri 4 in SO
805 Wed, Nov 26, 2014 7:05 pm CST Allen 6 at Missouri 0
809 Fri, Nov 28, 2014 7:05 pm CST Wichita 4 at Missouri 1
812 Sat, Nov 29, 2014 7:05 pm CST Missouri 2 at Quad City 1 in OT

 

6 | Brampton Beast – 11 games in November – 6-5-0-0 (12 points).

Brampton had a horrible start to their season but they have been picking up some wins in November against Quad City and Rapid City, which has bumped them up in the standings. They still have a long way to go, but they are trending slightly up and have moved up from No. 7 to No. 6 through November.

Points for Oct: 1

Points for Nov: 12

Current Overall team stats: 6-7-1-0- (13 points in 14 games). Trending: ↗

Game #: Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
56 Sat, Nov 1, 2014 7:05 pm EDT Brampton 3 at Elmira 5
776 Thu, Nov 6, 2014 7:00 pm EST Quad City 5 at Brampton 1
777 Fri, Nov 7, 2014 7:30 pm EST Quad City 7 at Brampton 2
782 Sun, Nov 9, 2014 2:00 pm EST Quad City 3 at Brampton 4 in SO
786 Fri, Nov 14, 2014 7:30 pm EST Quad City 1 at Brampton 2 in OT
792 Sun, Nov 16, 2014 2:00 pm EST Quad City 4 at Brampton 5 in OT
796 Fri, Nov 21, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 2 at Allen 9
799 Sat, Nov 22, 2014 7:05 pm CST Brampton 1 at Allen 4
806 Wed, Nov 26, 2014 6:35 pm MST Brampton 4 at Rapid City 3
810 Fri, Nov 28, 2014 7:05 pm MST Brampton 2 at Rapid City 0
813 Sat, Nov 29, 2014 7:05 pm MST Brampton 2 at Rapid City 1

 

7 | Rapid City Rush – 12 Games in November – 3-9-0-0 (6 points).

Rapid City had a very good start to their season, but since that time they have lost 9 of their 12 games in November. Since November 11 the team has lost 8 straight games against Wichita, Tulsa, Allen, Quad City and Brampton. From October through November Rapid City dropped from No. 2 to bottom of the Division at No. 7. If they have any hopes for the playoffs, Rapid City has to turn this around very quickly.

Points for Oct: 5

Points for Nov: 6

Current Overall team stats: 5-12-0-1 (11 points in 18 games). Trending: ↓

 

Game #: Date: Time: Visiting Team: Home Team:
772 Sat, Nov 1, 2014 7:05 pm MDT Allen 2 at Rapid City 4
778 Fri, Nov 7, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 3 at Wichita 0
780 Sat, Nov 8, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 2 at Missouri 3
784 Tue, Nov 11, 2014 6:35 pm MST Wichita 3 at Rapid City 6
785 Wed, Nov 12, 2014 6:35 pm MST Wichita 3 at Rapid City 2
788 Fri, Nov 14, 2014 7:35 pm CST Rapid City 4 at Tulsa 6
791 Sun, Nov 16, 2014 4:05 pm CST Rapid City 1 at Allen 3
798 Fri, Nov 21, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 2 at Quad City 4
800 Sat, Nov 22, 2014 7:05 pm CST Rapid City 2 at Quad City 3
806 Wed, Nov 26, 2014 6:35 pm MST Brampton 4 at Rapid City 3
810 Fri, Nov 28, 2014 7:05 pm MST Brampton 2 at Rapid City 0
813 Sat, Nov 29, 2014 7:05 pm MST Brampton 2 at Rapid City 1

 

We will check back at the end of December to see how the West’s Central Division is doing and in the meantime head out to watch a few of these teams!