Americans with another OT Win

Photos by Dominic Ceraldi

The Allen Americans Professional Hockey Club was established in 2009-10, as an expansion team in the former Central Hockey League (CHL). 

In the 12-year history of the Americans organization the Club has won league championships four times; CHL President’s Cup Champions in both 2012-13 & 2013-14, and then ECHL Kelly Cup Champions during the Red’s first two seasons in the league, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

In 2012-13, Allen defeated Wichita in seven games, winning the deciding contest 3-2 in overtime on a cup-clinching goal by Todd Robinson. Allen Forward Brian McMillin was named the CHL Finals MVP.

The Americans repeated as CHL Champions in 2013-14, defeating the Denver Cutthroats in five games. Blenheim, ONT native Jamie Schaafsma was named the CHL Finals Most Valuable Player for Allen.

The Central Hockey League ceased operations following the 2013-14 season, which allowed for Allen to join the ECHL, the Top AA professional hockey league in North America. Allen, Brampton, Quad City, Tulsa, Wichita, Rapid City and Missouri (now Kansas City) all became members of the ECHL in October of 2014. 

The Red kept up their winning ways in the new league as Allen won back to back ECHL Kelly Cup Championships in 2014-15 and 2015-16, beating South Carolina and Wheeling respectively.

In total, the Americans have made the playoffs in 10 of their 12 seasons, missing the postseason in 2018-19, and in 2019-20, when the ECHL cancelled the season in March due to the outbreak of the global pandemic.

The Americans were one of 14 ECHL teams to elect to play the 2020-21 season, which was delayed until December. The Red played up to their potential, returning to the postseason, having won a league-best 45 games during the delayed season, which began in December 2020.  Allen captured the ECHL Western Conference Regular Season Championship but lost to Fort Wayne in the Western Conference Finals, 3 games to 1.  Defenseman Les Lancaster was named the 2020-21 ECHL Defenseman of the Year.

The Americans have had three ownership groups in their 10-year history. Douglas Miller, the former CEO of Exco Resources, formed Top Shelf LLC, and was the team’s original owner from October of 2009 through May of 2014. During that time, Miller brought on minority owners Mike Modano, Ed Belfour, Craig Ludwig and Richard Matvichuk, all former Dallas Stars. In May of 2014, Miller sold the franchise to Steven Sports Group, based in Wichita, Kansas. 

The club was sold to Jack D. Gulati in February of 2017.  Known as the “Serial Entrepreneur, Gulati counts the Americans among more than 45 companies that he has led over the course of his business career.  Gulati acquired his first business in 1968 at the age of 26, and in the ensuing years he bought, sold, or created forty businesses. Among his companies have been Fidelity Technologies Corporation, TeleAlarm Group, Fidelity Investment Corporation, SafetyCare Technologies, and Stokesay Castle, located in USA and Europe.

The Allen Americans have had two Head Coaches in their existence. Dwight Mullins was hired on to coach the then expansion team in 2009 and remained the coach through the 2011-2012 season. 

Steve Martinson was hired to replace Mullins in the 2012-2013 season. A native of Minnetonka, Minnesota, Martinson played professionally for 12 years, spanning from 1981-1996 at several different levels. He played in 50 games in the National Hockey League, for parts of four seasons, with the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadians and Minnesota North Stars.

Over the years, Allen has had a stable of strong leadership to wear the C as the team’s captain. Jarret Lukin in 2009-10, Tobias Whelan in 2010-11, Jason Deitsch for two seasons in 2011-12 & 2012-13, Mike Berube in 2013-14 and Jamie Schaafsma in 2014-15. Chad Costello and Gary Steffes served as Co-Captains in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Joel Chouinard was named the new captain in 2017-18.  The current captains of the AMERICANS are Spencer Asuchak and Dyson Stevenson.

The Americans have had two players in their nine-year history that have moved up to the National Hockey League. Jordie Benn, who was on the Americans inaugural roster in 2009-10, and Aaron Dell, who won a CHL Presidents’ Cup with Allen in 2013.

Vice President & Broadcasting & Communications, Tommy Daniels is the team’s longest tenured employee, having been with the team since the day it was founded back in 2009.

The team’s primary colors are red, white and blue and have worn those colors all twelve seasons of professional hockey. Americans jerseys for 2021-22 include Red, White, and a return to the Blue sweater for the first time since 2011.

The team’s website is and the team’s offices are located inside Allen Event Center at 200 East Stacy Road, Allen, Texas 75002. The team front office phone number is (972) 912-1000.

The Americans play in the 4,400 seat Allen Event Center, located at 200 East Stacy Road in the Village at Allen. Reba McIntyre played the first event at the new building on November 6, 2009. The Americans played the second event, the following night, on November 7, 2009 in a game against Corpus Christi.

Courtesy ECHL