2012 ECHL Hall of Fame Class Is Coffey, Gorski, Marks, Seitz and Woods
December 1, 2011 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release
PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL announced on Thursday that the 2012 inductees for the ECHL Hall of Fame are Bill Coffey, Sheldon Gorski, John Marks, Dave Seitz and Bob Woods.
The five will be formally inducted as the fourth class of the ECHL Hall of Fame at a luncheon ceremony that will be held in conjunction with the 2012 ECHL Board of Governors Midseason Meeting at the Embassy Suites in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 18, 2012. Details on the luncheon and ticket information will be released in the coming weeks.
"This year's class includes a founding father, Bill Coffey; our all-time winningest coach, John Marks; and three outstanding players in Sheldon Gorski, Dave Seitz and Bob Woods," said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. "All three left their marks on the ECHL record book and made a significant contribution to our League."
Bill Coffey was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the ECHL. Along with inaugural ECHL Hall of Fame inductee Henry Brabham, Coffey came up with the idea to form the league during the summer of 1988. He was the original owner of the Knoxville Cherokees, and also assisted in establishing the Erie Panthers, giving the league five teams for its inaugural season in 1988-89. He also established one of the ECHL's first expansion teams, the Greensboro Monarchs, who entered the league in 1989-90.
Sheldon Gorksi began playing in the ECHL as a rookie in 1990-91 with the Louisville IceHawks, and went on to play eight season in the league with the Icehawks, Louisville RiverFrogs, Miami Matadors and Pensacola Ice Pilots. He ranks sixth in ECHL history with 316 goals and 608 points, and is tied for fifth with a 0.67 goals-per game average. Three times during his career, Gorski scored 50 or more goals, including a career-high 56 in 1991-92. He was an All-ECHL Second Team slection in 1990-91 and was named to the All-ECHL First Team in 1991-92. Gorski played in the 1993 and 1998 ECHL All-Star Games, tallying five assists, which is tied for third all time. He is one of just three players in league history to tally 100 or more points in consecutive seasons (1990-91 and 1991-92).
John Marks ranks as one of the most successful coaches in the ECHL's 24-year history. He joined the league as head coach of the expansion Charlotte Checkers in 1993-94 and won at least 35 games nine times. He posted an all-time record of 491-422-95 in 15 seasons as an ECHL head coach with Charlotte, Greenville, Pensacola and Augusta, and is the league's all-time leader in games coached (1,008), wins (491) and seasons (15). His teams also excelled during the postseason as he led Charlotte to the 1996 Riley Cup championship and Greenville to the 2002 Kelly Cup championship, joining 2009 ECHL Hall of Fame inductee John Brophy as the only coaches to win both a Riley Cup and Kelly Cup title. His 10 postseason appearances are second behind only Brophy, while his 81 postseason games coached are third and his 45 wins are tied for third.
Dave Seitz played in 489 games over eight seasons with the South Carolina Stingrays. He ranks sixth in ECHL history with 384 assists, is 10th with 587 points and is 19th with 217 goals. Seitz was part of South Carolina's 1997 and 2001 Kelly Cup championship teams, and was named Most Valuable Player of the 2001 Kelly Cup Playoffs after leading the postseason with 15 assists and 28 points and tying for the lead with 13 goals. His 73 postseason points are tied for seventh all-time, while his 44 assists are tied for ninth and his 29 goals are tied for 13th. Seitz played in the 1998 and 1999 ECHL All-Star Games, and is tied for third in All-Star history with five career assists.
Bob Woods ranks sixth in ECHL history with 599 games played, and is the all-time leader among defensemen with 159 goals, over 10 seasons with Johnstown, Hampton Roads, Mobile, Tallahassee and Mississippi. He is eighth all-time with 364 assists and his 523 points are 22nd all-time. Both marks are second among defensemen, trailing only 2008 ECHL Hall of Fame inductee Chris Valicevic. Woods holds the ECHL record for shots on goal in a game with 17 on March 14, 1998 and was an All-ECHL Second Team selection three times (1996-97, 1998-99 and 2000-01). Woods, who led ECHL defensemen in points in 1996-97 and in goals in 1998-99, was part of Mississippi's 1999 Kelly Cup championship team. Following his retirement as a player, he was head coach of the Sea Wolves from 2001-2005.
The inaugural ECHL Hall of Fame class inducted in 2008 was Henry Brabham, Patrick J. Kelly, Chris Valicevic and Nick Vitucci while the second class in 2009 was John Brophy, Blake Cullen, Tom Nemeth and Rod Taylor . The 2010 ECHL Hall of Fame class was Cam Brown, E.A. "Bud" Gingher, Olaf Kolzig and Darryl Noren and the 2011 class was Richard Adams, Phil Berger, Luke Curtin and Joe Ernst . Inductees are enshrined in the ECHL Hall of Fame, which is open around the clock online at ECHLHallOfFame.com, as well as being recognized at the league office in Princeton, N.J. and in the ECHL section at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario.
The third-longest tenured professional hockey league, behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, the Premier "AA' Hockey League has grown from five teams in four states in 1988-89 into a coast-to-coast league with 20 teams in 16 states in 2011-12.
Hall of Fame members are selected in four categories: Player, Developmental Player, Builder, and Referee/Linesman. Players must have concluded their career as an active player for a minimum of three playing seasons, though not continuous or full seasons. Development Players must have began their career in the ECHL and went on to a distinguished career in the NHL, playing a minimum of 260 regular season games in the NHL, AHL and ECHL. Builders may be active or inactive whereas Referee/Linesman must have concluded their active officiating career for a minimum of three playing seasons.
No more than five candidates may be elected to the ECHL Hall of Fame each year with no more than three Players, one Developmental Player, two Builders and one Referee/Linesman. The Developmental Player, Builder and the Referee/Linesman categories are dependent upon the number of candidates in the Player category.
The nomination and/or selection of candidates will be determined by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee and its Chairman Patrick J. Kelly.
Only members of the Selection Committee, the Board of Governors, teams or persons affiliated with the ECHL may submit official nominations which must be made in writing to the league office. Fans are encouraged to contact their team to propose names for nomination.
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