Aces release protected list for '08-'09
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Alaska Aces have submitted 20 players to the ECHL that will be classified as protected for the 2008-09 season.
The players included on Alaska's "protected" list are forwards Matt Robinson, Michael Lambert, Barrett Heisten (retired), Kimbi Daniels, Olivier Filion (who has signed to play in France), Vladimir Novak, Brendan Hodge (acquired from Stockton in exchange for Jim Dahl), Bo Cheeseman, Eric Neilson, and Brett Hemingway, as well as defensemen Ryan Glenn, Joey Hope, Corbin Schmidt, Ed Hill, Felipe Larranaga, Lee Green, Derick Martin, Peter Metcalf (who has signed to play in Denmark), and Matt Shasby. Goaltender Derek Gustafson, who has said that the 2007-08 season was likely his last, rounds out the list of 20.
Teams are allowed to protect as many players as they wish provided the players protected meet the guidelines as defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players' Association which state that teams shall retain the rights to each player that:
1. Signed a Standard Players Contract in 2007-08, and has not been traded or released. 2. Signed Standard Players Contract in 2007-08, and was recalled to the National Hockey League, the American Hockey League or an International Ice Hockey Federation team, and has not been traded or released. 3. Received a 2007-08 Qualifying Offer for the current season, and DID NOT sign a Standard Players Contract, and has not been traded or released. 4. Has been suspended by the team or League, and has not been traded or released. 5. Signed Standard Players Contract on or after the first day of the 2007-08 regular season, then subsequently signed an NHL/AHL contract, and has not been traded or released. 6. Has executed the ECHL Retirement Form, and has not been traded or released.
Teams must complete all Future Consideration trades by 3 p.m. ET on June 13 and must submit their Season-Ending Roster by 3 p.m. ET on June 15. Season-ending rosters may include up to 20 players and cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2007-08.
The Alaska Aces open the 2008-09 regular season at home against the team that ended their 2007-08 campaign, the Las Vegas Wranglers, in a two-game set October 17 and 18 at Sullivan Arena. Las Vegas trails 3-2 in the Kelly Cup Finals heading into Game Six Thursday at Cincinnati. The Aces drew 23 Friday and Saturday night games among their 36 dates at home, as compared to 22 in 2007-08. Five Sunday games (all beginning at 5:05 p.m.), seven Wednesdays, and one Tuesday tilt rounds out the schedule. All home games except for those played on Sunday will start at 7:15 p.m. Ontario makes its first visit to Anchorage Jan. 28, 30, and 31, while the Aces make their first trip to $130 million Citizens Business Bank Arena to tangle with the Reign on Nov. 29.
The ECHL schedule is comprised of 24 teams, 14 in the American Conference and 10 in the National Conference, pending final approval of conference and divisional alignments by the ECHL Board of Governors this summer. The third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, the ECHL averaged 4,174 per game last season, marking the fourth year in row and the 16th time in the last 18 years that the league has averaged over 4,000 fans. The league has drawn over four million fans each of the last five years and 11 times in the past 12 seasons. 19 of the 24 ECHL teams have played at least five years in their current city, including the Aces, who drew more than 200,000 fans to Sullivan Arena for the fourth straight season and exceeded the league average for the fifth straight year.
2008-09 season tickets, starting at just $396 for the full 36-game slate, are on sale throughout the summer at the Alaska Aces offices on the corner of 15th and Gambell. Regular office hours are Monday-Friday between 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
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