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ECHL Board of Governors Annual Meeting Concludes

June 23, 2008 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release

PRINCETON, N.J. - The Annual ECHL Board of Governors Meeting was held in Westminster, Colo. on June 19-20.

The following items were approved by the Board of Governors:

Gwinnett's Chapman Re-Elected Chairman Of The Board

Steve Chapman of the Gwinnett Gladiators was unanimously re-elected to serve a third term as Chairman of the Board of Governors. Chapman was voted ECHL Executive of the Year in 2005 and 2006 becoming the first person in league history to win the award twice.

Division, Conference Alignments Finalized

The following division and conference alignments were unanimously approved by the Board for 2008-09:

American Conference (13 teams)

North Division (7 teams) - Cincinnati, Dayton, Elmira, Johnstown, Reading, Trenton and Wheeling

South Division (6 teams) - Augusta, Charlotte, Florida, Gwinnett, Mississippi and South Carolina

National Conference (10 teams)

West Division (5 teams) - Alaska, Idaho, Phoenix, Utah and Victoria

Pacific Division (5 teams) - Bakersfield, Fresno, Las Vegas, Ontario and Stockton

2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs Format Approved

The Board approved the format for the 2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs as follows.

The top four finishers in each division will be seeded based on regular season point totals.

The Division Semifinals will have the first seed meeting the fourth seed and the second seed meeting the third seed in a best-of-seven series.

The winners of the Division Semifinals will advance to the Division Finals which is a best-of-seven series.

The Division Finals winners will advance to the Conference Finals which is a best-of-seven series.

The winner of the American Conference and the winner of the National Conference will meet in the Kelly Cup Finals, a best-of-seven game series.

Home-ice advantage will be determined by regular season points.

2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs Format

Division Semifinals (Best-of-Seven Series)
No. 1 Seed (Division Winner) vs. No. 4 Seed
No. 2 Seed (Division Winner) vs. No. 3 Seed

Division Finals (Best-of-Seven Series)
Semifinals Winner vs. Semifinals Winner

Conference Finals (Best-of-Seven Series)
Division Winner vs. Division Winner

2009 Kelly Cup Finals (Best-of-Seven Series)
National Conference Champion vs. American Conference Champion

Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Reno, Toledo Provide Updates

Columbia advised the Board that it has made progress on a new arena and that it has retained the nucleus of its staff with the plan to return to the ice in 2009-10.

Myrtle Beach advised the Board that it continues to work toward construction of a facility on the campus of Coastal Carolina University with the hope of beginning play in 2009-10.

The Board unanimously approved a request from Reno for a one-year extension to its Home Arena Pending as the ownership group continues its work toward an arena project.

Toledo advised the Board that construction on the new Lucas County Arena is going very well. The team has already sold suites, sponsorships and merchandise and will begin selling club level seats on Monday.

Intermission, Pregame Warm-Up Times Shortened

The Board unanimously approved that between-period intermissions can be no less than 15 minutes and no longer than 18 minutes, at the home team's option.

The Board unanimously approved that pregame warm-up time will be shorted from 20 minutes to 16 minutes which is the same amount of time used by both the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.

Summer Player Contracts Limited To 24

The Board unanimously approved that teams are not allowed to sign more than 24 players to contracts during the summer.

Officiating Update

ECHL Director of Officiating Bryan Lewis provided a complete update on officiating for the Board. Lewis said that the NHL has taken a greater interest observing more ECHL games than ever in 2007-08 and placing several ECHL officials on its "watch list". He added that many of the top officials from Canadian Junior Hockey and USA Junior Hockey are interested in working in the ECHL and noted that the league's recruiting and coaching efforts are earning officials the opportunity to work in both the American Hockey League and the NHL.

The ECHL celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.

The Premier 'AA' Hockey League began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league that will play with 24 teams in 16 states and British Columbia in 2008-09.

The league officially changed its name to ECHL on May 19, 2003.

The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the NHL in 2007-08, marking the 11th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.

There have been 355 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, including 99 in the last three seasons. There have been 210 former ECHL players who have played their first game in the NHL in the past seven seasons.

There are 15 coaches in the NHL who have ECHL experience including former Mississippi and current Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau, who is the 2007-08 winner of the NHL Coach of the Year award, and former Wheeling coach Peter Laviolette, who is head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes.

The ECHL is represented for the eighth consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team in 2008 with Detroit Red Wings forward Aaron Downey.

The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League in 2007-08 and for the past 19 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup champion.

In the last six seasons the ECHL has had more call ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,300 call ups involving more than 1,200 players. In each of the last three seasons there have been more than 225 players who have played in both the ECHL and the AHL in the same season.

Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at

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