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ECHL Concludes MidSeason Board of Governors Meeting

February 26, 2008 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release

PRINCETON, N.J. - The MidSeason ECHL Board of Governors Meeting that was held Jan. 23 in Stockton, Calif. in conjunction with the ECHL All-Star Game was officially adjourned on Feb. 26.

The following items were approved by the Board of Governors:

Myrtle Beach Granted Extension Of Voluntary Suspension

The Board unanimously approved a request from Myrtle Beach to extend its Voluntary Suspension for the 2008-09 season. The Member informed the Board that it continues to work toward construction of a facility on the campus of Coastal Carolina University.

Transfer Of Membership From Texas To Ontario Approved

The Board approved a transfer of the Membership from Beaumont, Texas to Ontario, Calif. for the start of the 2008-09 season.

The Texas Wildcatters will continue to play in Beaumont through the end of the Kelly Cup Playoffs and will then cease operations.

The Ontario Reign will play under new management in the new state-of-the-art Citizens Business Bank Arena, a $130 million multi-purpose facility with 9,736 seats as well as 36 suites, a continuous concourse and a VIP club.

"We are pleased to finally officially welcome Ontario to the ECHL," said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. "This outstanding facility and a terrific market is a great addition to our western geography."

Columbia Granted Voluntary Suspension

The Board unanimously approved a request from the Columbia Inferno for a Voluntary Suspension for the 2008-09 season as the team was told that it could not be guaranteed a lease with the Carolina Coliseum in time to meet league requirements. The Member informed the Board that they intend to continue to work diligently toward a new facility in Lexington County, S.C.

2009 ECHL All-Star Game Awarded To Reading Royals

The league announced that the Reading Royals, the City of Reading and the Sovereign Center will host the 2009 ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 21, 2009. The Royals become the first team and city in 17 years to host the annual midseason showcase twice, having had a near-capacity crowd of 6,746 for the 2005 ECHL All-Star Game.

2008-09 Playing Dates Approved

The Board unanimously approved that the 2008-09 playing season would be Oct. 17, 2008 to Apr. 4, 2009.

The league has provided a draft of the playing schedule for 2008-09 to each of the 24 teams and will release the schedule to the public in the near future.

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08, the ECHL is the Premier 'AA' Hockey League and the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.

ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 25 teams playing 900 games in 17 states and British Columbia in 2007-08.

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 350 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, including 94 in the last three seasons. There have been 205 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 Wheeling coach Peter Laviolette, who is head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, and former Mississippi coach Bruce Boudreau, who is head coach of the Washington Capitals.

The ECHL is represented for the seventh consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team in 2007 with Anaheim assistant coach Dave Farrish, players Francois Beauchemin and George Parros and broadcasters John Ahlers and Steve Carroll.

The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League in 2007-08 and for the past 18 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup champion.

In each of the last two seasons there have been more than 225 players who have played in both the ECHL and the AHL and there were over 800 call-ups involving more than 500 players. In the last five seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,000 call-ups involving more than 1,000 players since 2002-03.

Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at

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