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North Division Comes Down To Final Week

March 30, 2009 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release

The race in the North Division has come down to the final week with five teams separated by four points battling for four Kelly Cup Playoff berths. The five were separated by a single point last week and by only two points two weeks ago.

Trenton is 38-25-6 and in first place with 82 points, one point ahead of defending Kelly Cup champion Cincinnati at 38-25-6 and Elmira at 37-26-7. Johnstown at 37-28-4 and Wheeling at 35-26-8 are tied for fourth with 78 points.

The top four finishers in the division will advance to the Kelly Cup Playoffs where they will be seeded based on regular season point totals. The Division Semifinals will be played Apr. 9-22 with the first seed meeting the fourth seed and the second seed meeting the third seed in a best-of-seven series. The series format is 2-3-2 with game dates determined by the participants based upon arena availability. Teams in close proximity may agree to deviate from the standard series format subject to league guidelines.

Trenton plays at Wheeling on Wednesday and at Reading on Friday before hosting Wheeling on Saturday. The Devils can qualify for the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the eighth time in 10 years with a win. Trenton won the Kelly Cup in 2005 and advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2001. Wheeling has won the last four meetings to improve to 7-2-1 overall and 2-2-0 on the road in the season series with the Devils. Trenton has won the last five meetings with the Royals to improve to 10-2-1 overall and 5-1-0 at Reading this season.

Cincinnati hosts Johnstown on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The Cyclones can qualify for the third straight year with a win. Cincinnati is 1-1-1 at home and 5-3-1 overall in the season series with the Chiefs.

Elmira hosts Reading on Wednesday and Dayton on Thursday. The Jackals are looking to qualify for the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the second time in two seasons. Elmira is 2-1-1 at home and 4-3-2 overall in the season series with Reading and 2-2-0 at home and 6-2-0 overall in the season series with Dayton.

Wheeling hosts Trenton on Wednesday and Dayton on Friday before traveling to Trenton on Saturday. The Nailers are looking to reach the postseason for the ninth time since moving to Wheeling in 1992-93 and the first time since 2006. Wheeling has won the last four meetings with Trenton and is 5-0-1 at home and 7-2-1 overall in the season series with the Devils. Dayton has won the last four meetings with the Nailers to lead the season series 8-3-2 including 4-2-0 at Wheeling.



Condors, Grizzlies, RoadRunners Fight For Last Two Berths

Heading into the final week of the season there are three teams mathematically alive for two Kelly Cup Playoff berths in the National Conference.

Bakersfield and Utah need only one point to secure their spot while Phoenix must win its remaining four games to remain in contention.

The top four finishers in the West Division will advance to the Kelly Cup Playoffs where they will be seeded based on regular season winning percentage. In the Pacific Division there will be four postseason qualifiers based on winning percentage, including the fifth-place finisher from the West Division if it has a better winning percentage than the fourth-place team in the Pacific. The seeding is being done by winning percentage rather than points because Las Vegas and Ontario are each playing one more game than the other seven teams following Fresno ceasing operations. The Division Semifinals will be played Apr. 9-22 with the first seed meeting the fourth seed and the second seed meeting the third seed in a best-of-seven series. The series format is 2-3-2 with game dates determined by the participants based upon arena availability. Teams in close proximity may agree to deviate from the standard series format subject to league guidelines.

Stockton became the second Pacific Division team to clinch a berth with a 3-1 win over Las Vegas on Sunday. The Thunder will be making their third straight Kelly Cup Playoffs appearance.

The defending National Conference champion Wranglers have qualified for the fourth year in a row and the fifth time in six seasons. The Wranglers host Stockton on Friday and Saturday. Stockton has won the last three meetings to lead the season series 3-1-0 with the one Las Vegas win coming at home.

Ontario is 37-29-5 and has clinched the Pacific Division while Alaska and Idaho continue to battle for first place in the West Division. The Aces are 44-23-3 and in first place with a winning percentage of .650 and 91 points while Idaho is 41-23-4 and in second place with a winning percentage of .632 and 86 points. The Aces need three points to clinch their fourth division title and their third conference title in the last five years.

Idaho hosts Phoenix on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday while Alaska plays at Utah on Friday and Saturday. The Steelheads won the last meeting and are 1-1-0 at home and 2-2-0 overall in the season series with Phoenix. The Aces have won the last six meetings with Utah and lead the season series 6-1-0.

Bakersfield needs one point to reach the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the fifth year in a row. The Condors, who are 18-5-1 in their last 24 games, host Ontario on Friday and Saturday. Bakersfield is 2-1-1 at home and 3-4-2 overall against the Reign. Utah, which advanced to the conference finals a year ago, also needs only one point to qualify for the third time in four seasons. The Grizzlies host Alaska on Friday and Saturday. The Aces have won the last six meetings and lead the season series 6-1-0 with the one Utah win coming at home.

Alaska has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs in every one of their six seasons and they won the Kelly Cup in 2006 and reached the conference finals in 2005 and 2007. Idaho has reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs all six years and became only the second expansion team in league history to capture the Kelly Cup championship in 2003-04 and became the second two-time Kelly Cup winner in 2007.

Everblades Win Brabham Cup

The Florida Everblades clinched their second Brabham Cup championship on Saturday with a 6-3 win against Charlotte.

The Everblades are 45-17-5 and lead the ECHL with a winning percentage of .709. Alaska is second at 44-23-3 and a winning percentage of .650 and Idaho is third at 41-23-4 and a winning percentage of .632. Florida hosts Gwinnett on Tuesday and Wednesday and Mississippi on Friday and Saturday while Idaho hosts Phoenix on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and Alaska plays at Utah on Friday and Saturday.

The Brabham Cup is the trophy awarded annually to the ECHL team that finishes with the most points in the regular season. The recipient is guaranteed home-ice advantage throughout its participation in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The trophy is being awarded on winning percentage rather than points because Florida is playing only 71 games following Augusta ceasing operations.

The award is named in recognition of Henry Brabham, who founded the ECHL in 1988-89 with five teams in four states. Brabham, who was the first inductee into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2008, owned three of the original five teams, including the legendary Johnstown Chiefs who are celebrating their 20th season in 2007-08. The dedication of the Virginia businessman was crucial to the league surviving to span from coast-to-coast while advancing 353 players and countless coaches, on-ice officials and front office personnel to the National Hockey League.

The Everblades, who have already clinched home ice through the conference finals, won the Brabham Cup in 1999-2000 and set ECHL records with 53 wins and 108 points. The 53 wins are now tied for the third most in league history while the 108 points are tied for sixth.

Alaska won the Brabham Cup in 2005-06 in 2005-06 with 53 wins and 113 points. The 53 wins are tied for the third most in league history while the 113 points are fourth behind Cincinnati and Texas, who each had 115 points in 2007-08, and Louisiana, which holds the record with 116 points and 56 wins in 2001-02.

Florida was the first team to qualify for the postseason on Mar. 7 followed by Alaska on Mar. 13 and Idaho on Mar. 18. The Everblades have reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs in every one of their 11 seasons and advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2004 and 2005 and to the conference finals in 2007. Alaska has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs in every one of their six seasons and they won the Kelly Cup in 2006 and reached the conference finals in 2005 and 2007. Idaho has reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs all six years and became only the second expansion team in league history to capture the Kelly Cup championship in 2003-04 and became the second two-time Kelly Cup winner in 2007.

Brabham Cup Trophy Winners

2008-09 Florida Everblades
2007-08 Cincinnati Cyclones (115 points)
2006-07 Las Vegas Wranglers (106 points)
2005-06 Alaska Aces (113 points)
2004-05 Pensacola Ice Pilots (107 points)
2003-04 San Diego Gulls (108 points)
2002-03 Toledo Storm (104 points)
2001-02 Louisiana Ice Gators (116 points)
2000-01 Trenton Titans (104 points)
1999-00 Florida Everblades (108 points)
1998-99 Pee Dee Pride (106 points)
1997-98 Louisiana IceGators (96 points)
1996-97 South Carolina Stingrays (100 points)
1995-96 Richmond Renegades (105 points)
1994-95 Wheeling Thunderbirds (97 points)
1993-94 Knoxville Cherokees (94 points)
1992-93 Wheeling Thunderbirds (88 points)
1991-92 Toledo Storm (95 points)
1990-91 Knoxville Cherokees (97 points)
1989-90 Winston-Salem Thunderbirds (82 points)
1988-89 Erie Panthers (77 points)

Gladiators, Sea Wolves Battle For Final Spot In South

Gwinnett and Mississippi head into the final week continuing their battle for the last Kelly Cup Playoffs berth in the South Division. The Gladiators are 30-32-6 and currently hold the spot with a winning percentage of .485 while Mississippi is 27-33-8 for a winning percentage of .456.

The top four finishers in the division will advance to the Kelly Cup Playoffs where they will be seeded based on regular season winning percentage. The seeding is being done by winning percentage rather than points because Gwinnett is playing one more game than the other four teams following Augusta ceasing operations. The Division Semifinals will be played Apr. 9-22 with the first seed meeting the fourth seed and the second seed meeting the third seed in a best-of-seven series. The series format is 2-3-2 with game dates determined by the participants based upon arena availability. Teams in close proximity may agree to deviate from the standard series format subject to league guidelines.

The Gladiators have not missed the Kelly Cup Playoffs since moving to Georgia in 2003-04 while the Sea Wolves are trying to reach the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the sixth straight time and the ninth time in 11 seasons.

Mississippi plays at Charlotte on Monday and at Florida on Friday and Saturday. Charlotte has won the last two meetings and is 4-1-0 at home and 8-2-1 against the Sea Wolves. Florida is 6-0-0 at home and 9-0-1 overall against Mississippi.

Gwinnett plays at Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday and at Charlotte on Saturday while hosting South Carolina on Friday. Gwinnett has won the last two meetings against the Everblades to improve to 4-7-1 in the season series. The Gladiators are 8-6-1 against Charlotte and 6-6-1 against South Carolina including 4-3-1 at home.

The winner will meet Florida which is 45-17-5 and clinched their second Brabham Cup championship as the overall leader of the ECHL. Florida will host Games 1 and 2 of the South Division Semifinals on Apr. 10 and 11. If Gwinnett qualifies they would host Games 3 and 4 on Apr. 16 and 17 and Game 5, if necessary, on Apr. 19 while Florida would host Game 6, if necessary, on Apr. 21 and Game 7, if necessary, on Apr. 22. If Mississippi qualifies they would host Game 3 on Apr. 13 and Game 4 on Apr. 14 and Game 5, if necessary, on Apr. 15 while Florida would host Game 6, if necessary, on Apr. 17 and Game 7, if necessary, on Apr. 20.

South Carolina is 40-23-6 with a winning percentage of .623 and has clinched second place while Charlotte is 34-26-8 with a winning percentage of .559 and has secured third place. Charlotte will host Game 1 of the South Division Semifinals on Apr. 9 and Game 2 on Apr. 11 while South Carolina will host Game 3 on Apr. 14 and Game 4 on Apr. 16. Game 5, if necessary, will be played at South Carolina on Apr. 17 while Game 6, if necessary, would be at Charlotte on Apr. 19 and Game 7, if necessary, would be played at South Carolina on Apr. 20.

South Carolina has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs for a league record 15th time while Florida was the first team to qualify for the postseason on Mar. 7. The Stingrays won the first Kelly Cup in 1997 and became the first two-time winner in 2001. South Carolina holds the ECHL record for most playoff games with 116 and most playoff wins with 61. The Everblades have reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs in every one of their11 seasons and advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2004 and 2005 and to the conference finals in 2007. Charlotte is in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the fifth straight year, tying its record for consecutive appearances set their first five seasons from 1993-98, and for the 12th time in 16 seasons.



Jackals, Checkers Lead League In Sellouts

Elmira had its league-leading fifth sellout of the year with 3,987 on Saturday and Charlotte had its fourth sellout of the season with 8,146 on Friday while Stockton welcomed over 25,500 for its final four regular season games.

Stockton leads the league with 6,218 per game and 223,854 fans as the Thunder look to become the first team to finish atop the ECHL in attendance for four years in a row since Florida led the league for a record five straight years from 2000-05.

Ontario is second with 5,856 fans per game while Florida, which has finished second the last three seasons, is third with 5,629 per game. The Everblades had their fourth-largest crowd of the year with 6,503 on Saturday when they clinched the Brabham Cup.

The Jackals raised their average to 3,318 per game after drawing more than 10,300 for three games against Wheeling while Charlotte increased its average to 5,275 per game.

Gwinnett, which had 8,123 on Saturday, is fourth at 5,538 per game while Bakersfield is fifth with 5,480 per game after having more 12,000 for games on Friday and Saturday. South Carolina averaged more than 5,000 for the fourth straight year and the 15th time in 16 seasons.

Johnstown had its fourth-largest crowd of the year with 3,206 on Saturday while Idaho had almost 13,000 for three games to raise its average to 3,975 per game and Reading had over 10,000 for two games to increase its average to 4,963 per game.

National Conference - West Division

Alaska Aces
*Aces are 44-23-3 marking the fifth season in a row that they have won 40 games.
* Scott Burt has a five-game goal streak (6g) and seven points (7g-0a) in his last seven games.
* Aces play at Utah on Friday and Saturday.

Idaho Steelheads
* Steelheads are 41-23-4 and need two wins to tie their team record of 43 wins set in 2005-06.
* Rookie Matt Climie has back-to-back shutouts to improve to 6-0-0 in his last six home starts.
* Steelheads host Phoenix on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Phoenix RoadRunners
* Phoenix is 20-10-0 when scoring first.
* Kyle Jones has a goals-against average of 2.22 and a save percentage of .934 in 10 games in March.
* Phoenix plays at Idaho on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Utah Grizzlies
* Grizzlies are 6-0-1 in their last seven games when scoring first.
* Tim Verbeek has four assists and five points in his last three games.
* Grizzlies host Alaska on Friday and Saturday.

Victoria Salmon Kings
* Victoria finished with the second-best record in team history at 38-27-7 and 83 points.
* Wes Goldie has played in 216 consecutive games for the Salmon Kings.
* Victoria concluded its regular season on Saturday at Stockton.

National Conference - Pacific Division

Bakersfield Condors
* Condors are fifth in the league in scoring with 3.43 goals per game.
* Dave Bonk is fourth in the league with 81 points (31g-50a) and Mark Derlago is tied for fifth with 73 points (31g-42a).
* Condors host Ontario on Friday and Saturday.

Las Vegas Wranglers
* Las Vegas is 5-2-0 in its last seven home games and 20-12-2 overall at the Orleans Arena.
* Rookie Scott McCulloch has six points (3g-3a) in his last four games.
* Las Vegas hosts Stockton on Friday and Saturday.

Ontario Reign
* Reign are 24-5-4 when scoring the first goal.
* Tim Kraus is tied for 17th among league rookies with 47 points (14g-33a).
* Reign play at Bakersfield on Friday and Saturday.

Stockton Thunder
* Stockton is second in the National Conference with a road winning percentage of .544 (16-13-5).
* Ryan Huddy is second among ECHL rookies with a team record 73 points (35g-38a).
* Stockton plays at Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday.

American Conference - North Division

Cincinnati Cyclones
* Cyclones have led the ECHL in road wins the last two seasons (22-13-1 in 2008-09 and 26-8-2 in 2007-08).
* Cincinnati limited Johnstown to an ECHL season-low 11 shots in 2-1 win on Saturday.
* Cyclones host Johnstown on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Dayton Bombers
* Dayton is outscoring its opponents 79-64 in the third period.
* Rookie Nino Musitelli has six points (1g-5a) in his last six games.
* Dayton plays at Elmira on Thursday, at Wheeling on Friday and at Reading on Saturday.

Elmira Jackals
* Rookie Michael Teslak is 6-2-2 with a shutout and a goals-against average of 2.29 in his last 10 starts.
* Rookie Wes Cunningham is 10th among ECHL defensemen with 36 points (10g-26a) in 68 games.
* Jackals host Reading on Wednesday and Dayton on Thursday.

Johnstown Chiefs
* Johnstown is 37-28-4 and has improved its win total every year since 2004-05.
* Petr Pohl's 73 points (31g-42a) are the most by a Chief since 2001-02 when Eric Schneider had 78 points (38g-40a).
* Johnstown plays at Cincinnati on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Reading Royals
* Royals are 6-1-0 when allowing one goal or less and 18-2-0 when allowing two goals or less.
* Tyler Doig (5g-7a) and Ben Gordon (4g-8a) each have a seven-game point streak.
* Royals play at Elmira on Wednesday and host Trenton on Friday and Dayton on Saturday.

Trenton Devils
* Jeff Prough scored his first career hat trick on Friday.
* Devils are 13-1-0 when Jim Henkel has a multiple-point game.
* Trenton plays at Wheeling on Wednesday and at Reading on Friday before hosting Wheeling on Saturday.

Wheeling Nailers
* Nailers lead the league with 257 goals and are second with 3.72 goals per game.
* Bryan Ewing has 90 points (43g-47a) and is first Wheeling player to score 90 points since Eric Royal had 92 points in 1996-97.
* Nailers host Trenton on Wednesday and Dayton on Friday before traveling to Trenton on Saturday.

American Conference - South Division

Charlotte Checkers
* Jeff Jakaitis is 5-2-3 with a goals-against average of 2.45 and a save percentage of .939 in March.
* Rookie Matt Schepke has five goals and seven points in his first nine professional games.
* Charlotte hosts Mississippi on Monday, South Carolina on Friday and Gwinnett on Saturday.

Florida Everblades
* Everblades lead the ECHL on the power-play with 22.1 percent (97-for-438).
* Kevin Baker needs one power-play goal to tie the ECHL record of 27 power-play goals by Colin Ward of Nashville in 1995-96.
* Everblades host Gwinnett on Tuesday and Wednesday and Mississippi on Friday and Saturday.

Gwinnett Gladiators
* Gwinnett is 21-0-1 when leading after two periods.
* Gladiators lead the league with 17 shorthand goals.
* Gwinnett plays at Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday and at Charlotte on Saturday while hosting South Carolina on Friday.

Mississippi Sea Wolves
* Sea Wolves are 15-0-3 when leading after two periods.
* Ryan Cruthers is tied for fourth among league rookies with 64 points (28g-36a).
* Sea Wolves play at Charlotte on Monday and at Florida on Friday and Saturday.

South Carolina Stingrays
* South Carolina is third in the league on the power play with 21.8 percent (78-for-357).
* Travis Morin has 62 assists breaking the team record of 60 assists by Mike Ross in 1996-97 and Dave Seitz in 2002-03.
* South Carolina plays at Charlotte on Wednesday and at Gwinnett on Friday.

ECHL Record Book Look

Most Power-Play Goals, Season
27 - Colin Ward, Nashville, 1995-96
26 - Kevin Baker, Florida, 2008-09
- Andrew Williamson, Toledo, 1999-2000
- Darren Colbourne, Dayton, 1991-92
25 - Darren Colbourne, Richmond, 1993-94
24 - five times, most recent; Don Parsons, Louisiana, 1997-98

Most Shutouts By Goaltender, Season
7 - Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, Alaska, 2008-09
- Frederic Cloutier, Louisiana, 2001-02
- David Brumby, Jackson, 1999-2000
- Maxime Gingras, Richmond, 1998-99
6 - Alfie Michaud, Peoria, 2004-05
- Matthew Yeats, Texas, 2006-07

Most Shutouts, One Season
11 - Wheeling Nailers, 2003-04
10 - Wheeling Nailers, 2004-05
- Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies, 2003-04
- Louisiana IceGators, 2001-02
9 - four times, most recent; Alaska Aces, 2008-09

Most Ties, One Season
18 - Mobile Mysticks, 2001-02
16 - Utah Grizzlies, 2008-09
Johnstown Chiefs, 2005-06
15 - South Carolina Stingrays, 2005-06
14 - seven times, most recent; Las Vegas Wranglers, 2006-07

Watch Games Live on B2 Networks, the "Official Broadband Broadcast Provider" of the ECHL

Watch ECHL Games Around The Clock On ECHL TV on B2CableTV.com

Premier 'AA' Hockey League Fast Facts
* 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.
* ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 21 teams in 16 states and British Columbia in 2008-09.
* The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
* Affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League marking 12th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
* 402 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
* 146 have played their first NHL game in the last four seasons.
* 47 former ECHL players have made their NHL debut this season: former Idaho Steelheads right wing Jay Beagle (Washington on Feb. 11), former Wheeling Nailers and ECHL All-Star defenseman Paul Bissonnette (Pittsburgh on Oct. 4), former Stockton Thunder and ECHL All-Star right wing Troy Bodie (Anaheim on Jan. 16), former Bakersfield Condors center Alexandre Bolduc (Vancouver on Nov. 27), former Florida Everblades defenseman Brett Carson (Carolina on Dec. 7), former South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Sean Collins (Washington on Dec. 6), former Las Vegas Wranglers and Wheeling Nailers goaltender John Curry (Pittsburgh on Nov. 26), former Greenville Grrrowl goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (Edmonton on Oct. 17), former Johnstown Chiefs center Andre Deveaux (Toronto on Nov. 27), former Dayton Bombers center Philippe Dupuis (Colorado on Dec. 12), former Gwinnett Gladiators left wing Chris Durno (Colorado on Jan. 18), former Gwinnett Gladiators right wing Pat Dwyer (Carolina on Nov. 2), former Columbus Cottonmouths and Tallahassee Tiger Sharks left wing Mitch Fritz (New York Islanders on Oct. 30), former South Carolina Stingrays right wing Andrew Gordon (Washington on Dec. 23), former Augusta Lynx and Mississippi Sea Wolves goaltender Riku Helenius (Tampa Bay on Jan. 30), former Charlotte Checkers center Dwight Helminen (Carolina on Oct. 28), former Florida Everblades and ECHL All-Star center Matt Hendricks (Colorado on Mar. 10), former Las Vegas Wranglers goaltender Brent Krahn (Dallas on Feb. 14), former Trenton Devils right wing Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (New Jersey on Oct. 22), former Gwinnett Gladiators defenseman Scott Lehman (Atlanta on Dec. 18), former Utah Grizzlies defenseman Andrew MacDonald (New York Islanders on Feb. 28), former Charlotte Checkers defenseman Steve MacIntyre (Edmonton on Oct. 15), former Florida Everblades left wing Kenndal McArdle (Florida on Dec. 2), two-time All-Star and former Las Vegas Wranglers goaltender Mike McKenna (Tampa Bay on Feb. 3), former All-Star and Wheeling Nailers center Kurtis McLean (New York Islanders on Jan. 19), former South Carolina Stingrays and ECHL All-Star goaltender Michal Neuvirth (Washington on Feb. 14), former Johnstown Chiefs defenseman Wes O'Neill (Toronto on Mar. 9), former Columbia Inferno defenseman Phil Oreskovic (Toronto on Mar. 9), former Phoenix RoadRunners and Wheeling Nailers center Cam Paddock (St. Louis on Nov. 14), former Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Adam Pardy (Calgary on Oct. 9), former Idaho Steelheads left wing Warren Peters (Calgary on Dec. 7), former Charlotte Checkers center Jakub Petruzalek (Carolina on Feb. 5), former Charlotte Checkers defenseman Corey Potter (New York Rangers on Dec. 7), former Augusta Lynx defenseman Kevin Quick (Tampa Bay on Jan. 13), former Utah Grizzlies right wing Joel Rechlicz (New York Islanders on Mar. 4), former Charlotte Checkers, Columbia Inferno and Elmira Jackals defenseman Bryan Rodney (Carolina on Dec. 11), former Gwinnett Gladiators center Jared Ross (Philadelphia on Oct. 11), former Alaska Aces goaltender Marek Schwarz (St. Louis on Oct. 25), former Greenville Grrrowl and Stockton Thunder center Tim Sestito (Edmonton on Nov. 26), former Dayton Bombers and Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Tyler Sloan (Washington on Oct. 21), former Utah Grizzlies and ECHL All-Star center Trevor Smith (New York Islanders on Dec. 31), former Johnstown Chiefs and Mississippi Sea Wolves forward Radek Smolenak (Tampa Bay on Dec. 2), former Augusta Lynx defenseman Brett Skinner (New York Islanders on Oct. 27), former Las Vegas Wranglers and ECHL All-Star defenseman Tyson Strachan (St. Louis on Dec. 18), former Phoenix RoadRunners goaltender Josh Tordjman (Phoenix on Mar. 8), former Wheeling Nailers right wing Tim Wallace (Pittsburgh on Dec. 10) and former Idaho Steelheads center Tom Wandell (Dallas on Dec. 10).
* There were 72 former ECHL players on NHL opening-day rosters.
* Twenty-six former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2007-08 including six who played in both the ECHL and the NHL: Chris Beckford-Tseu (Alaska and St. Louis), Adam Berti (Pensacola and Chicago), Joe Jensen (Wheeling and Carolina), Dan LaCosta (Elmira and Columbus), Jonathan Quick (Reading and Los Angeles) and Danny Taylor (Reading and Los Angeles).
* Record 47 former ECHL players played their first NHL game in 2005-06.
* ECHL is represented for the eighth consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team in 2008 by Aaron Downey of the Detroit Red Wings.
* Former ECHL coaches working as head coaches in the NHL are Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals and Scott Gordon of the New York Islanders while former ECHL player Dan Bylsma is the interim head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boudreau, who coached Mississippi for three seasons winning the Kelly Cup championship in 1999, was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08 becoming the first former ECHL coach to receive the award. Peter Laviolette, who began his coaching career with the Wheeling Nailers, led Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup in 2006.
* There are 18 assistant coaches in the NHL who were players or coaches in the ECHL.
* There are 18 former ECHL officials scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2008-09 with referees David Banfield, Chris Ciamaga, Ghislain Hebert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O'Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak and Jay Sharrers. Barton, Joannette, Leggo, McCauley, Nowak, Pollock, Rooney and Sharrers all worked the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* ECHL has affiliations with 23 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League 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 2,000 call-ups involving more than 1,000 players since 2002-03.
* Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.


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