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Panthers' Vokoun Named MeiGray Group Alumnus Of The Month

March 13, 2009 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release

PRINCETON, N.J. - Tomas Vokoun of the Florida Panthers is the MeiGray Group Group ECHL Alumnus of the Month for February.

The leading distributor of game-worn hockey jerseys and "Official Game-Worn Jersey Source of the ECHL," MeiGray Group has sold almost 5,000 game-worn ECHL jerseys since the program began in 2002-03, including nearly 1,000 each of the past four seasons.

Vokoun was 6-3-0 with three shutouts, a goals-against average of 1.66 and a save percentage of .954 in nine games in February. He is 22-19-4 with six shutouts, a goals-against average of 2.49 and a save percentage of .925. The six shutouts are a career high and tie him for the league lead.

He stopped 42 shots for his fourth shutout of the season in a 5-0 win on Feb. 12 at Carolina and stopped 34 shots in regulation and overtime and all four attempts in the shootout for a 2-1 win against the New York Rangers on Feb. 13. He registered his fifth shutout of the year and 30th of his career by turning aside all 36 shots in a 4-0 win against New Jersey on Feb. 17 and picked up his sixth shutout by making 41 saves in a 2-0 win against Boston on Feb. 21.

In his first professional season in 1995-96, Vokoun was 20-10-2 and finished 18th in the ECHL with a 3.67 goals-against average in 35 regular season games for Wheeling and was third in the postseason with a goals-against average of 2.61 while going 4-2-1 with a .903 save percentage in seven games.

There have been 401 players who have played in the National Hockey League after the ECHL. There have been 46 former ECHL players who have made their debut this season and 145 have played their first NHL game in the last four seasons, including a record 47 who made their debut in 2005-06. Seventy two former ECHL players were on NHL opening-day rosters this season and 333 ECHL players attended NHL training camps, including 139 who played in the league last season.

Former ECHL coaches working as head coaches in the NHL are Scott Gordon of the New York Islanders and Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals while former ECHL player Dan Bylsma is the interim head coach for 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.

The 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. Downey became the 14th former ECHL player to be a member of the Stanley Cup winner joining Francois Beauchemin and George Parros (Anaheim - 2007), Andrew Hutchinson and Chad LaRose (Carolina - 2006), Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy (Tampa Bay - 2004), Corey Schwab (New Jersey - 2003), Manny Legace (Detroit - 2002), David Aebischer and Nolan Pratt (Colorado - 2001), Krzysztof Oliwa (New Jersey - 2000) and Kevin Dean (New Jersey - 1995). Pratt is the only ECHL player to have his name engraved twice on the Stanley Cup. Peter Laviolette became the first former ECHL coach to have his name on the Stanley Cup as head coach of Carolina in 2006 and Dave Farrish became the second as an assistant coach with Anaheim in 2007.

The ECHL was represented in the 2009 NHL All-Star Game by Mark Streit of the New York Islanders and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins while former ECHL players Dan Ellis, Jonathan Quick and Tomas Vokoun have all been selected as recipients of the NHL's "Three Stars" award this season.

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.

Former ECHL broadcasters working in the National Hockey League include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Tom Callahan of the Nashville Predators, Dave Goucher of the Boston Bruins, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Rob Simpson, who is a producer/host for The NHL Network.

Ryan Stanzel and Jeremy Zager, who were both recipients of the ECHL Media Relations Director of the Year award, are working in the communications department for the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively. Former ECHL assistant director of communications Joe Siville and Kelly Murray are now with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals, respectively, while former ECHL director of communications Jason Rothwell is the creative director for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Premier 'AA' Hockey League Fast Facts
- 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.
- 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 playing 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.
- 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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