Zaba Named Reebok X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender Of The Month
March 13, 2009 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The American Hockey League announced that former
Charlotte Checkers and Idaho Steelheads goaltender Matt
Zaba has been named the Reebok X-Pulse/AHL
Goaltender of the Month for February.
Zaba is the second consecutive former ECHL goaltender to win the award,
joining former Phoenix RoadRunners goaltender Josh
Tordjman, who was the recipient for January.
The 25-year-old Zaba was 6-1-0 with two shootout wins, a goals-against
average of 1.35 and a save percentage of .951 in February.
Other former ECHL goaltenders nominated for the award were Jean-Sebastien Aubin, John Curry, Sebastien Dahm, John DeCaro, Jeff Frazee, Riku Helenius, Nathan Lawson, Drew MacIntyre, Justin Peters, Tyler Plante, Curtis Sanford, Nolan Schaefer, Danny Taylor and Josh Tordjman.
The ECHL had eight former players and three former coaches in the 2009 AHL
All-Star Classic and eight former ECHL players have been named Reebok /AHL
Player of the Week this season: former Florida Everblades center Keith
Aucoin, former Johnstown Chiefs goaltender Jason
Bacashihua, former Las Vegas Wranglers and Wheeling Nailers goaltender
Curry, former Stockton Thunder and 2007 ECHL All-Star goaltender Devan
Dubnyk, former Gwinnett Gladiator and 2006 ECHL All-Star left wing Pascal
Pelletier, former Phoenix RoadRunners goaltender Josh
Tordjman, former ECHL goaltender Mike
Brodeur and former Gwinnett Gladiators center and AHL All-Star Classic
Most Valuable Player Jared Ross..
The ECHL has had affiliations with 20 or more teams in the AHL the last eight years and in the past seven seasons there have been more ECHL players called up to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined.
For the 19th year in a row the Premier 'AA' Hockey League was represented
on the AHL champion as the Chicago Wolves had a record 14 former ECHL
players on their roster.
Seven times in the last eight years the winner of the AHL Coach of the
Year award has been a former ECHL coach including the last three selections
Haviland and Kevin
Dineen. Former ECHL coaches won the award four consecutive years from
2001-04 with Don Granato, Bruce Cassidy, Geoff Ward and Claude Noel. The
first former ECHL coach to win the award was Peter Laviolette in 1999.
Ten former ECHL players won the weekly award in 2007-08 while former ECHL players were chosen to receive the Rbk X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month four times, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month award three times and the Rbk Edge/AHL Rookie of the Month two times. The ECHL was represented by three players on both the First Team All-AHL and the Second Team All-AHL while goaltender John Curry was named to the All-Rookie Team and Andrew Hutchinson was named Defenseman of the Year.
Barry Brust and Nolan Schaefer won the Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award, presented each season to the goaltender(s) appearing in at least 25 games for the team allowing the fewest goals, for 2007-08. It is the seventh season in a row and the 12th time in the last 15 years that the award has been won or shared by a former ECHL goaltender.
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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.
* 401 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
* 145 have played their first NHL game in the last four seasons.
* 46 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 (Washingtons on Feb. 14), 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.
* Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.
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ECHL Stories from March 13, 2009
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