The ECHL announced on Tuesday that the 2016 inductees for the ECHL Hall of Fame are Daniel Berthiaume, Craig Brush and Allan Sirois.
The three will be formally inducted as the ninth class of the ECHL Hall of Fame at a luncheon ceremony that will be held in conjunction with the 2016 CCM/ECHL Hockey Heritage Week presented by PNC Bank and Bronson Health. The 2016 ECHL Hall of Fame luncheon, presented by BFL CANADA, will take place on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 at 12 Noon, at the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Detroit Red Wings General Manager and Executive Vice President Ken Holland will deliver the keynote welcome at the luncheon.
“While we had many worthy nominees, this year’s class of inductees certainly stands out for their contributions to the ECHL,” said ECHL Commissioner Emeritus Patrick J. Kelly, the Chairman of the ECHL Hall of Fame Committee. “Craig Brush, a builder, who literally oversaw the construction of an arena, the creation of a team and has been at the helm for the past 18 seasons. An entertaining goaltender, Daniel Berthiaume, who is one of only three ECHL goaltenders to record over 200 wins and Allan Sirois, one of the most productive point producers in League history. We welcome all three and thank them for their contributions to our League.”
Daniel Berthiaume appeared in 364 games over a nine-year ECHL career with the Wheeling Thunderbirds, Roanoke Express and Greensboro Generals. He ranks fourth all-time among League goaltenders in games played while his 201 career wins are third and his 18 shutouts are fourth all-time. During the 1994-95 season with Roanoke, he put together a personal 13-game winning streak, which stood as the ECHL record for 20 seasons. Seven times in his nine ECHL seasons, Berthiaume won 20 or more games, which is tied with 2008 ECHL Hall of Fame inductee Nick Vitucci for the most 20-or-more win seasons in League history. He earned a spot on the All-ECHL Second Team in 1999-2000 when he finished fourth in the League with a .918 save percentage and fifth with a 2.48 goals-against average. A third-round selection (60th overall) of the Winnipeg Jets in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, Berthiaume appeared in 215 career NHL games with the Jets, Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators prior to joining Wheeling in the 1994-95 season.
Craig Brush helped to found the ECHL’s Florida Everblades and Germain Arena along with partners Peter Karmanos and Thomas Thewes in 1998. He has served as the team’s President and General Manager since inception and he oversees all aspects of both the hockey club and the sports complex. In their first 17 seasons, the Everblades have welcomed over 3.4 million fans, placing in the top 10 of ECHL attendance in every season, including leading the league for five consecutive seasons from 2000-01 through 2004-05. Florida has advanced to the Kelly Cup Playoffs in 16 of 17 seasons, and has reached the Kelly Cup Finals three times, capturing the title in 2012. He served as the Chairman of the ECHL Board of Governors for three seasons from 2003 through 2006.
Allan Sirois enjoyed an 11-season career in the ECHL, suiting up in 687 career games with Baton Rouge, Jacksonville, Pee Dee, Greenville and Texas. He sits fifth all-time in League history in games played while ranking 12th with 249 goals, tied for 13th with 345 assists and ninth with 594 points. He participated in a pair of ECHL All-Star Games, and took home Most Valuable Player honors at the 2002 game in Trenton when he scored two goals and added an assist. Sirois enjoyed most of his success in Pee Dee, ranking as the all-time leading scorer in Pride history with 432 points (176g-256a) in 486 games. He enjoyed his best statistical season in 1998-99 when he finished seventh in the league with 84 points (35g-49a) earning a spot on All-ECHL Second Team and helping Pee Dee to the Brabham Cup as ECHL regular-season champions.
Individual luncheon tickets can be purchased for $49, or luncheon tickets can be purchased as part of the Hockey Heritage Week Hall of Fame ticket package for $79, which includes a game ticket to the Feb. 5 contest between the Kalamazoo Wings and Toledo Walleye, a Hockey Hall of Fame exhibit pass, a Stanley Cup viewing with photo, and luncheon access. Tickets can be purchased at the Wings Event Center box office or at kwings.com.
The inaugural ECHL Hall of Fame class inducted in 2008 was Henry Brabham, Patrick J. Kelly, Chris Valicevic and Nick Vitucci while the second class in 2009 was John Brophy, Blake Cullen, Tom Nemeth and Rod Taylor. The 2010 ECHL Hall of Fame class was Cam Brown, E.A. “Bud” Gingher, Olaf Kolzig and Darryl Noren; the 2011 class was Richard Adams, Phil Berger, Luke Curtin and Joe Ernst; the Class of 2012 was Bill Coffey, Sheldon Gorski, John Marks, Dave Seitz and Bob Woods; the 2013 class was David Craievich, Marc Magliarditi, Steve Poapst and Darren Schwartz; the Class of 2014 was James Edwards, Wes Goldie, Al MacIsaac and John Spoltore while the Class of 2015 was Darren Colbourne, Louis Dumont, Scott Sabatino and Carl Scheer. Inductees are enshrined in the ECHL Hall of Fame, which is open around the clock online at ECHLHallOfFame.com, as well as being recognized at the league office in Princeton, N.J. and in the ECHL section at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario.
The third-longest tenured professional hockey league, behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League has grown from five teams in four states in 1988-89 into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 28th season in 2015-16.
Hall of Fame members are selected in four categories: Player, Developmental Player, Builder, and Referee/Linesman. No more than five candidates may be elected to the ECHL Hall of Fame each year with no more than three Players, one Developmental Player, two Builders and one Referee/Linesman. The Developmental Player, Builder and the Referee/Linesman categories are dependent upon the number of candidates in the Player category.
The nomination and/or selection of candidates will be determined by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee and its Chairman Patrick J. Kelly.
Only members of the Selection Committee, the Board of Governors, teams or persons affiliated with the ECHL may submit official nominations which must be made in writing to the league office. Fans are encouraged to contact their team to propose names for nomination.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 28th season in 2015-16. There have been 580 players who have started their career in the ECHL who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 11 who have made their NHL debuts during the 2015-16 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 NHL teams in 2015-16, marking the 18th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.