PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL has 54 former players on National Hockey League opening-day rosters surpassing the previous high of 53 players in 2003-04, and marking the third consecutive season that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on NHL season-opening rosters.
The list does not include Curtis Brown, Scott Gomez, Phillipe Sauve and Mark Smith, who all played in the ECHL for the first time in 2004-05 during the lockout.
The Premier “AA” Hockey League, the ECHL has a former player on 27 of the 30 teams and has affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams. Entering the 2005-06 season there have been 256 players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL.
In 2003-04 there were 40 former ECHL players who made their first NHL appearance after playing in the ECHL, including 11 who played in both the ECHL and the NHL in 2003-04. There were 115 former ECHL players who played in the NHL in 2003-04 as every NHL team in had a former ECHL player take the ice for at least one game.
For the fifth consecutive year that the Stanley Cup was awarded in 2004, the ECHL was represented as Tampa Bay had Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy as well as radio announcer Dave Mishkin and assistant equipment manager Dana Heinze.
Former ECHL Coaches and Players In NHL On Opening Day:
Anaheim – Assistant coach Dave Farrish (Louisiana, 2000-04 and Pensacola, 2004-05) and Todd Fedoruk (Trenton, 1999-2000).
Atlanta – Serge Aubin (Hampton Roads, 1995-96), Eric Boulton (Charlotte, 1996-98; Florida, 1998-99 and Columbia, 2004-05) and Shane Hnidy (Baton Rouge, 1996-97 and Florida, 2004-05).
Boston – Assistant coach Wayne Cashman (Pensacola, 1999-2000).
Buffalo – Assistant coach Brian McCutcheon (Columbus, 1996-97) and Martin Biron (South Carolina, 1997-98).
Calgary – Assistant coach Jim Playfair (Dayton, 1994-95) and Philippe Sauve (Mississippi, 2004-05).
Carolina – Head coach Peter Laviolette (Wheeling, 1997-98), Jesse Boulerice (New Orleans, 1998-99 and Trenton, 1999-2000) and Andrew Hutchinson (Toledo, 2002-03).
Chicago – Assistant coach Bruce Cassidy (Jacksonville, 1996-98 and Trenton, 1999-2000) and Curtis Brown (San Diego, 2004-05).
Colorado – David Aebischer (Chesapeake and Wheeling, 1997-98), Bob Boughner (Toledo, 1991-92), Andrew Brunette (Hampton Roads, 1993-94) and Antti Laaksonen (Charlotte, 1997-98).
Columbus – Francois Beauchemin (Mississippi, 2001-02) and Jody Shelley (Johnstown, 1998-2000).
Dallas – Garrett Burnett (Nashville and Jacksonville, 1995-96; Knoxville, 1996-97; Johnstown, 1997-98) and Johan Hedberg (Baton Rouge, 1997-98).
Detroit – Manny Legace (Richmond, 1996-97).
Edmonton – Assistant coach Charlie Huddy (Huntington, 1996-97), J.J. Hunter (Toledo, 2000-01; Columbus, 2001-04) and Mike Morrison (Columbus, 2002-03 and Greenville, 2004-05).
Florida – Eric Cairns (Birmingham, 1994-95 and Charlotte, 1995-96) and Jamie McLennan (Richmond, 1991-92).
Los Angeles – Joe Corvo (Hampton Roads, 1998-99), Jeff Cowan (Roanoke, 1996-97) and Jason LaBarbera (Charlotte, 2000-02).
Minnesota – Derek Boogaard (Louisiana, 2002-03) and Scott Ferguson (Wheeling, 1994-95).
Montreal – Francis Bouillon (Wheeling, 1996-97), Raitis Ivanans (Pensacola, 1999-2000; Toledo, 2001-02 and Baton Rouge, 2001-02), Michael Ryder (Tallahassee, 2000-01 and Mississippi, 2001-02) and Mark Streit (Tallahassee, 1999-2000).
Nashville – Assistant Coach Peter Horachek (Louisville, 1990-91 and Trenton, 2001-02), Vern Fiddler (Arkansas, 2000-01 and Roanoke, 2001-02), Simon Gamache (Greenville, 2001-02), Jeremy Stevenson (Greensboro, 1994-95 and South Carolina, 2004-05) and Tomas Vokoun (Wheeling, 1995-96).
New Jersey – Scott Gomez (Alaska, 2004-05), Darren Langdon (Dayton, 1992-93) and Krzysztof Oliwa (Raleigh, 1993-96).
New York Islanders – Assistant coach Jack Capuano (Knoxville, 1996-97 and Pee Dee, 1998-2005) and assistant coach Dan Bylsma (Greensboro, 1992-94).
New York Rangers – Dale Purinton (Charlotte, 1997-98 and Victoria, 2004-05).
Ottawa – Chris Neil (Mobile, 1999-2000).
Phoenix – Tyson Nash (Raleigh, 1995-96) and Steve Passmore (Raleigh, 1996-97).
Pittsburgh – Steve Poapst (Hampton Roads, 1991-93) and Andre Roy (Charlotte, 1997-98).
St. Louis – Assistant coach Don Granato (Columbus, 1997-99 and Peoria, 1999-2000), video/assistant strength & conditioning coach Jamie Kompon (Hampton Roads, 1989-90; Cincinnati, 1990-91 and Winston-Salem, 1990-91), Eric Boguniecki (Dayton, 1997-98), Aaron Downey (Hampton Roads, 1995-97), Patrick Lalime (Hampton Roads, 1994-95) and Matt Walker (Peoria, 2000-01).
San Jose – Mark Smith (Victoria, 2004-05).
Tampa Bay – Ruslan Fedotenko (Trenton, 1999-2000) and Nolan Pratt (Richmond, 1995-96).
Toronto – Alexander Khavanov (Birmingham and Raleigh, 1992-93) and Nathan Perrott (Jacksonville, 1997-98).
Vancouver – Assistant coach Barry Smith (Erie, 1992-96 and Baton Rouge, 1997-2000), Alex Auld (Columbia, 2001-02) and Fedor Fedorov (Columbia, 2001-02).
Washington – Olaf Kolzig (Hampton Roads, 1990-92) and Lawrence Nycholat (Jackson, 2000-01).