MONTREAL, Quebec – The Montreal Canadiens have signed Benoit Dusablon, who played in the ECHL in 2003-04 with Charlotte. The Canadiens have reached an affiliation agreement for 2004-05 with Long Beach of the ECHL.
The 25-year-old Dusablon played the first three games of his NHL career with the New York Rangers in 2003-04. He was one of the record 11 players who played in both the ECHL and the NHL in 2003-04 and was one of the record 40 players that played in the NHL in 2003-04 after playing in the ECHL.
Signed as a free agent by the Rangers on June 12, 2002, Dusablon scored 20 points (10g-10a) in 19 games with Charlotte. He also played in the American Hockey League with Hartford, scoring 24 points (10g-14a) in 35 regular season games and seven points (2g-5a) in 16 playoff games.
The 6-2 and 209-pound Dusablon began his professional career in the ECHL in 2000-01, scoring five points (2g-3a) in 11 games with Johnstown and 50 points (21g-29a) in 49 games with Tallahassee, and returned in 2001-02, scoring 25 points (12g-13a) in 19 games with Charlotte.
There were former ECHL coaches behind the benches of 14 of the 28 teams in the American Hockey League and all 28 teams in the AHL had an ECHL player take the ice for them in 2003-04. The ECHL had affiliation agreements with 21 of the 28 teams in the AHL and there were over 90 players on AHL contracts in the ECHL in 2003-04. There were more than 220 players that played in both the ECHL and the AHL in 2003-04 and the ECHL had 425 call-ups, involving 234 players, to the AHL during the regular season.
For the 15th consecutive season, an ECHL player is a member of the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Champion. In addition to Claude Noel, who is in his first season as head coach, Milwaukee had eight players and radio announcer Kyle Schultz, who are all alumni of the ECHL.
The Premier “AA” Hockey League, the ECHL had affiliations with 21 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League in 2003-04 and every NHL team had an ECHL player play for it in 2003-04. Eleven players, including eight goaltenders, appeared in both the ECHL and the NHL in 2003-04, breaking the high of five players in 2001-02, and a total of 116 ECHL players played in the NHL in 2003-04. There have been 255 players that have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL.
For the fifth consecutive year the ECHL is represented on the Stanley Cup Champion with Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy as well as radio play-by-play announcer Dave Mishkin and assistant equipment manager Dana Heinze.