The ECHL announced on Monday that Detroit Red Wings Senior Vice President and Alternate Governor Jim Devellano, a 2010 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame, will serve as the keynote speaker during the 2015 ECHL Hall of Fame Luncheon presented by BFL CANADA.
The eighth class will be inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame on Jan. 21, 2015 during a luncheon ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown, the official host hotel of the 2015 CCM / ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Visit Orlando. The induction Class of 2015 includes Darren Colbourne, Louis Dumont, Scott Sabatino and Carl Scheer.
Table tickets for this limited special event are available through the Orlando Solar Bears. Table sponsorships include nine tickets and a company acknowledgement, as well as a 2015 ECHL All-Star or Orlando Solar Bears player joining the table for lunch. For more information on how to order your tickets for this commemorative event, please contact the Solar Bears at (407) 951-8200.
Entering his 33rd season with the Red Wings and his 48th overall in the National Hockey League, Jim Devellano continues to be a driving force behind Detroit’s success, as well as a strong influence in the evolution and improvement of the league itself. Devellano can be credited with carefully building Detroit’s 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008 Stanley Cup championship teams through the Entry Draft, savvy trades and aggressive free agent acquisitions.
He choreographed the Red Wings’ steady rise into the powerful club that has reached the Stanley Cup Final six times and lifted the coveted Cup in triumph four times, giving Devellano his fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh Stanley Cup rings (three with New York Islanders and four with Detroit).
Devellano was the first individual hired by owners Mike and Marian Ilitch after purchasing the Red Wings in June, 1982. He was the team’s general manager for eight seasons before ascending to his current position as senior vice-president on July 13, 1990. An excellent judge of talent throughout his 47 years in the NHL, Devellano believes that building a solid foundation begins with a capable scouting staff and strong Entry Draft selections. Evidence of the wisdom in this plan can be seen in Devellano’s first draft as Red Wings general manager when he tabbed future Hall-of-Famer Steve Yzerman in the 1983 Entry Draft to be the cornerstone of the franchise.
Devellano was one of the first NHL general managers to assemble a strong European scouting staff back in 1984, a progressive move that has produced several Red Wings standouts including Russians Sergei Fedorov, Slava Kozlov, Vladimir Konstantinov and Pavel Datsyuk, and Swedes Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall.
Devellano’s lengthy tenure as head of hockey operations for the Red Wings is second only to the 35 years served by the late Jack Adams, the legendary GM credited with building the Red Wing dynasty of the 1950’s. In addition to his duties as senior vice-president, Devellano serves as the team’s alternate on the NHL’s Board of Governors.
His litany of accomplishments while in Detroit earned him induction into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
He has been instrumental in many historical decisions in the National Hockey League. In 1980, it was Devellano who campaigned to have the annual NHL Entry Draft moved from a hotel ballroom into various NHL arenas, transforming the draft into an exciting fan-friendly event for fans of all NHL teams to witness what occurs with each team as the draft takes place. Devellano was also responsible for bringing the Entry Draft to the United States for the very first time on June 13, 1987, at Joe Louis Arena. More recently, it was at Devellano’s suggestion that the NHL instituted a new overtime format beginning with the 1999-2000 season that includes skating four aside as well as one point for each team following a five-minute overtime and an additional point if a team is victorious in overtime.
Devellano’s extraordinary contributions to the cities of St. Louis, Indianapolis, New York and Detroit helped earn him the Lester Patrick Award in October, 2009, for his outstanding service to the sport of hockey in the United States. Devellano also reached the pinnacle of his profession when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builder Category on Nov. 8, 2010, in Toronto.
Devellano is currently a member of the International Society of Hockey Research and is part owner of the Indianapolis Indians (AAA) baseball team. He recently authored a book, “The Road To Hockeytown”, that chronicles his more than 40 incredible years in the game of hockey.
On a personal level, in 2003 Devellano set up two private foundations supporting mostly children’s charities in the United States and Canada.
In June, 2001 Mike Ilitch named Devellano Senior Vice-President of MLB’s Detroit Tigers.
Ten coaches from the ECHL All-Star Game have gone on to coach in the National Hockey League while 62 players from the contest have gone on to play in the NHL, including 46 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
The ECHL All-Star Fan Fest, presented by Walgreen’s, with player appearances, interactive game, prizes, giveaways, auctions, memorabilia, and a special Hockey Hall of Fame exhibit, will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 20. On Wednesday, Jan. 21, the day’s events include the ECHL Hall of Fame Luncheon and the 2015 CCM / ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Visit Orlando. Select ECHL Skills competitions will be held the same night and will be incorporated into the evening’s events. Specific event details will be provided in the future.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 21 teams in 14 states for its 27th season in 2014-15. There have been 553 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 12 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2014-15 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 29 of the 30 NHL teams in 2014-15, 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.