The ECHL announced on Thursday that the 2014 inductees for the ECHL Hall of Fame are James Edwards, Wes Goldie, Al MacIsaac and John Spoltore.
The four will be formally inducted as the seventh class of the ECHL Hall of Fame at a luncheon ceremony that will be held in conjunction with the 2014 ECHL Hockey Heritage Weekend presented by CCM in Anchorage, Alaska. The 2014 Hall of Fame luncheon, presented by BFL CANADA, will take place on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 at 12 Noon, at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa.
“This is certainly an outstanding class of inductees,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “Wes Goldie as the all-time leading goal scorer in League history and John Spoltore, one of the greatest playmakers averaging almost two points-per-game over his career, represent two great ECHL players. After humble beginnings in the ECHL, Al MacIsaac’s career achievements speak for themselves and Jim Edwards is honored for his hard work in guiding the League as Chairman during the formative years. We welcome all four for their unique contributions.”
James Edwards served as President for the Johnstown Chiefs from the 1995-96 season through 2002-03. He was the Chairman of the ECHL Board of Governors for four seasons from 1999-2000 through 2002-03. Edwards was instrumental in helping to keep the last remaining original ECHL team in its same city as the League continued to expand into larger markets and served as the Chairman of the Board as the ECHL approved expansion to include seven markets in the western United States for the 2003-04 season, making the League a coast-to-coast league.
Wes Goldie is the ECHL’s all-time leader in career goals with 370, breaking the previous mark of 368 held by 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Rod Taylor, and he ranks fourth in League history with 697 games played over 11 seasons with Pee Dee, Victoria and Alaska. He shares with Taylor the ECHL record for most 30-or-more goal seasons with eight, and he shares the league mark for most consecutive 30-plus goal seasons with six from 2006-07 through 2011-12. Goldie also had success in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, as he ranks fifth all-time in postseason games played with 84, third with 36 postseason goals and fifth with 78 points. He enjoyed perhaps his best season in 2010-11 with Alaska, earning ECHL Most Valuable Player honors with 83 points (46g-37a) in 72 games and adding 14 points (3g-11a) in 13 postseason contests as the Aces captured their second Kelly Cup title in team history.
Al MacIsaac played two seasons in the ECHL with the Hampton Roads Admirals in 1991-92 and 1992-93, scoring 73 points (22g-51a) in 95 career games. He was part of the Admirals’ 1992 Riley Cup championship team, scoring 10 points (1g-9a) in 14 postseason games and represented the club in the first-ever ECHL All-Star Game in 1993. MacIsaac also won an American Hockey League Calder Cup title with the Cape Breton Oilers in 1993. Following his playing career, MacIsaac became the Admirals’ assistant general manager/assistant coach, was promoted to general manager/assistant coach in 1996 and he earned a Kelly Cup championship ring with the club in 1998. MacIsaac is currently in his 14th season in the front office of the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks where he was part of the team’s 2010 and 2013 Stanley Cup titles, and is in his fourth season as the club’s Vice President of Hockey Operations.
John Spoltore, who passed away in 2010, made his mark on the ECHL Record Book while playing with the Louisiana Ice Gators from 1995-96 through 2000-01. He scored an amazing 532 points (142g-390a) in just 275 career ECHL games, an average of 1.93 points-per-game, and his 390 assists are tied for the third most in League history. His 1.15 assists-per-game average ranks tops in ECHL history and he fell just one assist shy of tying the League’s single-season assist record when he recorded 92 during the 1999-2000 season. He was named to the All-ECHL Second Team in 1997-98 before earning a spot on the All-ECHL First Team in each of the next two seasons. Spoltore represented the Ice Gators in the 1999 and 2000 ECHL All-Star Games, and he earned a Calder Cup title with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League in 1999 after tallying 12 points (6g-6a) in 11 postseason contests.
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 while the 2013 class was David Craievich, Marc Magliarditi, Steve Poapst and Darren Schwartz. 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 22 teams in 15 states for its 26th season in 2013-14.
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.
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• Watch games live on America ONE Sports, the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster” of the ECHL.
• The ECHL celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2012-13 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 22 teams in 15 states in 2013-14.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• 524 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 22 in 2012-13.
• 12 ECHL players have made their NHL debuts in 2013-14: former Reading Royals Will Acton (Edmonton on Oct. 1), former Kalamazoo Wings left wing Darren Archibald (Vancouver on Oct. 25), former Colorado Eagles defensemen Ben Chiarot (Winnipeg on Nov. 2) former San Francisco Bulls left wing Jamie Devane (Toronto on Oct. 5), former Idaho Steelheads left wing Luke Gazdic (Edmonton on Oct. 1), former Toledo Walleye center Luke Glendening (Detroit on Oct. 12), former Wheeling Nailers defenseman Alex Grant (Anaheim on Nov. 30), former Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Magnus Hellberg (Nashville on Oct. 26), former Ontario Reign goaltender Martin Jones (Los Angeles on Dec. 3), former Wheeling Nailers center Zach Sill (Pittsburgh on Nov. 16), former Greenville Road Warriors goaltender Cam Talbot (New York Rangers on Oct. 24) and former Ontario Reign goaltender Jeff Zatkoff (Pittsburgh on Oct. 11).
• The ECHL has had 332 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years.
• 268 ECHL players have played their first game in the last nine seasons for an average of more than 29 per year.
• ECHL had a record 93 players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2013-14, surpassing the 87 from 2012-13 and marking the 11th year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
• ECHL has affiliations with 27 of the 30 NHL teams in 2013-14, marking the 17th consecutive season that the league has affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 30 coaches with an ECHL background are working behind the benches of teams in the NHL including Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, Florida Panthers interim head coach Peter Horachek and Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel. It is the ninth consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL.
• 27 former ECHL officials are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2013-14 with referees Darcy Burchell, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Mike Leggo, Dave Lewis, T.J. Luxmore, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Graham Skilliter, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
• ECHL was represented for the 13th year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion in 2013 with Chicago Blackhaws assistant coach Jamie Kompon, players Sheldon Brookbank and Daniel Carcillo, vice president/assistant to the president Al MacIsaac, director of pro scouting Ryan Stewart and general manager of minor league affiliations Mark Bernard. The ECHL was represented by 53 former players and 18 coaches on the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the eighth year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the 10th consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.
• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the NHL include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Dave Goucher of the Boston Bruins, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Jack Michaels of the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Bob McElligott of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• Ryan Stanzel and Jeremy Zager, who were both recipients of the ECHL Media Relations Director of the Year award, are working in the communications department for the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively. Former ECHL assistant director of communications Joe Siville works in the communications department for the Philadelphia Flyers.
• In the last nine seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined 4,000 with over call-ups involving more than 2,100 players and in 2012-13 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
• The ECHL averaged 4,695 fans per game in 2012-13, the highest single-season average since 1999-2000, and marking the ninth consecutive season and the 21st time in the last 23 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans.