In lieu of an All-Star Game this season, the ECHL and The MeiGray Group are giving fans the opportunity to vote for players to comprise the 2012 Fantasy Team. Two players from each member team will be selected to wear the Silver Skater Fantasy Team jerseys at a predetermined, upcoming home game.
Each ECHL team has preselected four players to appear on their team’s ballot, while fans have the opportunity to also write-in a selection of their choice. The top two vote-getters on each team will wear a team jersey with adramatic and unique silver teamcrestand event patch during the designated dates.
Click here to view the complete 2012 Silver Skater Fantasy Team ballot.
Voting is now open on ECHL.com. Fans are limited to one ballot during the voting period, which runs until 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 5. Fans can vote for up to one player on each ECHL member team’s ballot before hitting the “Cast Vote” button at the bottom of the voting page. The results of the Silver Skater Fantasy Team voting will be announced the week of Feb. 20.
“The Meigray/ECHL partnership has brought our fans authentic game-worn jerseys for over a decade now, and we are excited to announce the new ECHL Silver Skater Fantasy Team Program,” said Tara Crane, ECHL Vice President of Marketing & Licensing. “Fans will be involved now more than ever as they have the opportunity to select which players will make the Silver Skater Team and adorn the customized Silver Skater jersey, which will be limited to only two jerseys per team.”
“Fantasy meets reality,” said Barry Meisel, MeiGray President and COO. “The ECHL has done it again, thinking outside the box to give fans a new and exciting opportunity to tell us who the Silver Skaters should be. These are going to be very special, specialty jerseys – one of a kind.”
Silver Skater jerseys will be available for bid starting Monday, March 5. A complete list of teams and auction dates will be announced at a later date.
The selected Silver Skaters will wear the one-of-a-kind jersey per the game schedule below.
Friday, Feb. 24
Saturday, Feb. 25
Wednesday, Feb. 29
Friday, March 2
Saturday, March 3
Friday, March 9
Friday, March 16
Tuesday, March 20
About The MeiGray Group
The leading distributor of game-worn hockey jerseys, The MeiGray Group sold more than 700 game-worn ECHL jerseys in 2010-11 and has sold more than 6,000 since it became “The Official Game-Worn Jersey Source of the ECHL” in 2002-03.
The MeiGray Group, which has sold more than 50,000 game-worn jerseys since its inception in 1997, partners with USA Hockey and directs the NHL-MeiGray Game-Worn Jersey Authentication Program. MeiGray Group also partners with the National Basketball Association.
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• Watch games live on America One, the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster” of the ECHL.
• The ECHL celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08 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 20 teams in 16 states in 2011-12.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• 482 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 23 in 2010-11.
• 15 ECHL players have made their NHL debut in 2011-12: former Victoria Salmon Kings defenseman Jordie Benn (Dallas on Jan. 3), former Bakersfield Condors and Elmira Jackals defenseman Stu Bickel (New York Rangers on Dec. 20), former Greenville Road Warriors defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon (Philadelphia on Nov. 21), former South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Joe Finley (Buffalo on Dec. 2), former Victoria Salmon Kings defenseman Kris Fredheim (Minnesota on Nov. 17), former Elmira Jackals center Mike Hoffman (Ottawa on Dec. 23), former Victoria Salmon Kings goaltender Leland Irving (Calgary on Dec. 16), former Toledo Storm and Reading Royals center Bracken Kearns (Florida on Oct. 20), Stockton Thunder center Milan Kytnar (Edmonton on Jan. 11), former Bakersfield Condors center Maxime Macenauer (Anaheim on Oct. 7), former Idaho Steelheads center and two-time ECHL All-Star Greg Rallo (Florida on Dec. 18), former Cincinnati Cyclones center Ryan Russell (Columbus on Jan. 7), former Reading Royals goaltender Ben Scrivens (Toronto on Nov. 3), former Cincinnati Cyclones defenseman Frederic St. Denis (Montreal on Nov. 16) and former Ontario Reign defenseman Colten Teubert (Edmonton on Nov. 3).
• The ECHL has had 290 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.
• 226 ECHL players have played their first game in the last seven seasons for an average of more than 32 per year.
• ECHL had a record 81 players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2011-12, surpassing the 79 from 2010-11 and marking the ninth year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
• ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams, marking the 15th consecutive season that the league had 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 in 2011-12 including Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and 2011 Jack Adams Award winner Dan Bylsma, New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel. It is the seventh consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL. Boudreau, who coached Mississippi for three seasons winning the Kelly Cup championship in 1999, was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08 becoming the first former ECHL coach to receive the award.
• 22 former ECHL officials are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2011-12 with referees David Banfield, Francis Charron, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre, Graham Skilliter and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Matt MacPherson, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
• ECHL was represented for the 11th year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion with Boston Bruins assistant coach Geoff Ward, players Rich Peverley, Michael Ryder and Tim Thomas, radio broadcaster Dave Goucher and scout Tom McVie. Thomas is the first former ECHL player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There were 34 former players and 19 coaches on the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the sixth year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the eighth consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.
• Former Hampton Roads Admirals left wing Andrew Brunette became the first ECHL alum to play in 1,000 regular-season NHL games when he reached the milestone with the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 1, 2011.
• Former ECHL and current Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was the recipient of the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the NHL in 2010-11, marking the second time he has won the award in the past three seasons. Thomas set a single-season NHL record with a .938 save percentage.
• Former ECHL player and current Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was the recipient of the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year in 2010-11.
• ECHL was represented in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game by Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins, while former ECHL coaches Mike Haviland and Peter Laviolette served as coaches for the All-Star Game.
• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the NHL include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Tom Callahan of the Nashville Predators, 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 and Kelly Murray are now with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals, respectively, while former ECHL director of communications Jason Rothwell is the creative director for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• In the last seven seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 3,000 call-ups involving more than 1,600 players and in 2010-11 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
• The ECHL averaged 4,339 fans per game in 2010-11, marking the seventh consecutive season and the 19th time in the last 21 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans.