PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL in association with the Professional Hockey Players Association and The MeiGray Group announced on Wednesday the inaugural Captains’ Club Jersey Auction to benefit the Membership Assistance Program.
The Captains’ Club program was created in 2004, providing a game-worn jersey from the team captain on each of the teams in the ECHL.
“The Captains’ Club is a unique opportunity for fans and collectors to obtain a one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia while creating a valuable benefit for ECHL Players and their families,” said Larry Landon, Executive Director of the PHPA.
“When it comes to being a part of a hockey team, there is no better honor than being asked to wear the ‘C’,” said Barry Meisel, President and COO of the MeiGray Group. “We’re honored to work with the PHPA and offer these captains’ jerseys for a cause as worthy as the Membership Assistance Program.”
The Membership Assistance Program was established by the PHPA to provide its members access to counseling services for personal, work-related and behavioral health concerns such as emotional and psychological problems, including anxiety, anger and depression, stress, family and marital issues, bereavement, sexual abuse, addictions and general health issues.
Professional Hockey Players Association
Since its inception in 1967, the Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA) has continued to serve as an advocate of player interests. Currently, it is the U.S. National Labor Relations Board recognized collective bargaining unit for over 1400 players on 56 teams in the American Hockey League and the ECHL, respectively.
The MeiGray Group
The leading distributor of game-worn hockey jerseys and “Official Game-Worn Jersey Source of the ECHL,” The MeiGray Group sold over 800 game-worn ECHL jerseys in 2003-04 and has sold more than 1,700 since it began selling game-worn ECHL jerseys in 2002-03. The MeiGray Group, which has sold more than 19,000 game-worn jerseys since its inception in 1997, is partners with the National Hockey League in the NHL-MGG Game-Worn Jersey Authentication Program and also has working agreements with the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles, Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers and the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks.
The Premier “AA” Hockey League, the ECHL has affiliations with 24 of the 28 teams in the AHL and more than 100 players in the ECHL are on AHL contracts. The ECHL has affiliations with 23 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League and almost 100 players in the ECHL are on NHL contracts. The ECHL welcomed its first team outside the United States in 2004-05 with the addition of Victoria, British Columbia. The league has 28 teams playing in 16 states and one Canadian province in 2004-05 and has plans to welcome new teams in Arizona (Phoenix), California (Stockton) and Bradenton/Sarasota in 2005-06.