King To Work 500th ECHL Game On Friday

PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced that linesman Ray King will work his 500th ECHL game on Friday in Elmira, N.Y. when the Jackals host the Trenton Devils.

 

King is just the seventh linesman in the 23-year history of the ECHL to reach the 500-game milestone. He is in his 11th season as an ECHL linesman and worked the 2008 and 2009 Conference Finals as well as the 2008 Kelly Cup Finals. The 34 year old was selected to work the 2008 ECHL All-Star Game in Stockton.

 

King worked his first ECHL game on Oct. 8, 2000 in Johnstown along with referee Terry Wicklum and linesman Mike McDevitt.

 

“This is a special milestone to reach as Ray is one of only seven linesmen to reach this regular-season game total in the history of the ECHL. It shows the dedication and passion he has for the League,” said ECHL Director of Officiating Joe Ernst. “I personally want to congratulate Ray for reaching this milestone as he has been an official that we have leaned on for leadership over the past few seasons with our young staff.”

 

“I am proud of this milestone in my career,” King said. “I have had the good fortune to work with, and for, some of the best people in the hockey and officiating world. I have to credit Joe Ernst, Bryan Lewis, Brian McKenna, and the countless others for all they have done for myself and for the ECHL. The ECHL is the best AA hockey and I look forward to each and every game, and I know that will never change.”

 

King was awarded the 2010 Ryan Birmingham Award, which honors an On-Ice Official for his contributions and dedication to the league officiating staff and is determined in voting of ECHL On-Ice Officials. It is named in honor of ECHL linesman Ryan Birmingham who tragically lost his life in an automobile accident in May 2007.

 

There are 21 former ECHL officials are working as part of the NHL officiating team in 2010-11 with referees David Banfield, Francis Charron, Chris Ciamaga, 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 and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.

 

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 19 teams in 14 states and British Columbia in 2010-11.

• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.

451 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 35 in 2009-10.

• Eight ECHL players have made their NHL debut this season: former South Carolina Stingrays left wing Stefan Della Rovere (St. Louis on Dec. 1), former Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies and Idaho Steelheads defenseman Brian Fahey (Washington on Oct. 16), former South Carolina Stingrays goaltender and 2010 ECHL All-Star Braden Holtby (Washington on Nov. 7), former Texas Wildcatters left wing Matt Kassian (Minnesota on Nov. 5), former Ontario Reign center Dwight King (Los Angeles on Nov. 17), former Trenton Titans defenseman Olivier Magnan (New Jersey on Oct. 21), former Trenton Devils center Brad Mills (New Jersey on Oct. 30) and former Alaska Aces right wing Ryan Reaves (St. Louis on Oct. 11).

• 6 players played in the ECHL and the NHL in 2009-10: Kyle Calder with Bakersfield and Anaheim, Jeremy Duchesne with Kalamazoo and Philadelphia, Tomas Kana with Alaska and Columbus, Dan Sexton with Bakersfield and Anaheim, MacGregor Sharp with Bakersfield and Anaheim and Matt Zaba with Charlotte and the New York Rangers.

• The ECHL has had 259 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.

• 195 ECHL players have played their first game in the last six seasons for an average of more than 32 per year.

• ECHL had a record 79 players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2010-11, surpassing the 78 from 2009-10 and marking the eighth year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.

• Every ECHL team has an affiliation with an NHL team in 2010-11 and the league has affiliations with 27 of the 30 NHL teams, marking the 14th 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 including Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau, New York Islanders  interim head coach Jack Capuano, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and St. Louis Blues head coach Davis Payne. It is the sixth 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.

• 20 former ECHL officials are working as part of the NHL officiating team in 2010-11 with referees David Banfield, Francis Charron, Chris Ciamaga, 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 and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak and Jay Sharrers..

• ECHL was represented for the 10th year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion with Chicago Blackhawks assistant coaches Mike Haviland and John Torchetti, developmental goaltending coach Wade Flaherty, senior director of hockey administration Al MacIsaac, general manager of minor league affiliations Mark Bernard and scout Ryan Stewart. There were 35 former players and 14 former coaches on 15 of the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the fifth year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the seventh 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, 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 and John Michael 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.

• ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the American Hockey League in 2010-11 and for the past 21 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.

• 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 1,500 players and in 2009-10 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.

• The ECHL averaged 4,486 fans per game in 2009-10, the highest single-season average since 1999-00, and is the only minor professional hockey league to increase average attendance each of the last three seasons. It is the sixth consecutive season and the 18th time in the last 20 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans and the league drew over 3 million fans for the 17th year in a row.

• Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.