The ECHL on Tuesday announced that Richard Matvichuk of the Missouri Mavericks is the inaugural recipient of the League’s Hockey Executive of the Year award. The award is determined by a vote of ECHL coaches.
In his second season as the Mavericks’ head coach and director of hockey operations, Matvichuk led Missouri to the Brabham Cup title as ECHL regular-season champions with a 52-15-5 record for 109 points. Missouri improved by 44 points over last season, tying the eighth-best single-season point increase in league history. The Mavericks won 29 home games this season, tied for the second most wins on home ice in a single-season in ECHL history.
Matvichuk also helped the Mavericks form an affiliation with the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders and the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers which resulted in 16 players under either an NHL or an AHL contract being assigned to Missouri over the course of the season, including Ross Johnston, who made his NHL debut with the Islanders on April 10.
Matvichuk, who also received the John Brophy Award as ECHL Coach of the Year, was named as the second coach in team history on June 12, 2014 after previously working with the Allen Americans of the Central Hockey League for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons as defensive coach and assistant general manager, winning back-to-back championships.
Matvichuk had a successful 14-year career in the National Hockey League, drafted eighth overall in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota North Stars. He went on to play 11 seasons for the Dallas Stars, winning the Stanley Cup in 1999, before moving on to play for the New Jersey Devils for the final two seasons of his career from 2005-07.