PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced that Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Rod Pasma has been hired by the American Hockey League as Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations.
“Rod has made outstanding contributions to the ECHL during his tenure,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “This represents an outstanding opportunity for Rod and his career path. The hockey operations department at the ECHL steadily improved under his guidance.
“We wish him all the best but will certainly miss the professionalism, dedication and love of the League and the game that Rod brought to the office every day.”
Pasma was responsible for all aspects of the hockey department including on-ice discipline, officiating, ECHL central registry and administration, serving as the league contact with the Professional Hockey Players’ Association and interaction with other leagues on hockey matters. He .joined the ECHL in 2002 as director of hockey operations and was promoted to vice president of hockey operations in 2004 and to senior vice president of hockey operations in 2008.
Pasma was the director of compliance for the Central Hockey League in 2001-02 and was responsible for league discipline, salary cap and player transactions. He was Officiating Coordinator with the National Hockey League during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons, handling many aspects of the officiating department including scouting, supervision and evaluation of American Hockey League officials and the assignment of minor league officials and trainees.
Selected in the second round (30th overall) by the Washington Capitals in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, the defenseman played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League and three seasons at Laurentian University. Pasma, who received his economics degree from Laurentian, played one professional season with Louisiana in the ECHL in 1995-96.
He replaces Jim Mill, who worked 11 seasons in the AHL office before being named assistant to the general manager for the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League in June. Mill was the assistant director of hockey operations for the ECHL in 1997-98 and was also a goaltender in the ECHL, playing with Raleigh, Huntington, Roanoke and Tallahassee from 1992-96, and an assistant coach for Tallahassee in 1996-97.
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• 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 15 states and British Columbia in 2009-10.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• ECHL had affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League in 2008-09 marking the 12th consecutive year for affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 407 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
• 151 former ECHL players have played their first NHL game in the last four seasons.
• Record 52 former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2008-09 and eight players played in both the ECHL and the NHL: goaltenders Matt Climie (Idaho and Dallas), Riku Helenius (Elmira, Mississippi and Tampa Bay), Michal Neuvirth (South Carolina and Washington) and Marek Schwarz (Alaska and St. Louis), defensemen Wes O’Neill (Johnstown and Colorado), Raymond Macias (Johnstown and Colorado) and Kevin Quick (Augusta, Elmira and Tampa Bay) and right wing Joel Rechlicz (Utah and New York Islanders).
• There were 72 former ECHL players on NHL opening-day rosters.
• ECHL has been represented on last nine Stanley Cup champions including 2009 with Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, player Ruslan Fedotenko, equipment managers Dana Heinze and Dave Zeigler, athletic trainers Chris Stewart and Scott Adams and scout Derek Clancey.
• Former ECHL coaches working as head coaches in the NHL are Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals and Scott Gordon of the New York Islanders while former ECHL player Dan Bylsma is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. 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. Peter Laviolette, who began his coaching career with the Wheeling Nailers, led Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup in 2006.
• There are 15 assistant coaches in the NHL who were players or coaches in the ECHL.
• Eighteen former ECHL officials worked in the NHL in 2008-09 with referees David Banfield, Chris Ciamaga, Ghislain 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. Barton, Joannette, Leggo, McCauley, Nowak, Pollock, Rooney and Sharrers all worked the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
• ECHL has affiliations with 23 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 20 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.
• In the last six seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,500 call-ups involving more than 1,300 players since 2002-03.
• Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.