“We are proud to have our long-time partner CCM once again as the presenting sponsor of the 2011 ECHL All-Star event,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “The 2011 All-Star Classic will showcase the best that both CCM and the ECHL have to offer.”
“The ECHL All-Star Classic continues to be a venue that attracts top talent and allows Reebok-CCM to showcase our most innovative products such as the 11K Reebok Pump and the CCM CL skates, along with the 808 Reebok OTech and the CCM CL sticks,” said Glen Thornborough, Reebok-CCM Vice President of Global Sports Marketing. “Our long history with the ECHL affords us the opportunity to create a lasting relationship with players as they advance to the next level with aspirations of playing in the National Hockey League.”
CCM will receive promotional opportunities; in-arena signage, including dasherboards; television, radio and print advertisements; internet exposure and web site presence.
The Bakersfield Condors, the City of Bakersfield and Rabobank Arena will host the 19th Annual ECHL All-Star Classic on Jan. 26, 2011. In 2009-10 the Condors finished sixth in the ECHL with an average of 5,265 fans per game and led the 2010 Kelly Cup Playoffs with 4,691 per game. Bakersfield has averaged over 5,200 fans per game for six consecutive seasons.
“This October, CCM will introduce U+ Crazy Light hockey skates, where design and engineering have converged to create the most advanced skate in the hundred plus year history of the CCM brand. Our goal is to provide these elite athletes of the ECHL with the best possible products to showcase their natural talents,” Thornborough said.
CCM has been the exclusive supplier of hockey sticks, helmets, visors, gloves, pants, track suits and protective equipment for ECHL players the past six seasons and has been partners of the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League for more than 10 years. CCM is the official sponsor of the ECHL Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards.
Reebok-CCM Hockey, a subsidiary of the adidas Group, is headquartered in Montreal. With operations in Canada, the United States and Europe, the Company is the world’s largest designer, manufacturer and marketer of hockey equipment and related apparel under two of the most recognized hockey brand names: Reebok Hockey and CCM Hockey. Reebok-CCM Hockey equips more professional hockey players than any other company, including superstars like Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. Reebok-CCM Hockey is also the official outfitter of the National Hockey League, the Champions Hockey League, the American Hockey League, the Canadian Hockey League, the ECHL and several NCAA and national teams.
Eight coaches and 61 players from the All-Star Game have advanced to the National Hockey League. The annual midseason showcase is attended by representatives from the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League and there have been 44 players who have gone on to play in the NHL since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
The past eight ECHL All-Star Games have generated more than $1 million each for the local economy as guests, players, coaches and fans occupy hundreds of hotel rooms and spend three days in the host city.
The All-Star festivities will also include the official induction ceremony for the fourth class of the ECHL Hall of Fame.
The game has been available on live television the last eight years and the audio broadcast has been carried on XM Satellite Radio as well as being available in all ECHL markets.
The Stanley Cup and the Patrick J. Kelly Cup will both be on display throughout the event, marking the 11th time in the last 12 years that the NHL championship trophy and the ECHL championship trophy have been displayed together at the All-Star Game.
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 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.
* 443 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including a record 53 in 2008-09.
* 35 ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2009-10. The most recent were: former Dayton, Kalamazoo, Mississippi and South Carolina goaltender Jeremy Duchesne (Philadelphia on April 1), former South Carolina Stingrays and Utah Grizzlies center Micheal Haley (New York Islanders on April 10), former Mississippi SeaWolves defenseman Scott Jackson (Tampa Bay on April 11), former Alaska and Las Vegas left wing and 2004 ECHL All-Star Charles Linglet (Edmonton on April 2) and former Texas Wildcatters defenseman Maxim Noreau (Minnesota on April 8).
* 6 players played in the ECHL and the NHL in 2009-10: Kyle Calder with Bakersfield and Anaheim, Tomas Kana with Alaska and Columbus, Jeremy Duchesne with Kalamazoo and Philadelphia, 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 251 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.
* 187 ECHL players have played their first game in the last five seasons for an average of more than 37 per year.
* ECHL had a record 78 players on NHL opening-day rosters, surpassing the 71 from a year ago and marking the seventh 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 and the league has affiliations with 27 of the 30 NHL teams, marking the 14th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
* 24 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 head coach Scott Gordon, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and St. Louis Blues head coach Davis Payne. It is the fifth 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.
* 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 Herbert, 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, Bryan Pancich, 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 Leagueâ€™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 National Hockey League 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, Bob McElligott and John Michael of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Rob Simpson, who is a producer/host for The NHL Network.
* 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 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 4,485 fans per game in 2009-10, the highest average since 1999-00. 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.
* There have been more than 75 million fans who have attended over 17,000 games since the ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states.
* Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.