PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL on Tuesday announced its roster of on-ice officials for 2007-08 which includes 27 referees and 86 linesmen returning who worked in the league in 2006-07.
The Premier ï¿½AAï¿½ Hockey League has added new referees Adam Fish, Ghislain Hebert, Steve Patafie, Barry Pochmara and Ryan Sweeney, and new linesmen Greg Flueckinger, Jeremy Hutchins, Ryan Lewis and Paul Reid.
Bryan Lewis, former Director of Officiating for the National Hockey League who will oversee the ECHL officiating department, with assistance from Joe Ernst, who retired following the 2006-07 season after working 16 seasons as an on-ice official in the ECHL, the American Hockey League and the original International Hockey League.
ï¿½The ECHL officiating department is pleased to have new talented officials from both Canada and the United States working games this year,ï¿½ said Lewis ï¿½These officials, along with quality veteran officials both full-time and part-time, will enable ECHL games to be worked in a consistent and fair manner.ï¿½
Jim Doyle, Mark Faucette, Jerry Pateman and Ken Wheler return as officiating supervisors and will be joined by former ECHL referee Mike Pearce.
Eighteen former ECHL officials are part of the NHL officiating team for 2007-08 with referees David Banfield, Chris Ciamaga, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan Oï¿½Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre, Ian Walsh and Dean Warren, and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak and Jay Sharrers.
Complete list of ECHL referees and linesmen can be found on the ECHL web site at www.ECHL.com/Officials.shtml.
The league officially changed its name to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in three states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league that will have 25 teams playing in 17 states and British Columbia in 2007-08, including the Mississippi (Biloxi) Sea Wolves, who return after missing two seasons in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Opening Day for the 20th Anniversary Season will be Oct. 18 when the Johnstown Chiefs host the Wheeling Nailers at Cambria County War Memorial. The game is a rematch of Game 7 from the first-ever ECHL Finals played in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Cambria County War Memorial. The two teams will wear throwback jerseys for the Opening Day game that begins at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast worldwide on B2 Networks, the ï¿½Official Broadband Broadcast Providerï¿½ of the ECHL. The remaining teams will open their seasons the weekend of Oct. 19-21.
There have been 329 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, including a record 47 in 2005-06 and 26 in 2006-07. There have been 184 former ECHL players who have played their first game in the NHL in the past five seasons and 107 former ECHL players have skated in the NHL this season. More than 100 players under contract to NHL teams have played in the ECHL this season. The ECHL had affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League in 2006-07, marking the 10th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
The ECHL is represented for the seventh consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team in 2007 with Anaheim assistant coach Dave Farrish, players Francois Beauchemin and George Parros and broadcasters John Ahlers and Steve Carroll.
The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 27 teams in the American Hockey League in 2006-07 and for the past 17 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup champion.
In each of the last two seasons there have been more than 225 players who have played in both the ECHL and the AHL and there were over 800 call-ups involving more than 500 players.
In the last five seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,000 call-ups involving more than 1,000 players since 2002-03.
Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.