ECHL Board of Governors announces major moves

The following items were approved by the Board at the Mid-season Board of Governors Meeting, held in Orlando, Florida in conjunction with the 2015 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Visit Orlando.

Transfer of Controlling Interest in Stockton

The Board of Governors approved the Transfer of Controlling Interest in the Stockton Thunder Membership from SC Hockey Franchise Corporation, an entity controlled by Brad Rowbotham, to Adirondack Flames Canada Limited, an entity controlled by the Calgary Flames Limited Partnership.

“Brad has been a passionate owner and an active member of our Board. We wish him nothing but success in his future endeavors” ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna said. “We welcome the Flames ownership group to our League as they add an ECHL team to their impressive list of teams at various levels.”

Transfer of Home Territory for Bakersfield, Ontario and Stockton

The Board of Governors approved the Transfer of Home Territory from Bakersfield, Calif. to Norfolk, Va.; the Home Territory from Ontario, Calif. to Manchester, N.H. and the Home Territory from Stockton, Calif. to Glens Falls, N.Y. The teams will begin play in their new cities in the 2015-16 season.

“These transfers represent a major move by the ECHL and a significant transformation of the minor league hockey landscape,” McKenna said. “While we are exiting some strong, traditional ECHL markets in California, the move is in the best, long-term interest of hockey and will allow for better alignment in the development system.”

Las Vegas voluntarily withdraws Membership

The Las Vegas Wranglers have voluntarily withdrawn from Membership in the ECHL. The Wranglers were under a Voluntary Suspension for the 2014-15 season but were unable to find a location to play for the 2015-16 season and beyond.

“We are disappointed that the Wranglers will not play in the 2015-16 season,” McKenna said. “The team had developed a strong following over the past decade at the Orleans Arena, which is an outstanding facility. We would like to thank the fans for their support and thank Gary Jacobs for his efforts on behalf of the Wranglers and the ECHL.”

Las Vegas is now an open territory.

Cap on Memberships

The Board of Governors approved a cap on the number of ECHL Memberships at 30. The League currently operates with 28 teams in the United States and Canada.

About the ECHL

Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 20 states and one Canadian province for its 27th season in 2014-15. There have been 554 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 13 who made their NHL debuts in the 2013-14 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 29 of the 30 NHL teams in 2014-15, marking the 18th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at as well as on Facebook and Twitter.