ECHL Board Of Governors Annual Meeting

PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL held its Annual Board of Governors Meeting in Henderson, Nev. on June 14-15.

The following items were approved by the Governors:

Gwinnett’s Chapman Re-Elected Chairman Of The Board

Steve Chapman of the Gwinnett Gladiators was unanimously re-elected to serve a second term as Chairman of the Board of Governors. Chapman was named ECHL Executive of the Year in 2005 and 2006 becoming the first person in league history to win the award twice.

Division, Conference Alignments Finalized

The following division and conference alignments were unanimously approved by the Board for 2007-08:

American Conference (16 teams)

North Division (7 teams) – Cincinnati, Dayton, Elmira, Johnstown, Reading, Trenton and Wheeling

South Division (9 teams) – Augusta, Charlotte, Columbia, Florida, Gwinnett, Mississippi, Pensacola, South Carolina and Texas

National Conference (9 teams)

West Division (5 teams) – Alaska, Idaho, Phoenix, Utah and Victoria

Pacific Division (4 teams) – Bakersfield, Fresno, Las Vegas and Stockton

2008 Kelly Cup Playoffs Format Approved

The Board unanimously approved the format for the 2008 Kelly Cup Playoffs as follows.

In the National Conference, playoff berths will be awarded to the first-place team in each division as well as to the next six-best teams, based on regular-season point totals. The division winners will be seeded first and second in order of points and the next six-best teams will be seeded third through eighth in order of points. Teams will not be re-seeded and all series will be best-of-seven games.

In the South Division, playoff berths will be awarded to the first-place team as well as to the next seven-best teams, based on regular-season point totals. The division winner will be seeded first and the next seven-best teams will be seeded second through eighth in order of points. In the Division Semifinals and the Division Finals, teams will be re-seeded according to the same criteria as the Division Quarterfinals. The Division Quarterfinals, Division Semifinals and Division Finals will all be best-of-five series. The South Division winner will advance to the American Conference Finals to meet the winner of the North Division in a best-of-seven series.

In the North Division, playoff berths will be awarded to the first-place team as well as to the next four-best teams, based on regular-season point totals. The fourth seed and the fifth seed will play a best-of-three series in the Division Quarterfinals with the winner advancing to meet the division leader in the Division Semifinals, a best-of-seven series that will also have the second seed playing the third seed. The winners will advance to the best-of-seven Division Finals with the winner advancing to the American Conference Finals to meet the winner of the South Division in a best-of-seven series.

The winner of the American Conference and the winner of the National Conference will meet in the Kelly Cup Finals, a best-of-seven game series. Home-ice advantage in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, including the Finals, will be determined by points.

2008 Kelly Cup Playoffs Format

National Conference Quarterfinals (Best-of-Seven Series)
No. 1 Seed (Division Winner) vs. No. 8 Seed
No. 2 Seed (Division Winner) vs. No. 7 Seed
No. 3 Seed vs. No. 6 Seed
No. 4 Seed vs. No. 5 Seed

Semifinals (Best-of-Seven Series)
Winner of No. 1 Seed/No. 8 Seed vs. Winner of No. 4 Seed/No. 5 Seed
Winner of No. 2 Seed/No. 7 Seed vs. Winner of No. 3 Seed/No. 6 Seed

Finals (Best-of-Seven Series)
Semifinals Winner vs. Semifinals Winner

American Conference

South Division Quarterfinals (Best-of-Five Series)
No. 1 Seed (Division Winner) vs. No. 8 Seed
No. 2 Seed vs. No. 7 Seed
No. 3 Seed vs. No. 6 Seed
No. 4 Seed vs. No. 5 Seed

South Division Semifinals (Best-of-Five Series)
Teams will be re-seeded according to the same criteria as Conference Quarterfinals with division leader seeded first and remaining teams seeded in order of regular-season points

South Division Finals (Best-of-Five Series)
Teams will be re-seeded according to the same criteria as Conference Semifinals

North Division Quarterfinals (Best-of-Three Series)
No. 5 Seed vs. No. 4 Seed

North Division Semifinals (Best-of-Seven Series)
No. 1 Seed (Division Winner) vs. Winner of No. 4 Seed/No. 5 Seed
No. 2 Seed vs. No. 3 Seed

North Division Finals (Best-of-Seven Series)
Winner of No. 1 Seed/Quarterfinals Winner vs. Winner of No. 2 Seed/No. 3 Seed

American Conference Finals (Best-of-Seven Series)
North Division Winner vs. South Division Winner

2008 Kelly Cup Finals (Best-of-Seven Series)
National Conference Champion vs. American Conference Champion

Reno Group Receives Extension To Finalize Arena Project

The Board unanimously approved a request from Reno for a one-year extension to its Home Arena Pending as the ownership group continues its work toward an arena project.

Long Beach Membership Terminated

The ECHL announced that the membership of the Long Beach Ice Dogs has been terminated, effective immediately. The termination of the membership comes as a result of the Long Beach ownership group being unable to continue to operate in 2007-08.

ECHL
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 “Official Broadband Broadcast Provider 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 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 24 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.

2008 ECHL All-Star Game and Skills Competition will be hosted by Stockton Thunder, City of Stockton and Stockton Arena on Jan. 22-23, 2008.

Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.