PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL Board of Governors held their Preseason Meeting on Friday in Chicago.
Upon the recommendation of the Rules Committee, the Board approved the adoption of the following new rules for 2008-09:
Any player who shoots the puck directly over the glass from his defending zone will be assessed a minor penalty for delay of game, consistent with the rule in both the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
The ice will be dry-scraped with the Zamboni prior to the shootout, using the same guidelines and procedure set forth by the National Hockey League.
Teams may sign up to two players, who have concluded their season and who are without any obligation to their amateur club, to Amateur Tryout Agreements, pending approval by the Professional Hockey Players’ Association.
The Board also heard presentations from Aspire Group president Bernie Mullen, who has over 30 years of experience in the sports and entertainment business with the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and college athletics, as well as Greg Bell, who is the Chairman and CEO of B2 Networks and Pat Kelleher, who is the assistant executive director of membership development for USA Hockey.
Watch games live on B2 Networks, the “Official Broadband Broadcast Provider” of the ECHL.
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 23 teams playing 828 games in 16 states and British Columbia in 2008-09.
The Reading Royals, the City of Reading and the Sovereign Center will host the 17th Annual ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 21, 2009 and the 12th Annual All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 20, 2009.
The league officially changed its name to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the NHL, marking the 12th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
There have been 355 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 and 2007-08.
Former ECHL coaches working as head coaches in the NHL are Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals, Scott Gordon of the New York Islanders and Peter Laviolette of the Carolina Hurricanes. 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. 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.
The ECHL is represented for the eighth consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team in 2008 by Aaron Downey of the Detroit Red Wings.
The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League in 2007-08 and for the past 19 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 2,300 call ups involving more than 1,200 players. In each of the last three seasons there have been more than 225 players who have played in both the ECHL and the AHL in the same season.
Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.