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ECHL introduces Inclusive Spirit Award

Award will recognize an ECHL organization for making hockey more inclusive

LAS VEGAS – The ECHL announced on Monday the introduction of the Inclusive Spirit Award, which will recognize an ECHL Member Team that demonstrates outstanding initiative in making hockey more inclusive and diverse throughout their market and growing the game. ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin made the announcement during his opening remarks at the 2021 ECHL Hockey Summer Meetings.

“While our teams are already doing outstanding work in their communities by reaching out and welcoming all people to our great game, this Award shows our commitment to this effort,” said ECHL Commissioner, Ryan Crelin. “We look forward to now recognizing the great works our teams are doing and highlighting that hockey is for everyone.”

This annual award will highlight a Member Team that demonstrates a cumulative, organization-wide effort over the course of the entire season to reach out and include diverse groups in hockey. The winner of the award will be announced each year during the League’s Annual Award Ceremony in conjunction with the ECHL Hockey Summer Meetings.

About the ECHL

Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 27 teams in 20 states and two Canadian provinces for its 34th season in 2021-22. There have been 698 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 20 who made their NHL debuts in the 2020-21 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 25 of the 31 NHL teams in 2020-21, marking the 24th 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 Twitter and Facebook.