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Frequently Asked Questions


What do the letters ECHL stand for?

In a change reflective of the nationwide presence of the ECHL, the East Coast Hockey League changed its name to simply ECHL on May 19, 2003. The leading professional developmental league for the American Hockey and the National Hockey League, ECHL has an identity that is well known within North American hockey circles.


How can I try out for an ECHL team?

Because the ECHL does not hold a draft like the National Hockey League, individual teams are responsible for recruiting and signing their players. Players should contact the general manager or coach of an individual team to see if there is an opportunity for them to play in the ECHL.


Did the East Coast Hockey League merge with the West Coast Hockey League and the Central Hockey League?

The East Coast Hockey League and West Coast Hockey League did not merge. The WCHL ceased operations after completing its season in 2002-03. The teams from the defunct WCHL, along with Las Vegas, joined as expansion teams for the ECHL’s 16th season in 2003-04. Similarly, prior to the 2014-15 season, seven teams from the defunct Central Hockey League joined the ECHL as expansion teams.


When is the All-Star Break?

The 2024 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 15, 2024 at Enmarket Arena in Savannah, Georgia. The All-Star Break is Tuesday, Jan. 16-Thursday, Jan. 18. There are to be no games, practices or team events during the All-Star Break.


What is the salary cap in the ECHL?

The weekly salary cap for 2023-24 is $14,870 per week for the first 30 days of the season and $14,350 per week for the balance of the season. The weekly salary floor is $10,900.


What is the minimum salary for an ECHL player?

Teams are required in 2023-24 to pay rookie players a minimum salary of $520 per week and returning players a minimum salary of $565 per week. A returning player is classified as a player who appeared on a team’s season-ending or playoff roster or who has played in 25 or more professional hockey games.


What is the NHL/AHL affiliate payment?

The NHL/AHL affiliate payment for 2023-24 is $525 per week. Any affiliate amount other than $525 per week agreed upon with any NHL/AHL club will be considered a salary cap violation. This includes excess payments for equipment, travel, etc.


Does the ECHL play overtime?

During all preseason and regular season ECHL games, if at the end of the three (3) regular twenty (20) minute periods, the score shall be tied, each team shall be awarded a point in the ECHL standings.

The teams will then play an additional overtime of not more than seven (7) minutes with the team scoring first declared the winner and being awarded an additional point. The overtime period shall be played with each team at a numerical strength of three (3) skaters and one (1) goaltender.

If at the end of the seven (7) minute overtime, the score shall remain tied, then a shootout will occur. The shootout will be commenced immediately following a one (1) minute rest period during which the players will remain on the ice. The teams will not change ends for the shootout.


How many players can dress for each game?

Teams may dress a maximum of nineteen (19) players for each regular season and playoff game, of which two (2) must be goaltenders. No team can play with only one designated goaltender on the lineup card.


How many veteran players are allowed in the ECHL?

Each ECHL team shall be limited to four veteran players (excluding goaltenders) on its Active Roster and Reserve during the Season (Regular Season and Playoffs).


What constitutes a veteran player in the ECHL?

A veteran shall mean a player, other than a goaltender, who has played in at least 260 regular season games of professional hockey. Provided however, any player signed to a NHL or AHL contract which contains an ECHL assignment provision shall be exempt from the foregoing rule. Notwithstanding the above, any player assigned to an ECHL member team on a NHL or AHL contract shall be deemed to be a veteran if said player is 24 years or older and has participated in 260 regular season professional hockey games as of the opening day of the season of said year.


What games count towards determining a player’s veteran status?

Games played for the Olympic or National Team of any country do not count as professional games and will not be applicable toward the 260 professional games needed to be classified as a veteran. The ECHL will use the International Section of current and previous National Hockey League Year In Review books to determine professional games played outside North America. If a player’s statistics are included in this section, those games will be considered to be professional games played and applicable toward his veteran status. Games played in all professional North American leagues at the "AA" level or higher, past and present, will count toward a player’s veteran status.

European leagues that count towards veteran status in the ECHL are the top leagues in the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland.


What constitutes a rookie in the ECHL?

A rookie is any player who has played less than 25 regular season games of professional hockey.


What is the ECHL roster limit?

ECHL teams can carry a maximum of 20 players (21 for the first 30 days of the regular season) on their active roster (not counting players on reserve or injured reserve).


What is the injured reserve system for the ECHL?

ECHL teams can have an unlimited number of players on the 14-day injured reserve. A Member may not count the date of the game in which the Player was injured as the first day of his IR. Once placed on the injured reserve, the Player must remain on the IR for a minimum of 14 days. Players on injured reserve may not skate in any pregame warm-up.


What is the Christmas Waiver/Trade Freeze?

A waiver/trade freeze shall be in effect from 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023 until 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023. Players may not be waived or traded during this period, but all other roster transactions are permitted.


When does training camp open?

Players can report for training camp on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023 with the first day of on-ice sessions being Friday, Oct. 6, 2023.


When are opening day rosters due?

Teams must submit their Season-Opening Roster by 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023.


When is the jersey reversal date?

Teams will wear their white jerseys at home and dark jerseys on the road for all games through Jan. 15, 2024. As of Jan. 19, 2024, teams will wear their dark jerseys at home and their white jerseys on the road through the end of the regular season. During the Playoffs, home teams will continue wearing their dark jerseys and vsiting teams will continue to wear their white jerseys.


When is the ECHL deadline for Kelly Cup Playoffs rosters?

Teams must submit their roster for the 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs by 3 p.m. ET on Monday, April 15, 2024. The 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs will begin on April 17, 2024.


How does the ECHL break ties?

If Two Teams Tie

1. Regulation wins
2. Regulation + OT wins
3. Goal differential
4. Points, head-to-head (for two teams that have not played the same number of home games against the other tied team, the first game(s) played in the city that has the extra home game(s) shall not be included)
5. Winning percentage, division (if tied teams are from same division; if not, skip to 6)
6. Winning percentage, conference
7. Goals for, regular season
8. Goals against, regular season
9. Coin toss

If Three or More Teams Tie

Note: When two teams remain after the third or other teams are eliminated during any step below, the tiebreaker reverts to Step 1 of the two-team format.

1. Regulation wins
2. Regulation + OT wins
3. Goal differential
4. Higher winning percentage earned in games against each other (for two teams that have not played the same number of home games against the other tied team, the first game(s) played in the city that has the extra home game(s) shall not be included)
5. Winning percentage, division
6. Winning percentage, conference
7. Goals for, regular season
8. Goals against, regular season
9. Coin toss