NHL Finals Have Three ECHL Players, Three Coaches

ECHL Represented On Last Five Stanley Cup Champions

PRINCETON, N.J. – For the sixth consecutive year a former ECHL player will be a member of the National Hockey League Champion.

The ECHL is represented in the Stanley Cup Finals by Edmonton assistant coaches Charlie Huddy and Geoff Ward and defenseman Mathieu Roy and by Carolina head coach Peter Laviolette, right wing Chad LaRose, defenseman Andrew Hutchinson and associate athletic therapist Chris Stewart. When the Stanley Cup Playoffs began, the ECHL was represented by 34 former players and 15 of the 16 teams had a former ECHL player on their playoff roster. The league was represented by seven former coaches.

For the fifth consecutive year that the Stanley Cup was awarded in 2004, the ECHL was represented as Tampa Bay had Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy as well as radio announcer Dave Mishkin and assistant equipment manager Dana Heinze. The three players are the most ECHL representatives in a single year surpassing 2001 when David Aebischer and Pratt helped Colorado win the title. There are nine former ECHL players whose names are on the Stanley Cup: Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy (Tampa Bay – 2004), Corey Schwab (New Jersey – 2003), Manny Legace (Detroit – 2002), David Aebischer and Nolan Pratt (Colorado – 2001), Krzysztof Oliwa (New Jersey – 2000) and Kevin Dean (New Jersey – 1995). Pratt is the only ECHL player to have his name engraved twice on the Stanley Cup.

There have been 303 players who have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, including 158 in the last five seasons. A record 47 former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2005-06 and there were two head coaches, 12 assistant coaches, 13 referees and five linesmen with ECHL experience in the NHL this year. The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the NHL and there were 133 players who were under contract to teams in the NHL that played in the ECHL in 2005-06. The ECHL had 54 former players on NHL opening-day rosters, surpassing the previous high of 53 players in 2003-04, and marking the third consecutive season that there were over 50 former ECHL players on NHL season-opening rosters.