Over 100 Team Representatives attend ECHL Meetings

PRINCETON, N.J. – More than 100 representatives from ECHL teams, including several owners, presidents and general managers, attended the 16th Annual Sales, Marketing and Communications Meetings at The M Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 23-24, 2011.

 

Keynote speakers were Jeff Morander, Vice President of Ticketing Strategies for the National Hockey League, who spoke on Strategies for Success, and Ryan Walter, a former first round selection in the National Hockey League and 1986 Stanley Cup champion, who spoke on a Hungry Spirit and team performance, while ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna provided his annual “State of the ECHL” address.

 

Gerry Helper, Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Relations for the Nashville Predators spoke on adapting with the evolving media landscape while Anthony Gioia, Director of Game Presentation for the Philadelphia Flyers, spoke about generating revenue and professional presentation of game operations.

 

Marty Mulford, Director of Ticket Sales for the Nashville Predators, led sessions on season-ticket and group sales, while Bill Davidson, CEO of National Sports Services, presented a session on Social Media in sports.

 

Chris Fair and Cary Moretti of NewSport Media, presented a website workshop and Darren Hayden from Scarborough Research provided background on the Scarborough Program while also speaking about creating value and innovation in corporate sponsorships through research.

 

For the seventh year in a row, AMI Graphics, the “Exclusive Signage Company of the ECHL”, awarded a complete set of dasher board and under-ice graphics to an attending team, which was won by the Gwinnett Gladiators for the 2011-12 season.

 

The annual vendor’s showcase, which highlighted 16 companies, provided an opportunity for teams to view products from League vendors and licensees. ReebokCCM sponsored the welcome reception, SP Apparel sponsored the food and beverage breaks and America One sponsored lunch during the event.

 

The week also included the second annual ECHL Job Fair, presented by TeamWork Online. Over 50 candidates from across the country, along with 10 ECHL teams and the National Hockey League’s Phoenix Coyotes, attended the fair.

 

Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts 

• Watch games live on America One, the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster” 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 20 teams in 16 states in 2011-12.

• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.

467 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 35 in 2009-10.

• 23 ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2010-11: former Idaho Steelheads goaltender and 2010 ECHL All-Star Richard Bachman (Dallas on Dec. 11), former Reading Royals defenseman Drew Bagnall (Minnesota on April 8), former Las Vegas Wranglers right wing Adam Cracknell (St. Louis on Dec. 15), former Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Mark Dekanich (Nashville on Dec. 18), former South Carolina Stingrays left wing Stefan Della Rovere (St. Louis on Dec. 1), former Phoenix RoadRunners center Andrew Desjardins (San Jose on Jan. 3), former Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender and 2007 ECHL All-Star Cedrick Desjardins (Tampa Bay on Dec. 30), former Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies and Idaho Steelheads defenseman Brian Fahey (Washington on Oct. 16), former South Carolina Stingrays goaltender and 2010 ECHL All-Star Braden Holtby (Washington on Nov. 7), former Charlotte Checkers right wing Hugh Jessiman (Florida on Feb. 27), former Texas Wildcatters left wing Matt Kassian (Minnesota on Nov. 5), former Ontario Reign center Dwight King (Los Angeles on Nov. 17), former Utah Grizzlies goaltender Mikko Koskinen (New York Islanders on Feb. 8), former Phoenix RoadRunners and Utah Grizzlies goaltender Nathan Lawson (New York Islanders on Dec. 18), former Toledo Walleye goaltender Thomas McCollum (Detroit on March 30), former Trenton Titans defenseman Olivier Magnan (New Jersey on Oct. 22), former Trenton Devils center Brad Mills (New Jersey on Oct. 30), former South Carolina Stingrays center and two-time ECHL All-Star Travis Morin (Dallas on Jan. 26), former Johnstown Chiefs and Cincinnati Cyclones forward Chris Mueller (Nashville on Dec. 28), former Bakersfield Condors and Elmira Jackals goaltender and 2010 ECHL All-Star Timo Pielmeier (Anaheim on Feb. 19), former Alaska Aces right wing Ryan Reaves (St. Louis on Oct. 11), former Reading Royals and South Carolina Stingrays goaltender and 2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player James Reimer (Toronto on Dec. 20) and former Victoria Salmon Kings defenseman Yann Sauve (Vancouver on Feb. 15).

• 4 players played in the ECHL and the NHL in 2010-11: Mike Brodeur with Elmira and Ottawa, Thomas McCollum with Toledo and Detroit, Timo Pielmeier with Elmira and Anaheim and Yann Sauve with Victoria and Vancouver.

• The ECHL has had 275 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years.

• 211 ECHL players have played their first game in the last six seasons for an average of more than 35 per year.

• ECHL had a record 79 players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2010-11, surpassing the 78 from 2009-10 and marking the eighth year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.

• Every ECHL team has an affiliation with an NHL team in 2010-11 and the league has affiliations with 27 of the 30 NHL teams, marking the 14th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.

• 31 coaches with an ECHL background were working behind the benches of teams in the NHL in 2010-11 including Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and 2011 Jack Adams Award winner Dan Bylsma, New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette, Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel and St. Louis Blues head coach Davis Payne. It is the seventh consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL. 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.

• 21 former ECHL officials were working as part of the NHL officiating team in 2010-11 with referees David Banfield, Francis Charron, Chris Ciamaga, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers..

• ECHL was represented for the 11th year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion with Boston Bruins assistant coach Geoff Ward, players Rich Peverley, Michael Ryder and Tim Thomas, radio broadcaster Dave Goucher and scout Tom McVie. Thomas is the first former ECHL player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There were 34 former players and 19 coaches on the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the sixth year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the eighth consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.

• Former Hampton Roads Admirals left wing Andrew Brunette became the first ECHL alum to play in 1,000 regular-season NHL games when he reached the milestone with the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 1, 2011.

• Former ECHL and current Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was the recipient of the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the NHL in 2010-11, marking the second time he has won the award in the past three seasons. Thomas set a single-season NHL record with a .938 save percentage.  

• Former ECHL player and current Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was the recipient of the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year in 2010-11.  

• ECHL was represented in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game by Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins, while former ECHL coaches Mike Haviland and Peter Laviolette served as coaches for the All-Star Game.  

• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the NHL include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Tom Callahan of the Nashville Predators, Dave Goucher of the Boston Bruins, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Jack Michaels of the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Bob McElligott and John Michael of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

• Ryan Stanzel and Jeremy Zager, who were both recipients of the ECHL Media Relations Director of the Year award, are working in the communications department for the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively. Former ECHL assistant director of communications Joe Siville and Kelly Murray are now with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals, respectively, while former ECHL director of communications Jason Rothwell is the creative director for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

• ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the American Hockey League in 2010-11 and for the past 22 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.

• In the last seven seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 3,000 call-ups involving more than 1,500 players and in 2010-11 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.

• The ECHL averaged 4,339 fans per game in 2010-11, marking the seventh consecutive season and the 19th time in the last 21 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans and the league drew over 3 million fans for the 17th year in a row.

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