PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Thursday that it has signed a three-year agreement with Sportstape to be the exclusive provider of all hockey tape for ECHL member teams.
“We are proud to partner with the ECHL,” said Bill Cowtan, Sportstape Representative. “As the Official Tape Supplier of the ECHL, teams will receive exceptional customer care as well as quality service and product.”
“The ECHL is very excited about this partnership with Sportstape, providing ECHL teams with a superior product at a beneficial pricing structure,” said Glen Thornborough, ECHL Vice President of Marketing and Sales.
The ECHL opens its 2003-04 season on October 17 with 31 teams in 17 states playing a record 1,116 games, making it the largest league in professional hockey.
The ECHL welcomes nine new markets for 2003-04 with the addition of the Alaska Aces, the Bakersfield Condors, the Fresno Falcons, the Gwinnett (Georgia) Gladiators, the Idaho (Boise) Steelheads, the Las Vegas Wranglers, the Long Beach Ice Dogs, the San Diego Gulls, and the Texas (Beaumont) Wildcatters.
In 2002-03, the 27 members of the ECHL had affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League and 22 of the 28 teams in the American Hockey League. There were 90 former ECHL players that played in the NHL in 2002-03, including 20 who made their NHL debut, and there have been 215 former ECHL players that have gone on to play in the NHL. There were more than 80 players in the ECHL on AHL contracts in 2002-03 and the ECHL had 450 call ups to the AHL in 2002-03, more than any other professional league.