PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Wednesday that the Stanley Cup and the Patrick J. Kelly Cup will both be on display during the 2005 Coors Light ECHL All-Star Game events on January 25 and 26 in Reading, Pa. It will be the sixth straight year that the Kelly Cup and Stanley Cup have been displayed together at the ECHL All-Star Game.
Fans will have the opportunity to have their pictures taken with both the Stanley Cup and the Kelly at the Skills Competition, the ECHL Premier Ice Odyssey Reception, the All-Star Game, and at the All-Star Fan Fest presented by RBC Financial Group. Sponsored by Coors Light and hosted by the Reading Royals, the 13th Annual ECHL All-Star Game and Skills Competition will be held at the 7,215-seat Sovereign Center in Reading, Pa. The Skills Competition will be on January 25 at 7:05 p.m. and the All-Star Game will be played on January 26 at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are still available for all events and can be purchased at the Reading Royals box office or by telephone at (610) 898-7825.
The oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America, the Stanley Cup was donated by Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston and son of the Earl of Derby, in 1893. Lord Stanley purchased the trophy for 10 guineas ($50 at that time) for presentation to amateur hockey champions of Canada. Since 1910, when the National Hockey League took possession of the Stanley Cup, the trophy has been the symbol of professional hockey supremacy. It has been competed for only by NHL teams since 1926-27 and has been under the exclusive control of the NHL since 1947.
For the fifth consecutive year the ECHL is represented on the Stanley Cup Champion with Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy as well as radio play-by-play announcer Dave Mishkin and assistant equipment manager Dana Heinze.
The three players are the most ECHL representatives, surpassing 2001 when David Aebischer and Pratt helped Colorado win the title, and brings the total number of ECHL alumni on the Stanley Cup to nine. Pratt becomes the first ECHL player to have his name engraved twice on the Stanley Cup, earning the honor for the first time in 2001. The previous alumni whose names are on the Stanley Cup are Corey Schwab (New Jersey – 2003), Manny Legace (Detroit – 2002), Aebischer and Pratt (Colorado – 2001), Krzysztof Oliwa (New Jersey – 2000) and Kevin Dean (New Jersey – 1995).
Named in recognition of Patrick J. Kelly, who is one of the founding fathers of the ECHL, the Kelly Cup has been awarded to the ECHL champion since 1997. The Kelly Cup stands 19 3/8 inches and weighs 25 3/8 pounds and was created by Boardman Silversmiths, Inc. in Meriden, Connecticut. Boardman also produces the Calder Cup for the American Hockey League as well as the U.S. Open Tennis trophy and the Masters trophy. The Kelly Cup, which was won in 2004 by the Idaho Steelheads in their inaugural season, replaced the Riley Cup which was awarded from 1989-96.
In 2003-04, the inaugural Kelly Cup Tour saw the trophy travel 7,543 miles in 44 days as it visited Atlantic City, Boise, Columbia, Duluth, Estero, Florence, Greensboro, Lafayette, North Charleston and Wheeling, making appearances at games, schools, sponsors, radio and television stations and community events.
The Second Annual Kelly Cup Tour will begin in February and again all teams in the league will again be given the opportunity to have the Kelly Cup visit their city.