Thunder’s Chapman named ECHL Executive of the Year

PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Wednesday that Stockton Thunder President Dan Chapman has been selected by the ECHL Board of Governors as the 2010-11 recipient of the ECHL Executive of the Year award.

 

Stockton saw a six-percent increase in its attendance in the 2010-11 season ranking second in the league with 6,382 fans per game – the team’s highest average since 2007-08. The Thunder also welcomed 12 crowds of 7,000 or more. Stockton has averaged over 6,000 fans per game in each of its six seasons in the league and led the ECHL in attendance for its first four seasons before finishing third in 2009-10.

 

Chapman also helped initiate and administer a dual affiliation agreement between two National Hockey League clubs, the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks. Last season, the Thunder won 37 games, tied a club record with 86 points (2006-07) and advanced to the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the fifth straight year.

 

“I am very honored to receive this award as selected by my colleagues in the ECHL,” said Chapman. “Individual awards like this can’t be won without strength of ownership, the supreme efforts of a talented front office and a competitive hockey team. The Thunder has all of these with the passion and leadership of our owner Brad Rowbotham, a dedicated group of employees that continue to produce tremendous results year after year and a hockey team our coaching staff has molded into a winning environment.”

 

“Dan Chapman and the entire Thunder team did an outstanding job this past season in growing all areas of the Thunder business in a tough economy,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “He is a tireless worker on behalf of his team and the League. He is a very worthy choice as Executive of the Year in the ECHL.”

 

Chapman, a native of Stockton and graduate from San Francisco State University, enter his seventh season as Thunder president and alternate governor in 2011-12. His professional sports management experience extends to 14 years with the Stockton Ports minor league baseball team, including a 10-year span from 1989-99 when he served as General Manager. He was named the Class-A Executive of the Year by The Sporting News in 1990 and received the California League Award of Excellence in 1992.

ECHL Executive Of The Year Winners

YEARWINNERTEAM
2011Dan ChapmanStockton Thunder
2010Kristin RoppCincinnati Cyclones
2009Gordon KayeReading Royals
2008Darren AbbottSouth Carolina Stingrays
2007Matt RileyBakersfield Condors
2006Steve ChapmanGwinnett Gladiators
2005Steve ChapmanGwinnett Gladiators
2004Terry ParksAlaska Aces
2003John ButlerPeoria Rivermen
2002Matt LoughranAtlantic City Boardwalk Bullies
2001Craig BrushFlorida Everblades
2000Brian McKennaTrenton Titans
1999Carl ScheerGreenville Grrrowl
1998Charles FelixPensacola Ice Pilots
1997David PaitsonColumbus Chill
1996Dave BerrymanLouisiana IceGators
1995Harvey Feuerstein and Craig LaughlinRichmond Renegades
1994Jean Gagnon and Pierre PaiementRoanoke Express
1993Larry KishWheeling Thunderbirds

 

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.

• 30 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, New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and St. Louis Blues head coach Davis Payne. It is the sixth 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.

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.