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ECHL represented on Stanley Cup champion for 19th straight year

Thursday, June 13th
ECHL represented on Stanley Cup champion for 19th straight year

For the 19th consecutive year, the ECHL is represented on the Stanley Cup champion with St. Louis Blues’ goaltender Jordan Binnington; Executive Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer Steve Chapman; Vice President, Broadcast and Content Development Chris Kerber; Assistant GM and Director of Amateur Scouting Bill Armstrong; Pro Scout Dave Farrish; Assistant Athletic Trainer Dustin Flynn and Equipment Assistant Andrew Dvorak.

The Tulsa Oilers are the ECHL affiliate of the Blues. The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League had affiliations with 25 of the 31 teams in the NHL in 2018-19, marking the 22nd consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams. The ECHL had 66 players on NHL opening-day rosters, marking the 16th year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.

Binnington appeared in 40 games with Kalamazoo during the 2013-14 season, posting a record of 23-12-3 with one shutout, and finishing fourth in the league with a .922 save percentage and tied for seventh with a 2.35 goals-against average.

Chapman, who was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2018, is in his fourth season in the Blues front office after 23 years of involvement in the ECHL, where he was an executive with Birmingham, Mobile and Gwinnett. Champan was a two-time winner of the ECHL Executive of the Year Award and served as Chairman of the Board of Governors for nine seasons from 2005-06 through 2014-15.

Kerber, who has served as the radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Blues since the 2000-01 season, began his broadcasting career with the ECHL’s Birmingham Bulls in 1994-95. After two seasons with the Bulls, he moved on to the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons for four seasons prior to joining the Blues.

Armstrong, who was head coach of the Trenton Titans for two seasons from 2002-04, is in his first season as the Blues’ Assistant General Manager. He joined the Blues in 2004 as an amateur scout and was named director of amateur scouting in 2010.

Farrish, who was head coach for the Louisiana Ice Gators from 2000-04 and the Pensacola Ice Pilots in 2004-05, is in his first season with St. Louis. He previously won a Stanley Cup title as an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07. 

Flynn is in his third season on the Blues’ training staff. He captured a Kelly Cup title in 2012 as the athletic trainer for the Florida Everblades, and spent time with the American Hockey League’s Peoria Rivermen and Utica Comets before joining St. Louis.

Dvorak, who was named the ECHL Equipment Manager of the Year in 2016-17 with Kansas City, is in his second season as a member of the Blues’ equipment staff.

In addition to the members of the Blues, the following ECHL alums have been on the Stanley Cup winner: Associate Coach Todd Reirden, Professional Development Coach Olaf Kolzig, Pro Scout/Minor League Operations Jason Fitzsimmons, Manager of Hockey Analytics H.T. Lenz, Head Athletic Trainer Jason Serbus, Equipment Assistant Dave Marin and players Jay Beagle, Philipp Grubauer and Braden Holtby (Washington – 2018); Goalie Development Coach Mike Buckley; Vice President of Hockey Operations Jason Karmanos; players Josh Archibald, Tom Kuhnhackl, Carter Rowney and Mark Streit; Director of Pro Scouting Derek Clancey; Amateur Scouts Ryan Bowness and Warren Young; Head Athletic Trainer Chris Stewart and Head Equipment Manager Dana Heinze (Pittsburgh – 2017); Goalie Development Coach Mike Buckley; Vice President of Hockey Operations Jason Karmanos; player Tom Kuhnhackl; Director of Pro Scouting Derek Clancey; Amateur Scout Warren Young; Head Athletic Trainer Chris Stewart and Head Equipment Manager Dana Heinze (Pittsburgh – 2016); Vice President of Hockey Operations Al MacIsaac; General Manager of Minor League Affiliations Mark Bernard; Director of Pro Scouting Ryan Stewart; players Scott Darling and Andrew Desjardins and Pro Scout Derek Booth (Chicago – 2015); Assistant Coach Davis Payne; players Kyle Clifford; Trevor Lewis; Martin Jones; Dwight King; Jordan Nolan and Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles – 2014); Assistant Coach Jamie Kompon; players Sheldon Brookbank and Daniel Carcillo; Vice President/Assistant to the President Al MacIsaac; Director of Pro Scouting Ryan Stewart and General Manager of Minor League Affiliations Mark Bernard (Chicago – 2013); Dwight King, Jordan Nolan and Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles – 2012); Assistant Coach Geoff Ward and players Rich Peverley, Michael Ryder and Tim Thomas (Boston – 2011); Vice President Al MacIsaac, Assistant Coach Mike Haviland, Associate Coach John Torchetti and Director of Pro Scouting Ryan Stewart (Chicago – 2010); Head Coach Dan Bylsma and player Ruslan Fedotenko (Pittsburgh – 2009); Aaron Downey (Detroit – 2008); Assistant Coach Dave Farrish and players Francois Beauchemin and George Parros (Anaheim – 2007); Head Coach Peter Laviolette and players Andrew Hutchinson and Chad LaRose (Carolina – 2006); 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). 

The ECHL was represented in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by 32 former players and 20 coaches on the 16 teams. It was the 14th year in a row that there were at least 30 former ECHL players and the 16th consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience competed in the NHL postseason. It marked the 15th straight year that the ECHL has been represented by at least six coaches. 

There have been 661 players who have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 19 who made their debut in 2018-19. The ECHL has had 468 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. There have been 404 ECHL players who have played their first game in the last 14 seasons for an average of more than 28 per year. 

There were three players who played in both the ECHL and NHL in 2018-19: Kaden Fulcher with Toledo and Detroit, Marcus Hogberg with Brampton and Ottawa and Kole Sherwood with Jacksonville and Columbus.

Former ECHL broadcasters working in the NHL include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Bob McElligott of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Josh Bogorad of the Dallas Stars, Jack Michaels of the Edmonton Oilers, Doug Plagens of the Florida Panthers, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dan D’Uva and Dave Goucher of the Vegas Golden Knights. Former ECHL player Jody Shelley is an analyst with the Blue Jackets.

There were 33 former ECHL officials who worked as part of the NHL officiating team in 2018-19 with referees Jake Brenk, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Trevor Hanson, Beau Halkidis, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Pierre Lambert, T.J. Luxmore, Peter MacDougall, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Graham Skilliter, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Ryan Daisy, Brandon Gawryletz, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Jesse Marquis, Bevin Mills, Kory Nagy, Tim Nowak and Bryan Pancich.

About the ECHL

Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 27 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 31st season in 2018-19. There have been 661 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 19 who made their NHL debuts in the 2018-19 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 31 NHL teams in 2018-19, marking the 22nd consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available at ECHL.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

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