TOLEDO, Ohio – The ECHL on Sunday announced that the League is renaming the Kelly Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award the “June M. Kelly Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award."
“It is my honor to be able to be a part of this naming of the award on behalf of Mrs. Kelly,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin. “Through this action, the ECHL honors all of the women who are pivotal to our game’s success, and we thank and honor Mrs. Kelly for all of her efforts to help the League grow into what it has become today.”
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Kelly, the wife of ECHL Commissioner Emeritus Patrick J. Kelly, whom the Kelly Cup is named after, was an integral part of the ECHL behind the scenes during her husband’s tenure as Commissioner from the League’s inaugural season in 1988-89 through his retirement following the 1995-96 season.
During the early years of the ECHL, the Kelly tandem were the only employees of the League Office. As the administration and financial overseer of the League, June served as the backbone of the office, allowing her husband, Pat, to travel and build the League during its infancy.
Starting in June 2019, the ECHL Trophy Presentation will feature two coveted awards – the Patrick J. Kelly Cup to the League’s champion, and the June M. Kelly Award for the Playoffs Most Valuable Player – linked together forever, and signifying a bond that this duo brought to the League, and highlighting the value of marriage and family cherished in the ECHL to this very day.
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 20 states and two Canadian provinces for its 31st season in 2018-19. There have been 652 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 11 who have 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.