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ECHL announces promotions, hirings in Hockey Operations Department

Wednesday, June 26th
ECHL announces promotions, hirings in Hockey Operations Department

The ECHL announced on Wednesday the promotions of Dan Petrino and Riley Yerkovich, and the hirings of Tim Nowak and Tim Mayer to the League’s Hockey Operations Department.
 
Petrino, who joined the League Office prior to the 2016-17 season, has been promoted from Vice President of Hockey Administration to Vice President of Hockey Operations. In his new role, he will be responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations of the League’s Hockey Operations Department, including the application of all ECHL Playing Rules and Regulations in conjunction with the ECHL/PHPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. He will also oversee the Player Discipline Committee which will consist of members from the ECHL League Office and NHL Player Safety Department for review of plays for potential supplementary discipline. He will also be working with the ECHL Equipment Managers, Athletic Trainers and Game Operations staffs on all League-related details.
 
Prior to joining the ECHL, Petrino spent three years with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, including the last year as the conference’s Assistant Commissioner for Championships. He was responsible for the supervision of in-season and postseason competition for several MAAC sports as well as overseeing officiating operations within his assigned sports. He joined the MAAC staff in August 2013 after graduation from Rider University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and minors in the business of sports and communications. While at Rider, he worked in the school’s athletic department, primarily in event and facility operations. He also was part of Rider’s club baseball team, serving as vice president and president of the program.
 
Yerkovich has been promoted from Manager of Officiating to Director of Officiating Operations. He will continue to oversee the application of rules and directives, travel and administration of officials, communications with the National Hockey League and American Hockey League on ECHL officials, and the ECHL Rule Book.
 
Prior to joining the League staff in the 2022-23 season, Yerkovich spent three-plus seasons as an ECHL referee, and was selected to work the 2022 ECHL All-Star Classic in Jacksonville and the 2022 Kelly Cup Finals. The Wyoming native also worked games in the American Hockey League and for the International Ice Hockey Federation. He was a member of USA Hockey’s Officiating Development Program since 2015, and refereed the 2018 and 2019 North American Hockey League Top Prospects Tournaments and the 2019 NAHL Robertson Cup Final. Yerkovich attended the National Hockey League Officiating Exposure Combine in 2019 and worked the 2019 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament and the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
 
Nowak, who began his career as a linesman in the ECHL before embarking on 26 seasons in the National Hockey League - and was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2022 - has been hired as the League’s Director of Officiating Development. Through this role, he will serve as the lead in helping to develop on-ice officials in the ECHL through on-site supervision, video sessions and the recruitment of new officiating prospects. Nowak will also serve as a member of the Player Discipline Committee.
 
Nowak began his officiating career as a linesman in the ECHL in 1989 and worked four seasons in the league, twice earning an assignment working the Riley Cup Finals. He became the first ECHL on-ice official to reach the NHL when he made his debut on Oct. 8, 1993, and he went on to work over 1,700 NHL games in 26 seasons before retiring in 2019. Nowak was selected to work the 2003 All-Star Game, the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the first-ever Winter Classic in 2008. He also was selected to officiate in two Winter Olympics, working games in 2002 in Salt Lake City and 2010 in Vancouver. He has served as an ECHL Officiating Development Coach since 2019.
 
Mayer joins the ECHL staff as Manager of Officiating Development. In this role, he will assist Nowak and Yerkovich through on-site supervision, as well as making recommendations for recruitment and development of on-ice officials, as well as presenting at the ECHL Officiating Training Camp and Coaches’ Meetings.
 
Mayer spent two seasons as an ECHL referee from 2008-10, and worked over 1,100 career professional games, including more than 700 in the AHL from 2009-22. He also officiated games in the United States Hockey League, Southern Professional Hockey League, Central Hockey League, United Hockey League and International Hockey League. Mayer represented USA Hockey by working five IIHF World Championships, and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he was selected to work the bronze medal game. Mayer worked the AHL All-Star Game in 2018, and received the Michael Condon Memorial Award in 2021 for outstanding contributions by an on-ice official. He has spent the previous two seasons as an ECHL Officiating Development Coach and owns and operates his own business, Shoreliners Striping LLC, which specializes in pavement marking and surface striping/field striping.
 
“The revamping of our Hockey Operations Department allows us to play to the strengths of existing and new personnel, who have already been working together and demonstrated their ability to work as a team through the 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin. “There is no one that knows the ECHL/PHPA CBA and ECHL Playing Rules better than Dan Petrino, and he has put together an organizational plan to lead our Hockey Operations Department into the future to further promote the League’s role for professional development in North America. This includes the addition of Tim Nowak and Tim Mayer who bring significant on-ice experience at all levels of hockey to the department, in conjunction with Riley’s extensive knowledge of our officiating operations.”
 
The ECHL will also be adding a Manager of Hockey Administration to the League staff during the summer of 2024.
 
About the ECHL
 
Formed in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 29 teams in 22 states and one Canadian province for its 37th season in 2024-25. There have been 752 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 12 who made their NHL debuts in the 2023-24 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 28 of the 32 NHL teams in 2023-24, marking the 26th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com.

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