Wednesday, October 17, 2018

This is a guide to help ECHL fans become familiar with the critical dates during the 2018-19 season and answer some of the frequently asked questions.

September 2018

28 – Opening Day for ECHL Training Camps

October 2018

10 – Opening Night rosters due into ECHL offices by 3 pm ET
12 – 31st ECHL Regular Season begins

November 2018

1 – Deadline for submission of ECHL Hall of Fame candidates
11 – Active rosters must be trimmed down from 21 to 20 by 3 pm ET

December 2018

22 – Christmas waiver/trade freeze begins at 5 pm ET
24-26 – Christmas break (no games or practices)
26 – Christmas waiver/trade freeze ends at Noon ET

January 2019

21 – ECHL All-Star Classic in Toledo, Ohio
25 – Jersey reversal date

February 2019

15 – Overseas Deadline at 3 pm ET

March 2019

6 – Recall/Reassignment deadline at 11:59 pm local time
7 – ECHL Trade Deadline at 3 pm ET

April 2019

5 – Last day to place a player on waivers (must be done by 5 pm ET)
7 – Last day of 2018-19 ECHL Regular Season
8 – Kelly Cup Playoff rosters due by 3 pm ET
10 – Opening night of the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs

June 2019

1 – Protected Lists due by 3 pm ET
13 – Future Consideration trades must be done by 3 pm ET
15 – Season-ending rosters due by 3 pm ET
16 – Opening day of the 2019 free agency period
30 – Qualifying offers due to players for the 2019-20 season by 11:59 pm ET

For the 2018-19 season, the ECHL added the Maine Mariners and Newfoundland Growlers to the Eastern Conference. Out west, the league lost the Quad City Mallards.

Those changes have led to the following conference and divisional alignment for the season (teams are listed alphabetically):

Eastern Conference

North Division

Adirondack Thunder
Brampton Beast
Maine Mariners  (*EXPANSION*)
Manchester Monarchs
Newfoundland Growlers  (*EXPANSION*)
Reading Royals
Worcester Railers

South Division

Atlanta Gladiators
Florida Everblades
Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Jacksonville Icemen
Norfolk Admirals
Orlando Solar Bears
South Carolina Stingrays

Western Conference

Central Division

Cincinnati Cyclones
Fort Wayne Komets
Indy Fuel
Kalamazoo Wings
Toledo Walleye
Wheeling Nailers  (*NEW TO WESTERN CONFERENCE*)

Mountain Division

Allen Americans
Idaho Steelheads
Kansas City Mavericks
Rapid City Rush
Tulsa Oilers
Utah Grizzlies
Wichita Thunder

Here is a list of regular season champions in the ECHL, and the success they have had in the Riley/Kelly Cup playoffs. Winners are highlighted in BOLD GREEN:

Season Winner Standings Points Playoff Result
1988-89 Erie Panthers 89 Lost in semifinals
1989-90 Winston-Salem Thunderbirds 82 Lost in Riley Cup Finals
1990-91 Knoxville Cherokees 97 Lost in division semifinals
1991-92 Toledo Storm 95 Lost in division first round
1992-93 Wheeling Thunderbirds 88 Lost in Riley Cup Finals
1993-94 Knoxville Cherokees 94 Lost in first round
1994-95 Wheeling Thunderbirds 97 Lost in first round
1995-96 Richmond Renegades 105 Lost in Riley Cup Quarterfinals
1996-97 South Carolina Stingrays 100 WON KELLY CUP
1997-98 Louisiana IceGators 96 Lost in Kelly Cup Semifinals
1998-99 Pee Dee Pride 106 Lost in Conference Finals
1999-2000 Florida Everblades 108 Lost in Conference Quarterfinals
2000-01 Trenton Titans 104 Lost in Kelly Cup Finals
2001-02 Louisiana IceGators 116 Lost in Division Semifinals
2002-03 Toledo Storm 104 Lost in Division Finals
2003-04 San Diego Gulls 108 Lost in Division Semifinals
2004-05 Pensacola Ice Pilots 107 Lost in Conference Quarterfinals
2005-06 Alaska Aces 113 WON KELLY CUP
2006-07 Las Vegas Wranglers 106 Lost in Conference Semifinals
2007-08 Cincinnati Cyclones 115 WON KELLY CUP
2008-09 Florida Everblades 103 Lost in Division Finals
2009-10 Idaho Steelheads 103 Lost in Kelly Cup Finals
2010-11 Alaska Aces 97 WON KELLY CUP
2011-12 Alaska Aces 97 Lost in Conference Finals
2012-13 Alaska Aces 106 Lost in Conference Semifinals
2013-14 Alaska Aces 97 WON KELLY CUP
2014-15 Toledo Walleye 107 Lost Conference Finals
2015-16 Missouri Mavericks 109 Lost in Conference Semifinals
2016-17 Toledo Walleye 106 Lost in Conference Finals
2017-18 Florida Everblades 112 Lost in Kelly Cup Finals

Here is a list of the regular season and playoff Most Valuable Award winners in ECHL history:

Season Regular Season MVP Team Playoff MVP Team
1988-89 Daryl Harpe Erie Panthers Nick Vitucci Carolina Thunderbirds
1989-90 Bill McDougall Erie Panthers Wade Flaherty Greensboro Monarchs
1990-91 Stan Drulia Knoxville Cherokees Dave Flanagan and Dave Gagnon Hampton Roads Admirals
1991-92 Phil Berger Greensboro Monarchs Mark Bernard Hampton Roads Admirals
1992-93 Trevor Jobe Nashville Knights Rick Judson Toledo Storm
1993-94 Joe Flanagan Birmingham Bulls Dave Gagnon Toledo Storm
1994-95 Vadim Slivchenko Wheeling Thunderbirds Blaine Moore Richmond Renegades
1995-96  Hugo Belanger Nashville Knights Nick Vitucci Charlotte Checkers
1996-97  Mike Ross South Carolina Stingrays Jason Fitzsimmons South Carolina Stingrays
1997-98  Jamey Hicks Birmingham Bulls Sebastien Charpentier Hampton Roads Admirals
1998-99  Chris Valicevic Louisiana IceGators Travis Scott Mississippi Sea Wolves
1999-2000  Andrew Williamson Toledo Storm Jason Christie and J.F. Boutin Peoria Rivermen
2000-01  Scott King Charlotte Checkers Dave Seitz South Carolina Stingrays
2001-02  Frederic Cloutier Louisiana IceGators Simon Gamache and Tyrone Garner Greenville Grrrowl
2002-03 Buddy Smith Arkansas RiverBlades Kevin Colley Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies
2003-04  Scott Stirling Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies Dan Ellis Idaho Steelheads
2004-05 Scott Gomez Alaska Aces Leon Hayward Trenton Devils
2005-06  Jeff Campbell Gwinnett Gladiators Mike Scott Alaska Aces
2006-07  Brad Schell Gwinnett Gladiators Steve Silverthorn Idaho Steelheads
2007-08  David Desharnais Cincinnati Cyclones Cedrick Desjardins Cincinnati Cyclones
2008-09  Kevin Baker Florida Everblades James Reimer South Carolina Stingrays
2009-10  Tyler Donati Elmira Jackals Jeremy Smith and Robert Mayer Cincinnati Cyclones
2010-11  Wes Goldie Alaska Aces Scott Howes Alaska Aces 
2011-12  Chad Costello Colorado Eagles John Muse Florida Everblades
2012-13  Ryan Zapolski South Carolina Stingrays Riley Gill Reading Royals
2013-14  Mickey Lang Orlando Solar Bears Rob Madore Cincinnati Cyclones
2014-15 Jeff Jakaitis South Carolina Stingrays Greger Hanson Allen Americans
2015-16  Chad Costello Allen Americans Chad Costello Allen Americans
2016-17  Chad Costello Allen Americans Matt Register Colorado Eagles
2017-18  Shawn Szydlowski Fort Wayne Komets Michael Joly Colorado Eagles

The format for the 2019 Kelly Cup playoffs will remain the same as it has for the last several years. The top-four teams from each division will make up the 16-team field.  Seedings are determined based off standings points and any tiebreaker procedures that may be required.

The winner of the Brabham Cup, symbolic of the league’s regular season champion, will have home-ice in every playoff series as long as they are playing. Each playoff series is a best-of-seven.

Here is how the format will look:

Division Semifinals

#1 seed vs. #4 seed
#2 seed vs. #3 seed

Division Finals

Highest remaining divisional seed vs. lowest remaining divisional seed

Conference Finals

Winners of Division Finals series

Kelly Cup Finals

Eastern Conference champion vs. Western Conference champion

Here is how the ECHL breaks ties in the standings:

If two teams tie:

1. Wins, regular season (excluding shootout wins)
2. Goal differential
3. Points, head-to-head (for two teams that have not played the same number of home games against the other tied team, the first game(s) played in the city that has the extra home game(s) shall not be included)
4. Winning percentage, division (if tied teams are from same division; if not, skip to 5)
5. Winning percentage, conference
6. Goals for, regular season
7. Goals against, regular season
8. Coin toss

If three or more teams tie:

Note: When two teams remain after the third or other teams are eliminated during any step below, the tiebreaker reverts to Step 1 of the two-team format.

1. Wins, regular season (excluding shootout wins)
2. Goal differential
3. Higher winning percentage earned in games against each other (for two teams that have not played the same number of home games against the other tied team, the first game(s) played in the city that has the extra home game(s) shall not be included)
4. Winning percentage, division
5. Winning percentage, conference
6. Goals for, regular season
7. Goals against, regular season
8. Coin toss

Frequently Asked Questions

Salary Cap FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the salary cap within the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA). The CBA was agreed to in May 2018 and will run for five years, expiring June 30, 2023.

Salary Cap

First 30 days of season (due to one extra roster slot):

  1. 2018/19- $13,470 US
  2. 2019/20- $13,780 US
  3. 2020/21- $14,090 US
  4. 2021/22- $14,400 US
  5. 2022/23- $14,610 US

Rest of Season:

  1. 2018/19- $13,000 US
  2. 2019/20- $13,300 US
  3. 2020/21- $13,600 US
  4. 2021/22- $13,900 US
  5. 2022/23- $14,100 US

Rookie Salary Cap

The Rookie Salary Cap is the maximum weekly allowable salary for a player who has played fewer than 25 regular season professional games. The amounts are as follows:

  1. 2018/19- $550 US
  2. 2019/20- $560 US
  3. 2020/21- $575 US
  4. 2021/22- $585 US
  5. 2022/23- $600 US

Salary Floor

This is the minimum total salary paid by teams to players who are on the active roster:

  1. 2018/19- $9,850 US
  2. 2019/20- $10,100 US
  3. 2020/21- $10,350 US
  4. 2021/22- $10,600 US
  5. 2022/23- $10,750 US

Weekly Salary Floor

There are weekly salary minimums for teams to meet. For rookies, those with 25 games or less of pro experience, the figures are:

  1. 2018/19- $470 US
  2. 2019/20- $480 US
  3. 2020/21- $490 US
  4. 2021/22- $500 US
  5. 2022/23- $510 US

For all other players, including veterans:

  1. 2018/19- $510 US
  2. 2019/20- $520 US
  3. 2020/21- $530 US
  4. 2021/22- $545 US
  5. 2022/23- $555 US

Playing Roster FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding playing rosters within the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA). The CBA was agreed to in May 2018 and will run for five years, expiring June 30, 2023.

Roster Limit

ECHL teams can carry a maximum of 20 players (21 for the first 30 days of the regular season) on their active roster (not counting players on reserve or injured reserve).

How Many Players Can Dress for Each Game?

Teams may dress a maximum of eighteen (18) players for each regular season and playoff game, of which two (2) must be goaltenders. No team can play with only one designated goaltender on the lineup card.

Injured Reserve

ECHL teams can have an unlimited number of players on the 14-day injured reserve. Teams cannot count the date of the game in which the player was injured as the first day of his IR. Once placed on the injured reserve, the player must remain on the IR for a minimum of 14 days. Players on injured reserve may not skate in any pregame warm-up.

Veterans

A veteran is a player, excluding a goaltender, who has played in 260 professional regular season games. Each team is allowed to have four (4) veterans on their playing roster. Games from the following leagues (in alphabetical order by country) count toward the total:

Czech Extraliga (Czech Republic)
Lilga (Finland)
DEL (Germany)
Kontinental Hockey League (Russia)
Swedish Elite League (Sweden)
National League (Switzerland)
American Hockey League (United States)
Central Hockey League (Defunct – United States)
ECHL (United States)
National Hockey League (United States)

Player/Assistant Coaches

Each team may designate one player as the Player/Assistant Coach during the season, but there will be no additional compensation or benefits except as provided in the CBA.

Rookies

A player is deemed a rookie if he has played less than 25 games as a professional.

Offseason Transactions FAQ

Protected Lists

Each ECHL team can protect as many players as they want, provided they meet designated criteria as agreed to by the ECHL & Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA):

1. Signed a standard player contract (SPC) in 2017-18 with a team, and has not been traded or released, OR

2. Signed an SPC in 2017-18, and was recalled to the NHL/AHL or IIHF team, and has not been traded or released, OR

3. Had received a qualifying offer last summer for the current season, DID NOT sign an SPC, and has not been traded or released, OR

4. Has been suspended by the team or league, and has not been traded or released, OR

5. Signed an SPC on or after the first day of the 2018-19 regular season, then subsequently signed an NHL/AHL contract, and has not been traded or released, OR

6. Has executed the ECHL Retirement Form, and has not been traded or released.

Protected Lists often exceed 20 players.

Season-Ending Rosters and Qualifying Offers

This list has a cap of 20 players and cannot include players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2018-19. From this list, coaches will select eight players to give qualifying offers to. Those must be done by June 30.

Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2018-19 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to June 30.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until July 16 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.

A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until July 16. After July 16, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran or goaltender shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams.

If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by August 1, the player shall be declared an unrestricted free agent.