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WICHITA, KAN. – As we get ready for game six of the Kelly Cup Final in just a matter of hours, there is plenty of news going on with the other 25 teams in the ECHL. Let’s get you caught up on all the news that’s fit to print (or type).

Protected Lists Released

With the turn of the calendar to June, the first of the ECHL’s lists were released last Friday. The protected list is probably the most meaningless list of the offseason, in that it has players who may have not even played for your team last season (see Alexis LoiseauJack Rodewald for Wichita).

According to the ECHL, teams are allowed to protect as many players as they wish provided the players protected meet the guidelines below:

1. Signed an SPC in 2017-18 with the Member, 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 Member or League, and has not been traded or released, OR

5. Signed an SPC on or after the first day of the 2017-18 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.

You can find the entire list, here: https://www.echl.com/echl-announces-2018-protected-lists, but it’s worth pointing out there are a couple of notable names left off the list. Netminder Riley Gill was left off the Allen Americans’ list; while in Fort Wayne, Dennis Kravchenko was also not protected by the Komets.

Next up in the offseason is the completion of future considerations trades, which will need to be done by next Wednesday at 3 pm Eastern.

After that, season-ending rosters for the 2017-18 season are due into the league office by 3 pm Eastern next Friday. Season-ending rosters may include up to 20 players and cannot contain any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2017-18.

The 2018-19 league season opens next Saturday. After that, teams can begin announcing players they already have signed for the upcoming campaign.

Coaching Carousel Heating Up

One week after the Wheeling Nailers named Mark Dennehy it’s new head coach; the coaching carousel has once again heated back up.

Tuesday, the Los Angeles Kings announced a restructuring of their organization, one that reached all the way to the ECHL. As a result of the restructuring, the Manchester Monarchs will be looking for a new head coach, as Richard Seeley was promoted to general manager of the Ontario Reign. Seeley had been the Monarchs’ bench boss since the team’s move to the ECHL from the American Hockey League before the 2015-16 season. In three seasons with Manchester, he compiled an overall record of 117-73-26.

In a separate move announced last week, former Communications Director of the Adirondack Thunder, Zach Dooley, also joined the Ontario Reign in a similar capacity. Dooley will be reunited with Cameron Close, the voice of the Adirondack Thunder for their first two seasons in the ECHL.

Also on Tuesday, the Atlanta Gladiators announced they will be searching for their third head coach in four seasons, as Chuck Weber accepted an assistant head coaching position at RPI University. In Weber’s only season in the ATL, he led the Glads to a fourth-place finish in the ECHL’s South Division this past regular-season and were swept out of the Kelly Cup Playoffs by the Florida Everblades.

As things stand, there are currently three vacant spots open right now; Atlanta, Manchester, and the expansion Newfoundland Growlers.

Affiliation Stability?

Just as head coaches change by the season in the ECHL, so too do affiliations. But, there has been a noticeable trend early in the offseason…NHL clubs are renewing affiliation agreements with their ECHL partners. Here’s the list of those who have renewed so far:

NHL Team ECHL Team Through
Edmonton Wichita 2018-19
Calgary Kansas City 2018-19
St. Louis Tulsa 2018-19
N.Y. Islanders Worcester 2019-20
New Jersey Adirondack 2018-19

There will likely be some additional shuffling of affiliations during the offseason, and it will be interesting to track whether NHL clubs continue to renew with their ECHL partners or if they move to other teams.

A reminder, our Affiliations page has the breakdown of all the NHL-AHL-ECHL affiliations. You can check that out, here: https://thesinbin.net/affiliations/

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