PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL is represented by 32 players and three coaches on the Hershey Bears and Texas Stars, who will meet in the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Finals beginning on June 3.
The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 29 American Hockey League teams in 2009-10 marking the ninth consecutive year that the league has had affiliations with 20 or more AHL teams. The ECHL has been represented on the Calder Cup champion for each of the last 20 years.
The South Carolina Stingrays are the ECHL affiliate for Hershey and the Idaho Steelheads are the ECHL affiliate of Texas.
Hershey had a record 15 former ECHL players on its 2009 Calder Cup championship team breaking the record of 14 set by Chicago in 2008. There have been 41 former ECHL players on the last three AHL winners and 59 former ECHL players on the last five champions.
Six of the former 16 ECHL players who have played for Hershey in the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs played in the ECHL in 2009-10: Simon Ferguson, ECHL All-Star Braden Holtby, Johann Kroll, Ashton Rome, Patrick Wellar and Dylan Yeo.
Kroll and Wellar also played instrumental roles in South Carolina's 2009 Kelly Cup championship. Eight ECHL alums on Hershey are seeking their second straight Calder Cup championship: Greg Amadio, Keith Aucoin, Jay Beagle, Sean Collins, Andrew Gordon, Patrick McNeill, Michal Neuvirth and Steve Pinizzotto.
The other two former ECHL players on the Bears are Boyd Kane and Kyle Wilson.
The head coach of the Bears is former ECHL assistant coach Mark French while the assistant coach is former ECHL player and coach Troy Mann.
Ten of the former 16 ECHL players on Texas once played for Idaho: Richard Bachman, Matt Climie, Aaron Gagnon, Ethan Graham, Sergei Korostin, Trevor Ludwig, Warren Peters, Greg Rallo, Matt Stephenson and Francis Wathier.
The other former ECHL players on Texas are Matt Beaudoin, Maxime Fortunus, Andrew Hutchinson, Brent Krahn, Scott McCulloch, and Travis Morin, who was a member of South Carolina's 2009 Kelly Cup championship team.
The head coach of the Stars is former ECHL head coach Glen Gulutzan, who coached the Las Vegas Wranglers from 2003-04 through 2008-09 including a trip to the 2008 Kelly Cup Finals. Gulutzan was named ECHL Coach of the Year in 2006.
The general manager of Texas is former ECHL player and coach Scott White. Other former ECHL personnel with the Stars includes athletic trainer Brad Jellis, equipment manager Brian Garcia and broadcaster Josh Fisher.