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ECHL Switches Playoff Format And More...

Tuesday, June 24th
ECHL Switches Playoff Format And More...

PRINCETON, N.J. ? The Annual ECHL Board of Governors Meeting was held in Westminster, Colo. on June 19-20. The following items were approved by the Board of Governors: Gwinnett?s Chapman Re-Elected Chairman Of The BoardSteve Chapman of the Gwinnett Gladiators was unanimously re-elected to serve a third term as Chairman of the Board of Governors. Chapman was voted ECHL Executive of the Year in 2005 and 2006 becoming the first person in league history to win the award twice. Division, Conference Alignments FinalizedThe following division and conference alignments were unanimously approved by the Board for 2008-09: American Conference (13 teams) North Division (7 teams) - Cincinnati, Dayton, Elmira, Johnstown, Reading, Trenton and WheelingSouth Division (6 teams) - Augusta, Charlotte, Florida, Gwinnett, Mississippi and South CarolinaNational Conference (10 teams)West Division (5 teams) - Alaska, Idaho, Phoenix, Utah and VictoriaPacific Division (5 teams) - Bakersfield, Fresno, Las Vegas, Ontario and Stockton2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs Format ApprovedThe Board approved the format for the 2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs as follows. The top four finishers in each division will be seeded based on regular season point totals. The Division Semifinals will have the first seed meeting the fourth seed and the second seed meeting the third seed in a best-of-seven series. The winners of the Division Semifinals will advance to the Division Finals which is a best-of-seven series. The Division Finals winners will advance to the Conference Finals which is a best-of-seven series. The winner of the American Conference and the winner of the National Conference will meet in the Kelly Cup Finals, a best-of-seven game series. Home-ice advantage will be determined by regular season points. 2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs FormatDivision Semifinals (Best-of-Seven Series)No. 1 Seed (Division Winner) vs. No. 4 SeedNo. 2 Seed (Division Winner) vs. No. 3 SeedDivision Finals (Best-of-Seven Series)Semifinals Winner vs. Semifinals WinnerConference Finals (Best-of-Seven Series)Division Winner vs. Division Winner2009 Kelly Cup Finals (Best-of-Seven Series)National Conference Champion vs. American Conference ChampionColumbia, Myrtle Beach, Reno, Toledo Provide UpdatesColumbia advised the Board that it has made progress on a new arena and that it has retained the nucleus of its staff with the plan to return to the ice in 2009-10. Myrtle Beach advised the Board that it continues to work toward construction of a facility on the campus of Coastal Carolina University with the hope of beginning play in 2009-10. The Board unanimously approved a request from Reno for a one-year extension to its Home Arena Pending as the ownership group continues its work toward an arena project. Toledo advised the Board that construction on the new Lucas County Arena is going very well. The team has already sold suites, sponsorships and merchandise and will begin selling club level seats on Monday. Intermission, Pregame Warm-Up Times ShortenedThe Board unanimously approved that between-period intermissions can be no less than 15 minutes and no longer than 18 minutes, at the home team?s option. The Board unanimously approved that pregame warm-up time will be shorted from 20 minutes to 16 minutes which is the same amount of time used by both the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League. Summer Player Contracts Limited To 24The Board unanimously approved that teams are not allowed to sign more than 24 players to contracts during the summer. Officiating UpdateECHL Director of Officiating Bryan Lewis provided a complete update on officiating for the Board. Lewis said that the NHL has taken a greater interest observing more ECHL games than ever in 2007-08 and placing several ECHL officials on its ?watch list?. He added that many of the top officials from Canadian Junior Hockey and USA Junior Hockey are interested in working in the ECHL and noted that the league?s recruiting and coaching efforts are earning officials the opportunity to work in both the American Hockey League and the NHL.

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