The Annual ECHL Board of Governors Meeting was held at The Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada last week.
Conference, divisional alignment set for 2014-15 season
The Board of Governors approved the following conference and divisional alignment for the 2014-15 season.
Cincinnati Cyclones, Elmira Jackals, Reading Royals, Toledo Walleye, Wheeling Nailers
Florida Everblades, Greenville Road Warriors, Gwinnett Gladiators, Orlando Solar Bears, South Carolina Stingrays
Colorado Eagles, Evansville IceMen, Fort Wayne Komets, Indy Fuel, Kalamazoo Wings
Alaska Aces, Bakersfield Condors, Idaho Steelheads, Ontario Reign, Stockton Thunder, Utah Grizzlies
Format determined for 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs
The top four teams in each division during the regular season will qualify for the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs. All four rounds of the playoffs will be played in a best-of-seven format.
The first two rounds of the playoffs will be played entirely within the division with the division winner meeting the fourth-place finisher and the second-place finisher meeting the team that finished in third place in the Division Semifinals. The Division Finals will pit the winner of each series against each other. The winner of the North Division Finals will meet the winner of the South Division Finals in the Eastern Conference Finals while the winner of the Midwest Division will meet the winner of the Pacific Division Finals in the Western Conference Finals. The 2015 Kelly Cup Finals will see the Eastern Conference champion take on the Western Conference champion.
The Board of Governors determined that this would create a more equitable opportunity for all teams to qualify for a playoff position.
Approval of hybrid icing
Following the lead of the National Hockey League, the Board of Governors has approved the implementation of hybrid icing for the 2014-15 season.
The hybrid-icing system allows the linesman to blow the play dead and call an automatic icing if he determines that the puck will cross the goal line and the defending player is not behind in the race to the end-zone faceoff dots in his defensive zone. The faceoff would go to the far end of the ice as it did with icings called in the no-touch icing used by the ECHL in the past.
If the attacking player is leading the race, the linesman is supposed to allow the play to continue.