2015–16 ECHL season

The 2015–16 ECHL season was the 28th season of the ECHL. The regular season schedule ran from October 16, 2015 to April 9, 2016[1] with the Kelly Cup playoffs to follow. Twenty-eight teams in 21 states and one Canadian province will each play a 72-game schedule. The league alignment was significantly altered before the season when the American Hockey League announced the formation of a Pacific Division on January 30, 2015 displacing the ECHL teams that had been in California markets.[2]

2015–16 ECHL season
LeagueECHL
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 16, 2015 – April 9, 2016
Regular season
Brabham CupMissouri Mavericks
Season MVPChad Costello (Allen)
Top scorerChad Costello (Allen)
Playoffs
Eastern championsWheeling Nailers
  Eastern runners-upSouth Carolina Stingrays
Western championsAllen Americans
  Western runners-upFort Wayne Komets
Playoffs MVPChad Costello
Kelly Cup
ChampionsAllen Americans
  Runners-upWheeling Nailers
ECHL seasons

League businessEdit

Teams in the ECHL as of the 2015–16 season. Dot colors correspond to each division. For the Alaska Aces of the West Division, see map below.
Location of the Alaska Aces

Team changesEdit

As part of a massive market swap with the American Hockey League, the three California based ECHL franchises moved east into markets that the AHL had vacated.

Two South Division teams changed names to reflect their regions:

Conference realignmentEdit

Due to the relocation of the former Californian franchises, the league's conference alignment was significantly altered. ECHL brought back the Midwest and South Divisions to increase the number of divisions from four to six, whereas the number of teams per division was reduced from seven to either four or five.[5]

With less teams on the Pacific coast, the former Pacific Division was renamed as the West Division. The Central division lost three teams: Rapid City to the West, Brampton to the North, and Quad City to the Midwest. Former North Division teams Cincinnati, Evansville, Fort Wayne and Indy joined Quad City in the new Midwest Division.

All former East Division teams except Elmira and Reading are realigned to the new South Division with the relocated teams Adirondack, Manchester and Norfolk being placed in the East Division.

Affiliation changesEdit

For the 2015–16 season, all 28 ECHL teams are only allowed to have a single affiliation with an NHL team leading to many affiliation changes.[6]

ECHL team New affiliates Former affiliates
Adirondack Thunder (formerly Stockton) Calgary Flames (NHL)
Stockton Heat (AHL)
New York Islanders (NHL)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL)
Alaska Aces* Independent Minnesota Wild (NHL)
St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Iowa Wild (AHL)
Allen Americans San Jose Barracuda (AHL) Worcester Sharks (AHL)
Atlanta Gladiators (formerly Gwinnett)[7] Boston Bruins (NHL)
Providence Bruins (AHL)
Arizona Coyotes (NHL)
Portland Pirates (AHL)
Brampton Beast[8] Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
St. John's IceCaps (AHL)
Unaffiliated
Cincinnati Cyclones* Florida Panthers (NHL)
San Antonio Rampage (AHL)
Colorado Eagles Independent Calgary Flames (NHL)
Adirondack Flames (AHL)
Florida Everblades*[6] Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
Fort Wayne Komets San Antonio Rampage (AHL) Lake Erie Monsters (AHL)
Kalamazoo Wings* Lake Erie Monsters (AHL) Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
Chicago Wolves (AHL)
Springfield Falcons (AHL)
Utica Comets (AHL)
Manchester Monarchs* (formerly Ontario) Ontario Reign (AHL) Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
Manchester Monarchs (AHL)
St. John's IceCaps (AHL)
Missouri Mavericks[9] New York Islanders (NHL)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL)
Chicago Wolves (AHL)
Norfolk Admirals (formerly Bakersfield) Bakersfield Condors (AHL) Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Rapid City Rush[10] Arizona Coyotes (NHL)
Springfield Falcons (AHL)
Unaffiliated
South Carolina Stingrays* Boston Bruins (NHL)
Providence Bruins (AHL)
Tulsa Oilers[11] Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
Manitoba Moose (AHL)
Unaffiliated
Utah Grizzlies San Diego Gulls (AHL) Norfolk Admirals (AHL)
Wheeling Nailers*[8] Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL)
*indicates team previously had multiple NHL/AHL affiliations and were dropped due to the new single affiliation rule

Annual Board of Governors meetingEdit

The annual ECHL Board of Governors meeting was held at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, in June 2015. The ECHL Board of Governors unanimously elected Cincinnati Cyclones' president Ray Harris as chairman replacing Atlanta Gladiators' president Steve Chapman who had served as chairman for the previous seven seasons. The Board also approved of several rule changes including the change to a 3-on-3 overtime for the full five-minute duration. If still tied after overtime the shootout is decreased to three shooters per side before entering the "sudden death" format.[12]

It was later announced that league owners voted unanimously that all 28 ECHL franchises should only allow for a single affiliation with a parent NHL team in order to give an opportunity for previously unaffiliated teams (such as those added from the Central Hockey League in 2014) to gain NHL prospects.[6]

2016 CCM/ECHL Hockey Heritage WeekEdit

As in 2012 and 2014, the ECHL will not have a traditional All-Star Game.[13] Instead, they will hold a Hockey Heritage Week hosted by the Kalamazoo Wings at the Wings Event Center in the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan from February 1–6, 2016. The week's theme is Past, Present, and Future and includes Hall of Fame exhibits, K-Wings throwback jerseys, alumni reunions, a youth hockey showcase, and two games between the Wings and the Toledo Walleye.[14]

2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs formatEdit

At the end of the regular season the top team in each division will qualify for the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs and be seeded either 1, 2, or 3 based on highest point total earned in the season. Then the five non-division winning teams with the highest point totals in each conference will qualify for the playoffs and be seeded 4 through 8. The Kelly Cup final will pit the Eastern Conference champion against the Western Conference champion. All four rounds will be a best-of-seven format.[5]

StandingsEdit

Final standings.[15]

Eastern Conference
East Division GP W L OTL SOL GF GA PTS
y – Manchester Monarchs (LA) 72 39 24 4 5 222 213 87
x – Adirondack Thunder (CGY) 72 38 28 2 4 197 189 82
x – Reading Royals (PHI) 72 36 26 6 4 222 194 82
Elmira Jackals (BUF) 72 37 30 3 2 206 214 79
Norfolk Admirals (EDM) 72 30 37 4 1 201 232 65
North Division GP W L OTL SOL GF GA PTS
y – Toledo Walleye (DET) 72 47 20 2 3 225 174 99
x – Wheeling Nailers (PIT) 72 37 26 5 4 214 211 83
x – Kalamazoo Wings (CBJ) 72 38 28 5 1 233 230 82
Brampton Beast (MTL) 72 23 38 7 4 179 255 57
South Division GP W L OTL SOL GF GA PTS
y – South Carolina Stingrays (WSH) 72 44 18 7 3 224 162 98
x – Florida Everblades (CAR) 72 46 23 1 2 226 175 95
Orlando Solar Bears (TOR) 72 33 30 4 5 224 232 75
Atlanta Gladiators (BOS) 72 34 31 5 2 189 224 75
Greenville Swamp Rabbits (NYR) 72 29 33 9 1 205 243 68


Western Conference
Midwest Division GP W L OTL SOL GF GA PTS
y – Fort Wayne Komets (COL) 72 40 23 7 2 240 200 89
x – Cincinnati Cyclones (NSH) 72 36 27 5 4 222 210 81
x – Quad City Mallards (MIN) 72 37 29 4 2 203 203 80
Indy Fuel (CHI) 72 32 36 4 0 174 201 68
Evansville IceMen (OTT) 72 29 33 7 3 207 242 68
Central Division GP W L OTL SOL GF GA PTS
z – Missouri Mavericks (NYI) 72 52 15 3 2 234 162 109
x – Allen Americans (SJ) 72 41 24 3 4 222 204 89
Tulsa Oilers (WPG) 72 37 30 3 2 191 191 79
Wichita Thunder (Ind.) 72 18 41 7 6 150 240 49
West Division GP W L OTL SOL GF GA PTS
y – Colorado Eagles (Ind.) 72 41 27 3 1 232 193 86
x – Idaho Steelheads (DAL) 72 38 24 7 3 203 187 86
x – Utah Grizzlies (ANA) 72 39 27 3 3 223 206 84
Rapid City Rush (ARZ) 72 30 35 3 4 177 210 67
Alaska Aces (Ind.) 72 27 38 4 3 189 237 61

 x  - clinched playoff spot,  y  - clinched regular season division title,  z  - Brabham Cup (regular season) champion


PostseasonEdit

Conference Quarterfinals Conference Semifinals Conference Finals Kelly Cup Finals
            
E1 Toledo Walleye 3
E8 Reading Royals 4
E8 Reading 3
E5 Wheeling 4
E4 Florida Everblades 2
E5 Wheeling Nailers 4
E5 Wheeling 4
Eastern Conference
E2 South Carolina 3
E2 South Carolina Stingrays 4
E7 Kalamazoo Wings 1
E2 South Carolina 4
E6 Adirondack 3
E3 Manchester Monarchs 1
E6 Adirondack Thunder 4
E5 Wheeling 2
W4 Allen 4
W1 Missouri Mavericks 4
W8 Quad City Mallards 0
W1 Missouri 2
W4 Allen 4
W4 Allen Americans 4
W5 Idaho Steelheads 3
W4 Allen 4
Western Conference
W2 Fort Wayne 1
W2 Fort Wayne Komets 4
W7 Cincinnati Cyclones 3
W2 Fort Wayne 4
W6 Utah 0
W3 Colorado Eagles 2
W6 Utah Grizzlies 4


AwardsEdit

Award Winner
Patrick Kelly Cup: Allen Americans
Henry Brabham Cup: Missouri Mavericks
Gingher Memorial Trophy: Wheeling Nailers
Bruce Taylor Trophy: Allen Americans
John Brophy Award: Richard Matvichuk, Missouri Mavericks
CCM Most Valuable Player: Chad Costello, Allen Americans
Kelly Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player: Chad Costello, Allen Americans
Warrior Hockey Goaltender of the Year: Josh Robinson, Missouri Mavericks
CCM Rookie of the Year: Matt Willows, Florida Everblades
CCM Defenseman of the Year: Mathew Maione, Wheeling Nailers
Leading Scorer: Chad Costello, Allen Americans
AMI Graphics Plus Performer Award: Joey Leach, South Carolina Stingrays
Sportsmanship Award: Shane Berschbach, Toledo Walleye
Community Service Award: Rob Florentino, Florida Everblades
Birmingham Memorial Award: Camden Nuckols and Oliver "Butch" Mousseaux

All-ECHL teamsEdit

All-First Team[16]

All-Second Team[16]

All-Rookie Team[17]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "ECHL releases 2015-16 schedule". ECHL. April 27, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "ECHL BOARD OF GOVERNORS ANNOUNCES MAJOR MOVES". ECHL. January 30, 2015. Archived from the original on February 2, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  3. ^ "A New Era: Greenville Swamp Rabbits". Greenville Swamp Rabbits. August 26, 2015.
  4. ^ "Glads Become ATL Gladiators". AtlantaGladiators.com. Atlanta Gladiators. September 9, 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-09-14. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "ALIGNMENT, PLAYOFF FORMAT ANNOUNCED FOR 2015-16 SEASON". ECHL. February 3, 2015. Archived from the original on May 7, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "Lightning, Everblades forced to split". newspress.com. July 29, 2015.
  7. ^ "GLADIATORS ANNOUNCE AFFILIATION AGREEMENT WITH BOSTON BRUINS". ECHL. August 6, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "The Brampton Beast Announce the Montreal Canadiens as their NHL Affiliate". Montreal Canadiens. May 28, 2015.
  9. ^ "MAVS ANNOUNCE AFFILIATION WITH ISLANDERS". Missouri Mavericks. June 11, 2015.
  10. ^ "Coyotes Announce New Affiliation Agreement with Rapid City of ECHL". Arizona Coyotes. August 11, 2015.
  11. ^ "Winnipeg Jets announce ECHL affiliation with the Tulsa Oilers". Winnipeg Jets. July 31, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  12. ^ "ANNUAL ECHL BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING CONCLUDES". ECHL. June 29, 2015. Archived from the original on July 1, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  13. ^ "ECHL CRITICAL DATES - 2015-16 SEASON". ECHL. September 15, 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-09-27.
  14. ^ "Kalamazoo named Host City for 2016 CCM/ECHL Hockey Heritage Week". ECHL. September 10, 2015. Archived from the original on September 19, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  15. ^ "2015–16 Regular Season - Division". ECHL. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  16. ^ a b "All-ECHL First and Second Teams Announced". OurSports Central. April 7, 2016.
  17. ^ "ECHL Announces 2015-16 All-Rookie Team". ECHL. April 6, 2016.

External linksEdit