08 Apr 2008
PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Monday that Cincinnati Cyclones defenseman Chad Starling is the recipient of the Rbk Hockey Plus Performer of the Year award after finishing at +48 in 63 games.
It is the highest plus-minus rating since 1995-96 when Kim Maier of Knoxville led the league with +48 and it ties the fifth-best plus-minus rating in the 20-year history of the league by Maier and Brian Martin of Hampton Roads in 1992-93. The ECHL record for plus-minus rating is +59 by Victor Gervais of Hampton Roads in 1992-93.
Starling, who was named Second Team All-ECHL on Friday, was even or better in 55 of his 63 games including the last 30 in a row. In the last two seasons with the Cyclones he is +72 and has 41 points (6g-35a) in 133 games.
The ECHL will announce the Coach of the Year on Tuesday.
ECHL Plus-Minus Rating Leaders 2007-08 Chad Starling, Cincinnati Cyclones +48 2006-07 Matt Shasby, Alaska Aces +43 2005-06 Peter Metcalf, Alaska Aces +44 2004-05 Aaron Phillips, Pensacola Ice Pilots +36 2003-04 Tim Smith, Columbia Inferno +40 2002-03 Dennis Vial, Columbia Inferno +37 Mike Glumac, Pee Dee Pride +37 2001-02 Konstantin Kalmikov, Louisiana IceGators +43 2000-01 Jay Murphy, Louisiana IceGators +32 1999-00 Andy MacIntyre, Florida Everblades +46 1998-99 Jan Vodrazka, Pee Dee Pride +44 1997-98 Stan Melanson, Louisiana IceGators +36 1996-97 Dominic Maltais, Hampton Roads Admirals +44 1995-96 Kim Maier, Knoxville Checkers +48 1994-95 Jamie Steer, Dayton Bombers +43 1993-94 Sebastien Laplante, Greensboro Monarchs +42 1992-93 Victor Gervais, Hampton Roads Admirals +59 1991-92 Brad McCaughey, Toledo +51
ECHL Celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08, the ECHL is the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League and the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 25 teams playing 900 games in 17 states and British Columbia in 2007-08.
The league officially changed its name to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the NHL in 2007-08, marking the 11th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
There have been 354 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, including 98 in the last three seasons. There have been 209 former ECHL players who have played their first game in the NHL in the past seven seasons.
There are 15 coaches in the NHL who have ECHL experience including former Wheeling coach Peter Laviolette, who is head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, and former Mississippi coach Bruce Boudreau, who is head coach of the Washington Capitals.
The ECHL is represented for the seventh consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team in 2007 with Anaheim assistant coach Dave Farrish, players Francois Beauchemin and George Parros and broadcasters John Ahlers and Steve Carroll.
The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League in 2007-08 and for the past 18 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup champion.
In each of the last two seasons there have been more than 225 players who have played in both the ECHL and the AHL and there were over 800 call-ups involving more than 500 players. In the last five seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,000 call-ups involving more than 1,000 players since 2002-03.