ECHL offseason update

The coming of the summer means a lot of movement in the ECHL. The crowning of the Colorado Eagles as Kelly Cup champion in a four-game sweep over the South Carolina Stingrays puts a cap on the 2016-17 season allows us to look ahead to 2017-18.

Upcoming are the league meetings, at which divisional alignments will likely be announced and potential other league business voted on. One potential is the addition of a 28th team – long-rumored to be Portland, Maine. Commissioner Brian McKenna said Thursday in Worcester that an announcement will be made in a few weeks about a market “familiar to local hockey fans” in Worcester. 

Of course, the roster movement will begin after the 2017-18 season begins on the ECHL calendar, which happens June 16. However, leading up to that are the two carousels – the organizational and coaching ones.

As far as organizations go, there have been several changes of NHL affiliation, including three teams that will likely be in the Fuel’s division – Cincinnati, Kansas City and Quad City. The Fuel will be beginning the fourth year of a five-year agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2017.

So far:

Coaching carousel

The coaching carousel is another constant in the spring in hockey. Among the new coaches in the ECHL: