2014–15 ECHL season
The 2014–15 ECHL season was the 27th season of the ECHL. The regular season schedule ran from October 17, 2014, to April 11, 2015, with the Kelly Cup playoffs following. Twenty-eight teams in 20 states and one Canadian province each played a 72-game schedule. The league was significantly expanded just before the season in October 2014 after a merger with its longtime rival, the Central Hockey League.
|2014–15 ECHL season|
|Duration||October 17, 2014 – April 11, 2015|
|Brabham Cup||Toledo Walleye|
|Season MVP||Jeff Jakaitis (South Carolina)|
|Top scorer||Chad Costello (Allen)|
|Eastern champions||South Carolina Stingrays|
|Eastern runners-up||Toledo Walleye|
|Western champions||Allen Americans|
|Western runners-up||Ontario Reign|
|Playoffs MVP||Greger Hanson|
|Runners-up||South Carolina Stingrays|
- The expansion Indy Fuel began play at the Fairgrounds Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana.
- The Las Vegas Wranglers voluntarily suspended operations in May 2014 to allow the team time to secure a new home arena. The team's lease with the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas was not renewed after the 2013–14 season. In January 2015, the team announced that they would not be returning and had withdrawn their membership from the ECHL at the Mid-season Board of Governors Meeting.
- Shortly before the season began in October 2014, the ECHL expanded with seven new teams as a result of a merger with the Central Hockey League. The Allen Americans, Brampton Beast, Missouri Mavericks, Quad City Mallards, Rapid City Rush, Tulsa Oilers and Wichita Thunder formed a new Central Division in the Western Conference. This entirely replaced a previously planned Midwest Division, which in turn reassigned the Colorado Eagles to the Western Conference's Pacific Division and sent Evansville, Fort Wayne, Kalamazoo and Indy to the Eastern Conference's North Division. Within the Eastern Conference the Elmira Jackals and Reading Royals were reassigned to the former South Division, which was renamed the East Division.
New affiliations and changes
Annual Board of Governors meeting
The annual ECHL Board of Governors meeting was held at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, in June 2014. Conferences were significantly re-aligned in light of recent team changes. In the Eastern Conference, the three-team Atlantic Division was eliminated while the Mountain Division in the Western Conference was eliminated to make way for a new Midwest Division. The Evansville IceMen, Fort Wayne Komets and Kalamazoo Wings were moved to the Western Conference to compete in the Midwest Division with the Colorado Eagles and expansion Indy Fuel. This was significantly revised after the CHL merger in October 2014, with the newly created Midwest Division eliminated in favor of a Central Division consisting of the former CHL teams. Along with Indy, Evansville, Fort Wayne and Kalamazoo were moved back to the Eastern Conference.
The ECHL Board of Governors also re-elected Gwinnett Gladiators president Steve Chapman as chairman and approved changes to the icing rule similar to those previously implemented by the National Hockey League.
The annual ECHL All-Star Classic was held on January 21, 2015, at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The format for the 2015 All-star Game featured the Orlando Solar Bears taking on the ECHL All-stars. The ECHL All-stars won the game with a score of 8-4 and the game had the largest ECHL all-star game attendance since 2000.
2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs format
At the end of the regular season the top four teams in each division qualified for the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The first two playoff rounds were played entirely within the divisions, with the divisional playoff champions facing each other in the conference championships. The Kelly Cup final pitted the Eastern Conference champion against the Western Conference champion. All four rounds were a best-of-seven format.
Due to the merger with the Central Hockey League, the league's conference alignment changed on October 9, 2014, moving the Colorado Eagles to the Pacific Division and moving the seven former CHL squads into the Western Conference as the Central Division. The Midwest Division dissolved, with its remaining teams joining the North Division. To make room for the four Midwest teams, the Reading Royals and Elmira Jackals left the North Division for the South, which was then renamed the East Division. Final Regular Season Standings
- Eastern Conference
|z – Toledo Walleye (DET)||72||50||15||5||2||281||182||107|
|x – Fort Wayne Komets (COL)||72||48||18||2||4||251||200||102|
|x – Kalamazoo Wings (CBJ/VAN)||72||36||30||3||3||226||233||78|
|x – Wheeling Nailers (MTL/PIT)||72||37||33||1||1||210||213||76|
|Cincinnati Cyclones (FLA/NSH)||72||31||30||2||9||195||212||73|
|Indy Fuel (CHI)||72||31||30||4||7||197||221||73|
|Evansville IceMen (OTT)||72||15||48||6||3||169||271||39|
|y – Florida Everblades (CAR/TB)||72||49||16||2||5||267||208||105|
|x – South Carolina Stingrays (BOS/WSH)||72||45||20||1||6||224||163||97|
|x – Reading Royals (PHI)||72||45||21||4||2||259||210||96|
|x – Orlando Solar Bears (TOR)||72||37||25||6||4||236||215||84|
|Greenville Road Warriors (NYR)||72||39||29||1||3||216||215||82|
|Elmira Jackals (BUF)||72||32||33||0||7||186||217||71|
|Gwinnett Gladiators (ARZ)||72||20||45||3||4||174||263||47|
- Western Conference
|y – Allen Americans (SJ)||72||48||14||6||4||292||203||106|
|x – Rapid City Rush (Ind.)||72||37||28||2||5||218||206||81|
|x – Quad City Mallards (MIN)||72||37||28||4||3||205||186||81|
|x – Tulsa Oilers (Ind.)||72||37||29||3||3||248||244||80|
|Wichita Thunder (Ind.)||72||32||31||2||7||213||240||73|
|Missouri Mavericks (AHL-CHI)||72||28||35||5||4||192||231||65|
|Brampton Beast (Ind.)||72||23||46||3||0||181||298||49|
|y – Idaho Steelheads (DAL)||72||48||18||2||4||258||187||102|
|x – Ontario Reign (LA/WPG)||72||43||19||4||6||239||184||96|
|x – Colorado Eagles (CGY)||72||41||23||4||4||236||209||90|
|x – Utah Grizzlies (ANA)||72||37||27||5||3||213||219||82|
|Alaska Aces (MIN/STL)||72||35||30||3||4||237||233||77|
|Bakersfield Condors (EDM)||72||26||38||3||5||202||265||60|
|Stockton Thunder (NYI)||72||21||49||1||1||199||296||44|
Brabham Cup (regular season) champion- clinched playoff spot, - clinched regular season division title, -
|Division Semifinals||Division Finals||Conference Finals||Kelly Cup Finals|
|N2||Fort Wayne Komets||4|
|E4||Orlando Solar Bears||2|
|E2||South Carolina Stingrays||4|
|C2||Rapid City Rush||4|
|C3||Quad City Mallards||3|
|Patrick Kelly Cup:||Allen Americans|
|Henry Brabham Cup:||Toledo Walleye|
|Gingher Memorial Trophy:||South Carolina Stingrays|
|Bruce Taylor Trophy:||Allen Americans|
|John Brophy Award:||Derek Lalonde, Toledo Walleye|
|CCM Most Valuable Player:||Jeff Jakaitis, South Carolina Stingrays|
|Kelly Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player:||Greger Hanson, Allen Americans|
|Warrior Hockey Goaltender of the Year:||Jeff Jakaitis, South Carolina Stingrays|
|CCM Rookie of the Year:||Tyler Barnes, Toledo Walleye|
|CCM Defenseman of the Year:||Mike Little, Florida Everblades|
|Leading Scorer:||Chad Costello, Allen Americans|
|AMI Graphics Plus Performer Award:||Drew Daniels, Fort Wayne Komets|
Mike Little, Florida Everblades
|Sportsmanship Award:||Chad Costello, Allen Americans|
|Community Service Award:||Cal Wild, Brampton Beast|
|Birmingham Memorial Award:||Scott Senger|
- Jeff Jakaitis (G) – South Carolina Stingrays
- Mike Little (D) – Florida Everblades
- Matthew Register (D) – Ontario Reign
- Chad Costello (F) – Allen Americans
- Wade MacLeod (F) – Idaho Steelheads
- Shawn Szydlowski (F) – Fort Wayne Komets
- Jeff Lerg (G) – Toledo Walleye
- Cameron Burt (D) – Florida Everblades
- Aaron Gens (D) – Allen Americans
- Adam Brace (F) – Florida Everblades
- Brendan Connolly (F) – Alaska Aces
- Gary Steffes (F) – Allen Americans
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