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1996-97 ECHL season

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The 1996-97 ECHL season was the ninth season of the ECHL. Before the start of the season, two franchises relocated, one was renamed, and two expansion franchises were founded. Founding member Erie Panthers moved to Baton Rouge, LA and the Nashville Knights moved to Pensacola, FL, the Wheeling Thunderbirds changed their name to the Wheeling Nailers following a lawsuit with WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds, and the ECHL welcomed franchises in Peoria, IL and Biloxi, MS.

In 1996, the ECHL Board of Governors decided to retire the Jack Riley Cup and create a new trophy, the Patrick J. Kelly Cup, named after founding father and former ECHL commissioner, Patrick J. Kelly. The league also created a new individual award, the Sportsmanship Award, to be awarded to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability as voted by the coaches of each of the ECHL teams.[1]

The South Carolina Stingrays finished first overall in the season and became the first team in ECHL history to win the Brabham and Kelly Cups in the same year as the defeated the Louisiana IceGators 4 games to 1.

Regular seasonEdit

Final Standings[2]Edit

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, Green shade = Clinched playoff spot, Blue shade = Clinched division

East Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
South Carolina Stingrays 70 45 15 10 100 345 253
Hampton Roads Admirals 70 46 19 5 97 286 223
Richmond Renegades 70 41 25 4 86 252 235
Roanoke Express 70 38 26 6 82 262 250
Charlotte Checkers 70 35 28 7 77 271 267
Raleigh Icecaps 70 30 33 7 67 256 293
Knoxville Cherokees 70 24 43 3 51 260 343
North Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
Columbus Chill 70 44 21 5 93 303 257
Peoria Rivermen 70 43 21 6 92 308 219
Dayton Bombers 70 36 26 8 80 253 258
Wheeling Nailers 70 36 29 5 77 298 291
Toledo Storm 70 32 28 10 74 258 248
Huntington Blizzard 70 33 33 4 70 273 296
Louisville Riverfrogs 70 29 31 10 68 234 290
Johnstown Chiefs 70 24 39 7 55 253 354
South Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
Tallahassee Tiger Sharks 70 39 23 8 86 263 236
Birmingham Bulls 70 36 25 9 81 291 296
Louisiana IceGators 70 38 28 4 80 292 244
Mobile Mysticks 70 34 25 11 79 257 263
Mississippi Sea Wolves 70 34 26 10 78 241 245
Pensacola Ice Pilots 70 36 31 3 75 275 275
Baton Rouge Kingfish 70 31 33 6 68 222 238
Jacksonville Lizard Kings 70 21 37 12 54 220 299

Kelly Cup playoffs Edit

BracketEdit

  First Round
(Best of 5)
Quarterfinals
(Best of 5)
Semifinals
(Best of 5)
Finals
(Best of 7
                                     
 South Carolina 3  
 Charlotte 0  
   South Carolina 3  
   Hampton Roads 0  
 Hampton Roads 3
 Roanoke 1  
   South Carolina 3  
   Pensacola 2  
 Richmond 3  
 Dayton 1  
   Richmond 1
   Pensacola 3  
 Tallahassee 0
 Pensacola 3  
   South Carolina 4
   Louisiana 1
 Columbus 3  
 Toledo 2  
   Columbus 0
   Peoria 3  
 Peoria 3
 Wheeling 0  
   Peoria 1
   Louisiana 3  
 Birmingham 3  
 Mississippi 0  
   Birmingham 2
   Louisiana 3  
 Louisiana 3
 Mobile 0  

ECHL awardsEdit

See also: ECHL awards
Patrick J. Kelly Cup: South Carolina Stingrays
Henry Brabham Cup: South Carolina Stingrays
John Brophy Award: Brian McCutcheon (Columbus)
ECHL Most Valuable Player: Mike Ross (South Carolina)
Kelly Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player: Jason Fitzsimmons (South Carolina)
ECHL Goaltender of the Year: Marc Delorme (Louisiana)
ECHL Rookie of the Year: Dany Bousquet (Birmingham)
Defenseman of the Year: Chris Valicevic (Louisiana)
Leading Scorer: Ed Courtenay (South Carolina)
Sportsmanship Award: Mike Ross (South Carolina)

Team PhotosEdit


ReferencesEdit

See alsoEdit


ECHL seasons
1988-89 · 1989-90 · 1990-91 · 1991-92 · 1992-93 · 1993-94 · 1994-95 · 1995-96 · 1996-97 · 1997-98 · 1998-99
1999-00 · 2000-01 · 2001-02 · 2002-03 · 2003-04 · 2004-05 · 2005-06 · 2006-07 · 2007-08 · 2008-09 · 2009-10 · 2010-11


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