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The 2014–15 ECHL season is the 27th season of the ECHL. The regular season schedule will run from October 17, 2014, to April 11, 2015, with the Kelly Cup playoffs to follow. Twenty-eight teams in 20 states and one Canadian province will each play 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.
League business Edit
Team changes Edit
- The Indy Fuel will begin 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.
- 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.
Annual Board of Governors meeting Edit
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.
All-star game Edit
The annual ECHL All-Star Classic will be held on January 21, 2015, at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The plan as was set in August 2013 would feature the Orlando Solar Bears against an all-star team composed of players from the other ECHL teams. The ECHL and the Solar Bears, however, have not announced if that format will stay or a more traditional East vs West format would be used, considering the balance of the league has changed since the original plan.
2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs format Edit
At the end of the regular season the top four teams in each division will qualify for the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The first two playoff rounds will be played entirely within the divisions, with the divisional playoff champions facing each other in the conference championships. 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.
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.
- Eastern Conference
|z – Toledo Walleye||72||50||14||5||2||281||182||107|
|x – Fort Wayne Komets||72||48||18||2||4||251||200||102|
|x- Kalamazoo Wings||72||36||30||3||3||226||233||78|
|x- Wheeling Nailers||72||37||33||1||1||210||213||76|
|e- Indy Fuel||72||31||30||4||6||197||221||73|
|e - Evansville IceMen||72||15||48||6||3||169||271||39|
|y – Florida Everblades||72||49||16||2||5||267||208||105|
|x –South Carolina Stingrays||72||45||20||1||6||224||163||97|
|x – Reading Royals||72||45||21||4||2||259||210||96|
|x – Orlando Solar Bears||72||37||25||6||4||236||215||84|
|x –Greenville Road Warriors||72||39||29||1||3||216||215||82|
|e - Elmira Jackals||72||32||33||0||7||186||217||71|
|e - Gwinnett Gladiators||72||20||45||3||4||174||263||47|
- Western Conference
|y – Allen Americans||72||48||14||6||4||292||203||106|
|x – Rapid City Rush||72||37||28||2||5||218||206||81|
|x – Quad City Mallards||72||37||28||4||3||205||186||81|
|x - Tulsa Oilers||72||37||29||3||3||248||244||80|
|e - Wichita Thunder||72||32||31||2||7||213||240||73|
|e - Missouri Mavericks||72||28||35||5||4||192||231||65|
|e - Brampton Beast||72||23||46||3||0||181||298||49|
|y – Idaho Steelheads||72||48||18||2||4||258||187||102|
|x – Ontario Reign||72||43||19||4||6||239||184||96|
|x – Colorado Eagles||72||41||23||4||4||239||209||90|
|x – Utah Grizzlies||72||37||27||5||3||213||219||82|
|e – Alaska Aces||72||35||30||3||4||237||233||77|
|e - Bakersfield Condors||72||26||38||3||5||202||265||60|
|e - Stockton Thunder||72||21||49||1||1||199||296||44|
- x - clinched playoff spot
- y - clinched regular season division title
- z - regular season champion
- e - eliminated from playoff contention
2015 Kelly Cup PlayoffsEdit
|Division Semifinals||Division Final||Conference Final||Kelly Cup Final|
|2||Fort Wayne Komets||3|
|2||Fort Wayne Komets||4|
|2||South Carolina Stingrays||4|
|4||Orlando Solar Bears||2|
|2||South Carolina Stingrays||4|
|2||South Carolina Stingrays||4|
|2||South Carolina Stingrays||3|
|2||Rapid City Rush||2|
|2||Rapid City Rush||4|
|3||Quad City Mallards||3|
the top four teams in each division will qualify for the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The first two playoff rounds will be played entirely within the divisions, with the divisional playoff champions facing each other in the conference championships. 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.
North Division SemifinalsEdit
- Toledo defeated Wheeling 4 games to 3 (2-3, 2-1 (ot), 4-5, 4-1. 2-1, 2-5, 2-1 (ot))
- Fort Wayne defeated Kalamazoo 4 games to 1 (4-2, 3-0, 3-1, 3-4, 6-4)
East Division SemifinalsEdit
- Florida defeated Orlando 4 games to 2 (3-2, 5-1, 2-5, 3-4, 5-4, 1-0 (ot)
- South Carolina defeated Reading 4 games to 3 (2-1 (2ot), 2-4, 5-2, 2-4, 4-3, 1-6, 3-2)
Central Divison SemifinalsEdit
- Allen defeated Tulsa 4 games to 1 (6-2, 5-4 (ot), 1-5, 3-1, 3-2)
- Rapid City defeated Quad City 4 games to 3 (2-3, 3-2, 2-1 (ot), 1-2, 0-4, 3-2, 2-1)
Pacific Divison SemifinalsEdit
- Utah defeated Idaho 4 games to 2 (2-3 (ot), 3-2, 4-5 (ot), 5-2, 3-0)
- Ontario defeated Colorado 4 games to 3 (2-4,, 4-1, 5-1, 3-4, 1-4, 4-1, 4-1)
North Division FinalEdit
- Toledo defeated Fort Wayne 4 games to 3 (4-1, 5-2, 2-3 (ot), 1-2 (ot), 3-2, 2-3 (2ot), 5-2)
East Divsion FinalEdit
- South Carolina defeated Florida 4 games to 2 (6-3, 4-2, 3-2, 1-2 (3ot), 4-5 (2ot), 5-2
Central Division FinalEdit
- Allen defeated Rapid City 4 games to 2 (2-4, 8-1, 4-1, 7-4, 4-7, 4-2)
Pacific Division FinalEdit
- Ontario defeated Utah 4 games to 1 (3-2 (ot), 6-2, 2-4, 4-2, 4-0)
Eastern Conference FinalEdit
- South Carolina defeated Toledo 4 games to 3 (2-1, 4-3, 6-5 (ot), 4-5, 4-5 (ot), 4-5 (ot), 1-0 (3ot))
Western Conference FinalEdit
- Allen defeated Ontario 4 games to 3 (8-2, 0-3, 1-4, 0-5, 6-2, 2-1, 3-1)
Kelly Cup FinalEdit
- Allen defeated South Carolina 4 games to 3 (3-4, 5-2, 1-4, 3-2 (2ot), 3-2 (ot), 1-4, 6-1)