The ECHL on Wednesday announced its preseason schedule of 23 games beginning Oct. 3 and continuing through Oct. 9.
The preseason opens on Wednesday, Oct. 3 with the expansion San Francisco Bulls hosting the Stockton Thunder at the Cow Palace.
The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League will open its 25th anniversary season with eight games on Friday, Oct. 12. Opening weekend continues with 11 games on Saturday, Oct. 13 and one game on Sunday, Oct. 14.
The third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, the ECHL has averaged more than 4,000 fans each of the last eight seasons and 20 of the last 22 years and has drawn more than 3 million fans each of the last 19 seasons.
2012 ECHL Preseason Schedule
Wednesday, October 3
Stockton at San Francisco 7 p.m. PT
Thursday, October 4
Ontario at Las Vegas 7:05 p.m. PT
Friday, October 5
Reading at Trenton 7 p.m. ET (Flyers Skate Zone in Vorhees, N.J.)
Gwinnett at Greenville 7 p.m. ET
Toledo at Kalamazoo 7:30 p.m. ET
Orlando at Florida 7:30 p.m. ET
Wheeling at Cincinnati 7:35 p.m. ET
Idaho at Utah 7 p.m. MT (Eccles Ice Center in Logan, Utah)
San Francisco at Colorado 7:05 p.m. MT
Stockton at Bakersfield 7 p.m. PT
Las Vegas at Ontario 7 p.m. PT
Saturday, October 6
Orlando at Florida 7 p.m. ET
Trenton at Reading 7:05 p.m. ET
Evansville at Fort Wayne 7:30 p.m. ET
Kalamazoo at Toledo 9 p.m. ET
Utah at Idaho 7:10 p.m. MT
Bakersfield at Stockton 7:30 p.m. PT
Sunday, October 7
Cincinnati at Wheeling 2 p.m. ET
South Carolina at Gwinnett 4 p.m. ET (Duluth Ice Forum in Duluth, Ga.)
Evansville at Fort Wayne 5 p.m. ET
Monday, October 8
Greenville at South Carolina 6 p.m. ET (Carolina Ice Palace in Charleston, S.C.)
Las Vegas at Alaska 7:15 p.m. AKT
Tuesday, October 9
Las Vegas at Alaska 7:15 p.m. AKT
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• Watch games live on America One Sports , the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster” of the ECHL.
• The ECHL celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2012-13 and is 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 23 teams in 16 states in 2012-13.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• 490 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 23 in 2011-12.
• The ECHL has had 298 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years.
• 234 ECHL players have played their first game in the last seven seasons for an average of more than 33 per year.
• ECHL had a record 81 players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2011-12, surpassing the 79 from 2010-11 and marking the ninth year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
• ECHL had affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2011-12, marking the 15th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 31 coaches with an ECHL background are working behind the benches of teams in the NHL including Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau , Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and 2011 Jack Adams Award winner Dan Bylsma , New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano , Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan , Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel . It is the seventh consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL. Boudreau, who coached Mississippi for three seasons winning the Kelly Cup championship in 1999, was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08 becoming the first former ECHL coach to receive the award.
• 25 former ECHL officials are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2012-13 with referees Francis Charron, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Mike Leggo, Dave Lewis, T.J. Luxmore, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Graham Skilliter, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
• ECHL was represented for the 12th year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion in 2012 with Los Angeles Kings assistant coach Jamie Kompon, players Dwight King, Jordan Nolan and Jonathan Quick, manager of communications/broadcasting Jeremy Zager and scouts Steve Greeley, Mark Mullen and Mark Yannetti. Quick was named the recipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the second consecutive year a former ECHL player won the award.. There were 43 former players and 13 coaches on the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey