Beginning with the 1996-97 season, the Patrick J. Kelly Cup is awarded annually to the playoff champion of the ECHL.
History: Named in recognition of Patrick J. Kelly, one of the founding fathers of the ECHL. Kelly served as Commissioner of the ECHL for the first eight seasons before being named Commissioner Emeritus in 1996, a title which he continues to hold. Kelly is celebrating his 60th season in hockey in 2012-13, having begun his career with the St. Catharines Tee Pees of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in 1952. He played professionally for the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League, the Troy Bruins of the International Hockey League, and the Greensboro Generals of the Eastern Hockey League. Kelly coached in the Eastern Hockey League from 1965-73 and was head coach and general manager of Charlotte in the Southern Hockey League from 1973-76. He coached the Colorado Rockies in the NHL in 1977-78 and is the only coach to lead the Rockies to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Following coaching stops in the American Hockey League, he went to Peoria in the International Hockey League where he led the Rivermen to the Turner Cup in his first season in 1984-85. The ECHL is proud to recognize his distinguished career by naming its most coveted trophy in his honor.
KELLY CUP FACTS
Standing 26 inches and weighing 27 pounds, the Kelly Cup was created by Boardman Silversmiths, Inc. in Meriden, Connecticut. Boardman also produces the Calder Cup for the American Hockey League as well as the U.S. Open Tennis trophy and the Masters trophy.
The Kelly Cup has been displayed with the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup at the ECHL All-Star Game in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Scott Burt, Jared Bednar and Patrick Wellar are the only individuals to have their name engraved on the Kelly Cup three times. Burt won championships with Idaho in 2004 and 2007 and Alaska in 2011; Bednar won as a player with South Carolina in 1997 and 2001, and was the head coach of the Stingrays for their win in 2009; Wellar captured titles with Alaska in 2006, South Carolina in 2009 and Reading in 2013. There are 21 other individuals who have their name engraved on the Kelly Cup twice. Louis Mass won as a player with Alaska in 2006 and was the Aces’ assistant coach in 2011. Lance Galbraith and Darrell Hay were members of the championship teams in Idaho in 2004 and 2007. Steve Munn and head coach Mike Haviland had their names engraved in 2003 with Atlantic City and in 2005 with Trenton while Peter Metcalf and Joe Talbot were members of the championship teams in Atlantic City in 2003 and Alaska in 2006. Mathieu Aubin, Barret Ehgoetz, head coach Chuck Weber and assistant coach Dean Stork were members of Cincinnati’s 2008 and 2010 Kelly Cup championship teams and Maxime Lacroix was with South Carolina in 2009 and Cincinnati in 2010. Eight of the 21 individuals who have their name engraved at least twice on the Kelly Cup were members of South Carolina’s championship team in 2001. Rick Adduono was an assistant coach for South Carolina when it won the first Kelly Cup in 1997 and was head coach when the Stingrays when they won in 2001. Jason Fitzsimmons was a player for South Carolina in 1997 and an assistant coach in 2001. Brad Dexter, Brett Mariettiand Dave Seitz were all players in both 1997 and 2001. Marty Clapton had his name engraved in 1998 with Hampton Roads and in 2001 with South Carolina whileMike Nicholishen had his name engraved in 2001 with South Carolina and in 2003 with Atlantic City. Nikita Kashirsky captured titles with South Carolina in 2009 and Reading in 2013 while Ethan Cox had his name engraved on the Kelly Cup with Alaska in 2011 and Reading in 2013.
Thirty-one players whose name appears on the Kelly Cup have played in the National Hockey League: Sebastien Charpentier (Hampton Roads, 1998); Chris Schmidtand Travis Scott (Mississippi, 1999); Cody Rudkowsky and Cam Severson (Peoria, 2000); Zdenek Blatny, Tyrone Garner, Simon Gamache and Luke Sellars(Greenville, 2002); Kevin Colley and Matt Yeats (Atlantic City, 2003); Dan Ellis, Zenon Konopka, Warren Peters (Idaho, 2004); Chris Beckford-Tseu, Barrett Heisten,Doug Lynch, Chris Minard and Matt Underhill (Alaska, 2006); Jay Beagle, B.J. Crombeen, Greg Rallo and Francis Wathier (Idaho, 2007); David Desharnais, Cedrick Desjardins and Ryan Rusell (Cincinnati, 2008); Travis Morin and James Reimer (South Carolina, 2009) and Gerald Coleman and Brian Swanson (Alaska, 2011) andKevin Quick (Florida, 2012). In addition, Bruce Boudreau, who coached Mississippi to the 1999 Kelly Cup championship, is the head coach of the Anaheim Ducks while Bob Woods, who was a player with Mississippi in 1999, is an assistant coach with the Ducks. Davis Payne, who coached Alaska to the 2006 title, and Brent Thompson, who was head coach of Alaska in 2011, is an assistant coach with the New York Islanders.