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 28 inches tall and weighing 33.5 pounds, the Kelly Cup is a pewter cup created by Boardman Silversmiths, Inc. in Meriden, Connecticut. Boardman also produced the Calder Cup for the American Hockey League as well as the U.S. Open Tennis trophy and the Masters trophy. The base is constructed of maple and was manufactured and annually engraved by Trophy Awards Manufacturing, Inc. of Wilder, Kentucky.
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, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018, and at ECHL Hockey Heritage Weekend in 2014 and 2016.
Scott Burt, Jared Bednar, Riley Gill, Louis Mass 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; Gill won titles with Reading in 2013 and with Allen in 2015 and 2016; Mass won as a player with Alaska in 2006 and as the Aces’ assistant coach in 2011 and 2014 while Wellar won titles with Alaska in 2006, South Carolina in 2009 and Reading in 2013.
There are 36 other individuals who have their name engraved on the Kelly Cup twice. 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. Maxime Lacroix was with South Carolina in 2009 and Cincinnati in 2010. Gerald Coleman and Kane Lafranchise won titles with Alaska in 2011 and 2014. Nikita Kashirsky captured titles with South Carolina in 2009 and Reading in 2013 and Ethan Cox was part of Alaska’s 2011 title squad and won again with Reading in 2013 while Kevin Colley captured the 2003 title with Atlantic City and was an assistant coach on Allen’s 2015 championship team. Eight of the 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 Marietti and 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 while Mike Nicholishen had his name engraved in 2001 with South Carolina and in 2003 with Atlantic City. Ten of the individuals to have their names engraved twice were part of Allen’s back-to-back championship teams in 2015 and 2016: head coach Steve Martinson, as well as players Vincent Arseneau, Spencer Asuchak, Chad Costello, Aaron Gens, Riley Gill, Greger Hanson, Joel Rumpel, Gary Steffes, and Dyson Stevenson. Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Matt Register won championships with Allen in 2016 and Colorado in 2017 while Alex Belzile had his name engraved on the Cup with Alaska in 2014 and Colorado in 2017.
Thirty-nine players whose name appears on the Kelly Cup have played in the National Hockey League: Sebastien Charpentier (Hampton Roads, 1998); Chris Schmidt and 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, J. Crombeen, Greg Rallo and Francis Wathier (Idaho, 2007); David Desharnais, Cedrick Desjardins and Ryan Russell (Cincinnati, 2008); Travis Morin and James Reimer (South Carolina, 2009); Jeremy Smith and Mark Van Guilder (Cincinnati, 2010); Gerald Coleman (Alaska, 2011 and 2014) and Brian Swanson (Alaska, 2011); Kevin Quick and Justin Shugg (Florida, 2012); Stanislav Galiev (Reading, 2013); Turner Elson and John Ramage (Alaska, 2014) and Darryl Bootland and Kent Simpson (Colorado, 2017). In addition, Bruce Boudreau, who coached Mississippi to the 1999 Kelly Cup championship, is the head coach of the Minnesota Wild; Jared Bednar, who won three Kelly Cup titles with South Carolina (1997, 2001 and 2009) is head coach of the Colorado Avalanche; Don Granato, who coached Peoria to the 2000 Kelly Cup title, is an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks and Bob Woods, who won the 1999 Kelly Cup title with Mississippi, is an assistant coach with the Minnesota Wild.