Mighty Fine Memories Of the Ducks - An Essay By Mark Herrmann There really are no ``former'' Long Island Ducks. As John Brophy, the most famous Duck of all, once said: ``Once you're a Duck, you're a Duck for the rest of your life.'' And he should know because his general manager, John Muckler, said he traded Brophy six times and got him back seven times. There really are no ``former'' Ducks' fans. Once you've built a bonfire in the stands of the chilly Long Island Arena, you're a Duck fan for life. Read More

From Atlantic City To Toronto: The Boardwalk Trophy and the Eastern Hockey League - by Chuck Miller
True story - The Atlantic City Boardwalk Trophy, a prize handed from champion to champion of the old Eastern
League, was found in a storage shed. Brian Elwell, a former player/coach for the old Syracuse Blazers, became a successful bar and grille owner after his retirement from hockey. As we talked about the proposed new AHL team for Syracuse, Elwell reminisced about his days in the Eastern Hockey League. "You know," he said to me, "somebody dropped this trophy off at my restaurant. It's been in my storage shed for a while. Read More

A Brief History of The American Hockey League & Minor League Pro Hockey in Philadelphia: 1927 - 2006 - by Bruce "Scoop" Cooper
The Philadelphia Ramblers (Eastern Hockey League) 1955-64. The only hockey action in Philadelphia in the 1950's and early 1960's came from the Eastern Hockey League's Philadelphia Falcons (1951-52) and Ramblers (1955-64). The EHL Ramblers provided Philadelphia with a decade of entertaining but otherwise undistinguished hockey until the team moved to just across the Delaware River to nearby Cherry Hill, NJ, after the 1963-64 season where they played in the Cherry Hill Arena as the Jersey Devils. Read More
Nashville's Hockey Heritage - by Bill Traughber for Nashville City Paper
In the fall of 1962, the North once again occupied Nashville. It wasn't the unwelcome occupation by the Union soldiers 100 years earlier, but this time their winter game invaded the city. With the new Nashville Municipal Auditorium recently completed, a small group of Nashville businessmen gathered and proposed to bring ice hockey to Nashville. The group met with Tom Lockhart, the Eastern Hockey League president. When the financial arrangements were made and the EHL requirements met, the Dixie Flyers were born. Read More
Youngest Player In A Professional Hockey League? - by Gregg Inkpen, Helium
In an Eastern Hockey League game on March 13, 1966, Doug Bentley, the Knoxville Knights head coach and NHL Hall of Famer, inserted his son, Doug Jr. into the lineup vs. the Jacksonville Rockets. What was unusual at the time was that Doug Jr., born June 1, 1951, was 14 years old, becoming the youngest player in EHL history and most likely any professional hockey minor league. Read More
An Evel stunt - The night WHA goalie Les Binkley faced future daredevil Knievel - by Dave Stubbs, Montreal Gazette
A dozen years in hockey’s minor professional leagues did little to pad Les Binkley’s bank account. But they did provide the man who’d become the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first No. 1 goaltender with more than a few priceless memories. None would be better than facing future motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel in a bizarre Toronto Toros intermission penalty-shot contest in the early 1970s, a loopy gimmick concocted by John Bassett, owner of the World Hockey Association franchise. Robert Craig (pre-Evel) Knievel, who died last November, was a decent hockey player in his youth. He even took part in a few exhibition games with the Eastern League’s Charlotte Clippers in the late 1950s, a few seasons after Binkley had starred for the team. Read More
Fire Brought Hockey To Charlotte In 1956 - by Jack Horan, special to The Charlotte Observer
Professional ice hockey arrived in Charlotte in 1956 by accident. The Baltimore Clippers came here to play their final five games after the team's arena in Baltimore burned. On Jan. 30, 10,363 fans jammed the newly built Charlotte Coliseum (now Cricket Arena) on Independence Boulevard to watch the South's first pro hockey game. Authorities turned away another 3,000 as the Clippers lost to the New Haven Blades 6-2. Charlotte embraced the Clippers, who moved their franchise here the next year and won the league championship. Read More
Art Dorrington: Hockey's Atlantic City Gamble- Hometown Hockey Blog
Before there was Willie O'Ree, there was Art Dorrington. Everybody in Atlantic City knows Art Dorrington. The Truro, NS native has called the New Jersey shore community home for years. Dorrington broke into professional hockey with the Atlantic City Seagulls of the old Eastern Hockey League in 1950-51. With his first game with the 'Gulls, Dorrington became the first Black hockey player to play professionally in the United States. Read More
Mellow at 73? Not John Brophy - by Lew Serviss, New York Times
The whistle blew and the young players skated over to face their coach, hesitant to make eye contact. No one wanted to be the one who had muffed the drill at practice. At 73, Coach John Brophy still breathes fire on a hockey rink. Read More
Knocksville Knight - Labelle Fought For His Guys - by Mike Griffith, Knoxville News Sentinel
The Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame is getting a little tougher this year with the addition of former Knoxville Knights player-coach Don Labelle. It’s only appropriate that Labelle break the ice for the sport of hockey in the Hall of Fame by becoming the first representative of the sport to be inducted on July 12. After all, Labelle was the player-coach of the Knights when pro hockey made its debut in Knoxville in 1961. Read More
Long Island Ducks On Ice - by Joe Pietraro
The Long Island Ducks were a member of the Eastern Hockey League from 1959-1973. They were originally known as the New York Rovers and played at the old Madison Square Garden. When they came out east, their home venue was the Long Island Arena, sometimes known as the Commack Arena. Unfortunately this building is no longer there, being replaced by a Target in a shopping center. But for the people who witnessed the games at that drafty, hut shaped building, the charm will never wear off. Read more
Short-lived Warriors Had Fun - by Bill Ballou, Worcester Telegram and Gazette
The return of professional hockey to Worcester can be classified a success, although the final nine games of the Sharks’ regular season still hold some drama. The new team in town has been a good one — entertaining, exciting, unpredictable — but a playoff berth is not yet guaranteed, and if it happens, the Sharks will have done something neither of their two predecessors were able to achieve. Make the playoffs in their inaugural season. Two predecessors, indeed. There were the IceCats of not-so-long ago, who missed the playoffs in 1994-95, and the region’s first-ever professional team, the old, nearly forgotten, Worcester Warriors of 1954-55. Read More

Muckler: Good Weather for Ducks - by John McGourty |
For Ottawa Senators General Manager John Muckler, it hasn't always been winning Stanley Cups (a total of five) and filling top jobs in the National Hockey League. There was a long trail through the minor leagues, filled with championships, yes, but also long hard slogs on buses and getting by on his considerable wits. Ask him about the Long Island Ducks. They made a movie about it.
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Ducks, Pucks and Cougar Tales - by Herb Schmidt
The Puck is Dropped - We read with excited anticipation when an article in the now defunct Long Island Press stated a new hockey arena to seat four thousand was to be built at Commack, NY - just 20 or so miles from our home. The team was to be the NY Rovers, and the league was the Eastern Hockey League (EHL). The inaugural game was played in October of 1959, and Marie and I were there at the opening face off, along with only a few hundred other loyal souls. Read More

Some Humourous Stories from the Long Island Ducks
Here some humorous stories from the real-life Long Island Ducks of the EHL. The Ducks leader, John Brophy was the inspiration for Paul Newman's Slap Shot character. With 5:31 to play in the 2nd period, segments of the crowd engaged the New Haven Blades in a can throwing melee that brought memories of an ugly scene here in 1966, when LI Ducks fans rioted during a playoff game between Long Island and the Nashville Dixie Flyers. Read More
Generals induct Carter to Hall of Fame - The Greensboro Generals will induct original franchise member Don Carter into their Hall of Fame in a ceremony during their November 15th [2003] game against the Columbia Inferno. The induction of Carter, and the retiring of his No. 14 jersey, will mark just the second time in franchise history a player has received such honors. On March 9, 2002, Pat Kelly was announced as the inaugural member of the Generals Hall of Fame and his No. 5 jersey was retired. Read More
Q & A with Don Carter -
Q: Fondest memory of Greensboro?
A: "Most important as a player is that we had the best rink in the league. The teams from the Northern Division enjoyed coming down to play against us. I always enjoyed the fans, and they enjoyed my style of play, so I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Greensboro. While we only won one championship (1962-63), and while we only won the one, we should have won at least four providing the team we had." Read More
Trophy's Namesake Kelly Has History In Hockey - by Andy Kent, Naples Daily News
Once you meet the man behind the name on the Kelly Cup, the pristine trophy awarded to the champion of the ECHL doesn't begin to do Patrick J. Kelly justice. Still sporting a chiseled physique that could intimidate some of today's younger hockey players, the league's commissioner emeritus is a walking history book of professional hockey. His legacy, especially when it comes to minor league hockey, is worth a silver chalice more like the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup. "Pat Kelly should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame," says John Brophy, a legendary coach in his own right who is at the top of every career coaching category in the ECHL except winning percentage. Read More
Galen Head, Local Hockey Go Hand-in-Hand - by Mike Mastovich, The Tribune-Democrat
Galen Head captained Johnstown’s last professional hockey championship team and coached the city’s first high school state champion program. As much as Head has done for the region’s hockey scene, he’s even more grateful to a city that has made the Grande Prairie, Alberta, native one of its own during the past four decades.“The greatest experience of my whole life was winning that championship with the Johnstown Jets in 1975 and then 21 years later we played for that state championship with my Bishop McCort High School team at the War Memorial with all those people there and it was just as loud,” Head said. Read More

No. 8 Joining Johnstown’s Elite - by Mike Mastovich, The Tribune-Democrat
For eight seasons and 561 games, No. 8 was the Johnstown Jets’ No. 1 ambassador on the ice. Galen Head, the prolific scorer, team leader, gentleman and all-around good guy, represented the Jets as a star player, team captain and player-coach. The Grand Prairie, Alberta, native who eventually made Johnstown his home captained the city’s last professional hockey championship team, the renown 1974-75 Jets squad that inspired the motion picture “Slap Shot.” All of those facts certainly justify the ECHL Johnstown Chiefs’ decision to retire Head’s No. 8 uniform, making Head, 56, only the third former Johnstown hockey player honored in such a manner Read More

Brophy Still Going Strong - by Matt Townsend, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Sunday, January 26, 2003
John Brophy doesn't know how old he is. More importantly, he doesn't care. "I don't think about that stuff," Brophy said. Brophy's life, even from the earliest memories of his childhood in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, has been consumed with hockey. "John Brophy is the only guy in the world who truly loves hockey," former Penguins coach and current assistant general manager Ed Johnston once said of him. "Brophy puts hockey ahead of everything, including his family, at times. He would do anything for his family, but don't ask him during game time." Read More
Brophy's Storied Career May Get a New Chapter by Tris Wykes, The Virginian-Pilot March 21, 2006
John Brophy, the 73-year-old former coach of the ECHL’s Hampton Roads Admirals, could return to the bench next season with a proposed minor league team in Richmond. “If John’s available, the job’s his, and I think he will be tremendous,’’ said Harvie, who founded and ran the ECHL’s Richmond Renegades from 1990-93 . “He’s like a little kid in a candy store at the thought he could be back in pro coaching.’’ Read More
Whatever happened to... Former Admirals coach John Brophy? by Tony Germanotta, The Virginian-Pilot November 20, 2006
Even a near-fatal collision couldn't keep former Hampton Roads Admirals coach John Brophy off a hockey rink. The car crash in 2000, in his native Nova Scotia, cost the coaching legend his sight in one eye and left him with lingering leg, back and hip problems. Something sharp pierced his chest and just missed his heart when his rental car ran off the road that morning. Doctors removed a tooth from his esophagus. They were mere annoyances to a man whose tolerance for pain set benchmarks even in the brutal world of minor league hockey. Read More
Muck's Pluck Saved Messina - by Bob Raissman, NY Daily News Sunday
If not for John Muckler, MSG radio analyst Sal (Red Light) Messina likely would have been doing something else the past 25 years. "He is the reason I'm here," Messina said. Indeed, it was Muckler who allowed Messina to put the words "former pro hockey goalie" on his resume. In the early 1960s, Messina was a kid from the city looking to break into the NHL as a goalie. The odds were staggering as there were only a handful of American players in the six-team NHL. Muckler was defenseman / coach / GM of the Long Island Ducks of the Eastern League and Messina was invited to training camp. "I played hard, but John chose another goalie over me," Messina said. "But once the season started that other goalie was having a hard time." Read More
For Ed Kea Now: 'I'm Fine But...' - by Kevin DuPont, special to the New York Times (Published: November 16, 1983)
Off in a corner, but not hidden, there is a picture near Ed Kea's family room. It shows Kea, his thick hair tousled, kneeling to block a shot in front of his goaltender. His hockey days finished, Kea stood in front of that picture a few nights ago and pointed to what he felt was most significant. ''See, they're wearing helmets,'' he said, arduously reaching for his words while pointing to each player in the photo. ''This guy, yeah. This guy, yeah. And this guy. But me? No, uh-uh.'' With his final observation, Kea pulled his finger from the photo and shook his head slightly. He laughed, but just a little. He suffers from aphasia, a language breakdown brought on by a near life-ending head injury he sustained in a game last spring. Read More
Kelly's Experience Invaluable To ECHL - by Len Bardsley, The Times of Trenton
You would think someone who once helped smuggle legendary tough guy John Brophy out of a rink in a stick bag to avoid a possible arrest would not be the right man for the job to run a new league. It was episodes like the Brophy incident and the experience Patrick J. Kelly gained during his 30 years of minor league hockey, however, made him the perfect man to become the first ECHL commissioner in 1988. Read More

Old Time Hockey Indeed by Jim Shelton, New Haven Register
No one can bring back the New Haven Arena or New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum, but Kevin Tennyson and Heather Bernardi are doing their best to keep the memory of old-time hockey alive forever. The die-hard duo, who have attended more than 1,000 local games between them, are the proud authors of a new book, "Hockey in New Haven." They’ve compiled more than 225 photographs for the book, with accompanying commentary on 76 years of pro pucks prowess. The late 1950s New Haven Blades and their punishing "CBS" line of Yvan Chasle, Claude Boileau and John Sherban? They’re here, too. Read More

Curt Brackenbury - Still Making a Difference by Chris Lomon,
His time in hockey was characterized by a commitment to motivating others. Some 20 years after hanging up his skates, nothing much has changed for Curt Brackenbury. After his final year in the junior ranks, 1971-72, Brackenbury signed a free agent with the Jersey Devils of the EHL. In his one season with the team, the sturdy forward scored 17 goals and added 27 assists for 44 points in 68 games. Read More
Ken "Gunner" Garrett Award - Central Hockey League
The Central Hockey League has today announced the creation of a new annual award, designed to recognize the efforts of the most outstanding member team equipment manager each season, and to honor former Austin Ice Bats’ Equipment Manager Ken “Gunner” Garrett. The “Gunner Garrett Equipment Manager of the Year” award will be determined through balloting among all team equipment managers, and will be “Presented annually to the Central Hockey League Equipment Manager who best represents the qualities of excellence, professionalism and dedication.” Read More