Friday, 31 May 2019


This trophy? That's the ECHL's Kelly Cup, the trophy given out to the winner of the ECHL's playoff bracket. It's legitimately the ECHL's Stanley Cup, and it currently is not under the ECHL's control. Yes, you read that correctly - the ECHL's Kelly Cup is not in the ECHL's possession as you read this despite the Kelly Cup Final between the Newfoundland Growlers and Toledo Walleye competing for it. If this seems rather unbelievable, it is. However, I assure you that this story is entirely true and valid, and I have no idea how something like this happens in a professional hockey league.

Former ECHL commissioner Patrick Kelly appeared this morning on the Fox Morning Blitz radio show on 1230 WCWA in Toledo, Ohio, and he told host Anthony Bellino that the Kelly Cup he had brought with him wasn't the original trophy. The segment starts at 3:26 below.
That's rather ridiculous that the Colorado Eagles, who played in the AHL in their first season in the "Triple-A circuit" this past year, have kept the ECHL's Kelly Cup after winning it in 2017-18 in their final ECHL season. As Kelly stated, "They still have it. I've never heard of this in the history of hockey. They won it two years in a row and one of their owners said, 'Fine. We'll keep it.'"

That's, uh... that's not how this works, Colorado. Sure enough, though, word of Kelly's comments on 1230 WCWA did get back to the Colorado Eagles today, and Colorado owner Martin Lind delivered what can be categorized as a flimsy defence for his team's refusal to return the trophy.

"The management of the ECHL has full knowledge of the situation with the Kelly Cup," Lind said. "We have made numerous attempts to return it. They have chosen to ignore our requests, therefore the Kelly Cup remains in Colorado. This is all that will be released regarding this matter."

Excuse me, Mr. Lind? What exactly is the situation with the Kelly Cup? If you made numerous attempts, why hasn't it arrived at the ECHL offices where it belongs? I find it highly unlikely that the ECHL would ignore the requests, so what is really going on here?

Perhaps we'll get some of these answers tomorrow as the ECHL held off on commenting on Mr. Lind's statement today, opting to release a full statement tomorrow. While there is no resolution tonight, updates will be provided tomorrow as we find out more. I know it's been discussed in jest for teams leaving leagues or folding that they should keep their league's respective trophy, but this is the first time I've heard of an actual professional hockey team holding onto a trophy that rightfully belongs to another league.

Only in minor-pro hockey, I guess.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

No comments: