Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New York State Legislature Honours Pat Kelly

If you can cut through the legalese version of Pat's Wikipedia profile, it's a nice gesture to an Eastern Hockey League legend...


J5924: Honoring Patrick Kelly upon the occasion of his induction into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame

S R5924 RESO TEXT 2009 LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION honoring Patrick J. Kelly upon the occasion of his induction into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to acknowledge those outstanding individuals from the sporting world who have distinguished themselves through exceptional performance, attaining unprecedented success and the highest level of personal achievement; and WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to honor Patrick J. Kelly upon the occasion of his induction into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame, held on Sunday, June 6, 2010, at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre; and WHEREAS, Former National Hockey League coach, Patrick J. Kelly is a ECHL Hall of Fame Inductee who coached in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League, the American Hockey League, the Eastern Hockey League, the International Hockey League, the Quebec Hockey League, the Southern Hockey League, and the World Hockey League; he led the famed Clinton Comets to five first place finishes, the Charlotte Checkers (SHL) to two first place finishes, and the Salem Raiders (ACHL) to a first place finish; and WHEREAS, From 1984-1985, Patrick Kelly's Peoria Rivermen finished first overall in the IHL; his teams won three Walker Cups, two James Crockett Trophies, and one Turner Cup; he was SHL Coach of the Year in 1974-1975, and IHL Co-Coach of the Year in 1984-1985; his combined coaching record is 936-798-170; and WHEREAS, As a player, Patrick Kelly was a member of four championship teams in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) - one as a full-time player with the Greensboro Generals (1962-63) and three as a player/coach with the Clinton Comets (1967-68 to 1969-70); the defenseman started his professional hockey career in the Quebec Hockey League (QHL) in 1957-58 with Trois Rivieres and then split the following year between Trois Rivieres (QHL) and Troy of the International Hockey League (IHL); and WHEREAS, Patrick Kelly began the first of his 14 seasons in the EHL with Greensboro and New Haven in 1959-60; he gained his first head coaching job in 1964-65 with Jersey (EHL) as a player/coach; in 1967-68, he guided the Clinton Comets (EHL) to the greatest regular season in the history of minor professional hockey with a 57-5-10 record; and WHEREAS, Patrick Kelly ranks fourth all-time in assists (619), seventh all-time in games played (835), and ninth all-time in PIM (1,150) on the EHL's all-time lists and was selected to the EHL all-star team a record nine times; his minor league regular season player totals are: 757 points, 664 assists, 93 goals, and 1,359 PIM in 946 games; and WHEREAS, Patrick Kelly has received several honors throughout his coaching career; he was voted to the EHL all-star team as a coach three times and in 1969-70, he was named THE HOCKEY NEWS Minor Hockey Coach of the Year; and WHEREAS, Patrick Kelly has been inducted into four Halls of Fame; he was enshrined into the Peoria Sports Hall of Fame in February of 1990, and the Roanoke Hall of Fame and the Sports Hall of Fame in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, elected him in 1998; in March of 2002, he became the first inductee into the Greensboro Hockey Hall of Fame when the Generals (ECHL) retired his No. 5 uniform; and WHEREAS, As Commissioner of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), Patrick Kelly helped expand the game into new markets and developed it into the biggest minor professional hockey league in North America; the hockey legend brought professional hockey to seven new cities; when he stepped down as Commissioner at the end of the 1995-96 season the ECHL Board of Governors instituted a new ECHL playoff championship trophy, the Kelly Cup, in honor of his accomplishments with the league; the board also gave him the lifetime title of Commissioner Emeritus; and WHEREAS, The careers of the inductees of the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame provide a legacy of commitment and excellence, bringing them distinction as well as serving as models of inspiration to all who would aspire to growth and success; and WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body that when individuals of such noble aims and accomplishments are brought to our attention, they should be celebrated and recognized by all the citizens of the great State of New York; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to honor Patrick J. Kelly upon the occasion of his induction into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame; and be it further RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to Patrick J. Kelly.

* They are probably referring to the Roanoke Valley Hockey Hall of Fame
* Kelly is actually in the Peoria Rivermen Hockey Hall of Fame (1991), not the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame

* They missed the Charlotte Hockey Hall of Fame
* I can't find any Welland, Ont. Hall of Fame online.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jacksonville Rockets - One of Jacksonville's Top 10 Little Known Sports Franchises


Summer of 10: The top 10 little-known sports franchises in Jacksonville history
by Gary Smits, Florida Times Union

...2 Rockets, Hockey, 1964-1972
Before the Lizard Kings and before the Barracudas were the Jacksonville Rockets, who had an eight-year run in the Eastern Hockey League from 1964-72. The team was coached by Bob Sabourin and featured players with names that would have fit in the movie "Slap Shot" — Harley Hodgson, George Fogie and Melvin "Shorty" Melanchuk... read whole article

George Forgie (not Fogie) at hockeydb.com: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=15669

Harley Hodgson at hockeydb.com: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=11539
Melvin "Shorty" Melanchuk (not to be confused with brother Clarence "Curly" Melanchuk, who played for the 1955-56 Baltimore Clippers): http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=12677

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On this Date 40 Years Ago Today

Someday I hope to have an "On This Day in EHL History" calendar. For now, when an "on this day in" pops up, I'll post it....
June 2 — On This Date...
1970 - The New York Rangers and New Haven Blades are close to finalizing a deal to extend their working agreement.