ESTERO, FL. – The ECHL and Florida Everblades announced on Tuesday that Florida Everblades President and General Manager Craig Brush (pictured above)has been named as a 2016 inductee for the ECHL Hall of Fame. Former ECHL players Daniel Berthiaume and Allan Sirois were also selected as inductees.
Craig Brush helped to found the ECHL’s Florida Everblades and Germain Arena along with partners Peter Karmanos and Thomas Thewes in 1998. He has served as the team’s President and General Manager since inception and he oversees all aspects of both the hockey club and the sports complex. In their first 17 seasons, the Everblades have welcomed over 3.4 million fans, placing in the top 10 of ECHL attendance in every season, including leading the league for five consecutive seasons from 2000-01 through 2004-05. Florida has advanced to the Kelly Cup Playoffs in 16 of 17 seasons, and has reached the Kelly Cup Finals three times, capturing the title in 2012. He served as the Chairman of the ECHL Board of Governors for three seasons from 2003 through 2006.
“While we had many worthy nominees, this year’s class of inductees certainly stands out for their contributions to the ECHL,” said ECHL Commissioner Emeritus Patrick J. Kelly, the Chairman of the ECHL Hall of Fame Committee. “Craig Brush, a builder, who literally oversaw the construction of an arena, the creation of a team and has been at the helm for the past 18 seasons. An entertaining goaltender, Daniel Berthiaume, who is one of only three ECHL goaltenders to record over 200 wins and Allan Sirois, one of the most productive point producers in League history. We welcome all three and thank them for their contributions to our League.”
Daniel Berthiaume appeared in 364 games over a nine-year ECHL career with the Wheeling Thunderbirds, Roanoke Express and Greensboro Generals. He ranks fourth all-time among League goaltenders in games played while his 201 career wins are third and his 18 shutouts are fourth all-time. During the 1994-95 season with Roanoke, he put together a personal 13-game winning streak, which stood as the ECHL record for 20 seasons. Seven times in his nine ECHL seasons, Berthiaume won 20 or more games, which is tied with 2008 ECHL Hall of Fame inductee Nick Vitucci for the most 20-or-more win seasons in League history. He earned a spot on the All-ECHL Second Team in 1999-2000 when he finished fourth in the League with a .918 save percentage and fifth with a 2.48 goals-against average. A third-round selection (60th overall) of the Winnipeg Jets in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, Berthiaume appeared in 215 career NHL games with the Jets, Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators prior to joining Wheeling in the 1994-95 season.
Allan Sirois enjoyed an 11-season career in the ECHL, suiting up in 687 career games with Baton Rouge, Jacksonville, Pee Dee, Greenville and Texas. He sits fifth all-time in League history in games played while ranking 12th with 249 goals, tied for 13th with 345 assists and ninth with 594 points. He participated in a pair of ECHL All-Star Games, and took home Most Valuable Player honors at the 2002 game in Trenton when he scored two goals and added an assist. Sirois enjoyed most of his success in Pee Dee, ranking as the all-time leading scorer in Pride history with 432 points (176g-256a) in 486 games. He enjoyed his best statistical season in 1998-99 when he finished seventh in the league with 84 points (35g-49a) earning a spot on All-ECHL Second Team and helping Pee Dee to the Brabham Cup as ECHL regular-season champions.
The three will be formally inducted as the ninth class of the ECHL Hall of Fame at a luncheon ceremony that will be held in conjunction with the 2016 CCM/ECHL Hockey Heritage Week presented by PNC Bank and Bronson Health. The 2016 ECHL Hall of Fame luncheon, presented by BFL CANADA, will take place on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 at 12 Noon, at the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Detroit Red Wings General Manager and Executive Vice President Ken Holland will deliver the keynote welcome at the luncheon.
Individual luncheon tickets can be purchased for $49, or luncheon tickets can be purchased as part of the Hockey Heritage Week Hall of Fame ticket package for $79, which includes a game ticket to the Feb. 5 contest between the Kalamazoo Wings and Toledo Walleye, a Hockey Hall of Fame exhibit pass, a Stanley Cup viewing with photo, and luncheon access. Tickets can be purchased at the Wings Event Center box office or at kwings.com.
in November, Florida Everblades CEO Peter Karmanos Jr. was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder.
The inaugural ECHL Hall of Fame class inducted in 2008 was Henry Brabham, Patrick J. Kelly, Chris Valicevic and Nick Vitucci while the second class in 2009 was John Brophy, Blake Cullen, Tom Nemeth and Rod Taylor. The 2010 ECHL Hall of Fame class was Cam Brown, E.A. “Bud” Gingher, Olaf Kolzig and Darryl Noren; the 2011 class was Richard Adams, Phil Berger, Luke Curtin and Joe Ernst; the Class of 2012 was Bill Coffey, Sheldon Gorski, John Marks, Dave Seitz and Bob Woods; the 2013 class was David Craievich, Marc Magliarditi, Steve Poapst and Darren Schwartz; he Class of 2014 was James Edwards, Wes Goldie, Al MacIsaac and John Spoltore while the Class of 2015 was Darren Colbourne, Louis Dumont, Scott Sabatino and Carl Scheer. Inductees are enshrined in the ECHL Hall of Fame, which is open around the clock online at ECHLHallOfFame.com, as well as being recognized at the league office in Princeton, N.J. and in the ECHL section at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario.
The third-longest tenured professional hockey league, behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League has grown from five teams in four states in 1988-89 into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 28th season in 2015-16.
Portions of release courtesy of the ECHL
Upcoming Everblades Home Games
Wednesday, December 9 vs. Reading Royals, 7:30 p.m. – $2 drafts, $2 wines, $2 hot dogs all night long! Wednesday is also College Night! College students receive a $5 game ticket with free parking when they present their college ID at Germain Arena.
Friday, December 11 vs. Reading Royals, 7:30 p.m. – Kids eat free in Breakaway Sports Pub with purchase on an adult entree!
Saturday, December 12 vs. Reading Royals, 7:00 p.m. The Annual IBERIABANK Teddy Bear Toss Game! Don't miss the biggest game of the year! Bring a new teddy bear or stuffed animal to the game. When the Everblades score their first goal, you can throw the teddy bears onto the ice to celebrate! We will round up all of the teddy bears and stuffed animals and distribute them to local children's charities for the holidays. Beginning at 5:00 p.m. we will have the tailgate party featuring live music along with bounce houses and face painting for the kids!
Game Tickets: Everblades tickets may be purchased at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online atwww.ticketmaster.com
Discounted Group Tickets: Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price, and also receive an Everblades souvenir! Group tickets are available for all home games. For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825.
Full and Partial Season Ticket Packages: We off full and partial season ticket plans that will save your money and fit your budget and schedule. For more information, call 239-948-7825, or stop by the team's main office located at Germain Arena from Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fans may also stop by our sales tables located in the concourse at Everblades games.
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes###