Cullen, Brophy and Taylor to Be Inducted Into ECHL Hall of Fame
NORFOLK, VA – The Norfolk Admirals were proud to learn today that Admirals team founder and original owner Blake Cullen, Admirals original head coach John Brophy and Admirals all-time leading scorer Rod Taylor will be inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame. They will join Tom Nemeth as the second class of the ECHL Hall of Fame.
“It speaks volumes about Admirals heritage that three of the four inductees in only the second ever class of the ECHL Hall of Fame are three of the cornerstones of Admirals hockey,” said Admirals Vice President Joe Gregory. “We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of Blake Cullen, John Brophy and Rod Taylor and are thankful for their important roles in laying the foundation for Admirals hockey and the ECHL as we know it today.”
Cullen, Brophy and Taylor were each inducted last February as members of the inaugural Admirals Hall of Fame.
The four will be formally inducted at a luncheon ceremony that will be held in conjunction with the 2009 ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 21, 2009 in Reading, Pa.
“This is an outstanding and very worthy group of inductees with a diverse background,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “John Brophy is a legend in professional hockey who has left his mark at all levels. The fact that he is second all time to Scotty Bowman in career wins says a lot about his longevity and competitive nature.
“Blake Cullen played a pivotal role in the early development of the ECHL and is well respected as a builder and administrator in both baseball and hockey circles,” said McKenna. “Rod Taylor was one of the most prolific goal scorers in league history and Tom Nemeth was a perennial ECHL All-Star and a consistent point-producing defenseman throughout his career.”
Brophy won a record three ECHL titles with Hampton Roads in 1991, 1992 and 1998. He has coached at all levels of professional hockey, including the National Hockey League, and his more than 1,000 coaching victories rank him second all-time to Scotty Bowman. He retired as the ECHL leader for regular season games (882), regular season wins (480) and years coached (13). He holds the league records for postseason games (94), postseason wins (55), postseason appearances (11) and championships (3). The “Coach of the Year” award is named in his honor. Brophy coached Hampton Roads (1989-2000) and Wheeling (2001-03).
Cullen was the founder and owner of the Hampton Roads Admirals for the team’s first seven seasons in the ECHL. The Admirals advanced to the playoffs every year and won back-to-back Riley Cup championships in their second and third seasons. Hampton Roads drew more than 1.8 million fans during his tenure and led the league in attendance in 1989-90 and 1992-93 while ranking among the attendance leaders every year.
Nemeth won the ECHL Defenseman of the Year award three times and was selected First Team All-ECHL three years. He holds the ECHL records for assists and points by a defenseman in a season with 82 assists and 98 points in 1993-94. He is third all-time among defensemen with 345 assists and 463 points and he led all defensemen in 2000-01 with 20 goals, 48 assists and 68 points. He played in the ECHL All-Star Game in 1993, 1994, 1998 and 2001, tying him for the third-most appearances. Nemeth played for Dayton (1992-94 and 1996-2003), South Carolina (1994-95) and Toledo (2003-04).
Taylor is the ECHL career leader with 368 goals and holds the record for most 30-goal seasons (8) and most consecutive 30-goal seasons (6). He played all but 19 of his professional games in the ECHL. He retired as the all-time leader in points (689) and games (678) and remains second in scoring and fourth in games. He helped Hampton Roads win the Riley Cup as a rookie in 1992, scoring a league record tying 16 goals in 14 games, and the Kelly Cup in 1998. He is third in career postseason goals (39) and tied for sixth in postseason games (78). Taylor played for Hampton Roads (1991-2000), Richmond (2000-02), Roanoke (2001-02), Peoria (2002-03), South Carolina (2002-03) and Toledo (2002-03).T
They join the inaugural class of Henry Brabham, Patrick J. Kelly, Chris Valicevic and Nick Vitucci. 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 23 teams playing in 16 states and British Columbia in 2008-09.
Hall of Fame members are selected in four categories: Player, Developmental Player, Builder, and Referee/Linesman. Players must have concluded their career as an active player for a minimum of three playing seasons, though not continuous or full seasons. Development Players must have began their career in the ECHL and went on to a distinguished career in the NHL, playing a minimum of 260 regular season games in the NHL, AHL and ECHL. Builders may be active or inactive whereas Referee/Linesman must have concluded their active officiating career for a minimum of three playing seasons.
No more than five candidates may be elected to the ECHL Hall of Fame each year with no more than three Players, one Developmental Player, two Builders and one Referee/Linesman. The Developmental Player, Builder and the Referee/Linesman categories are dependent upon the number of candidates in the Player category.
The nomination and/or selection of candidates will be determined by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee and its Chairman Patrick J. Kelly.
Only members of the Selection Committee, the Board of Governors, teams or persons affiliated with the ECHL may submit official nominations which must be made in writing to the league office. Fans are encouraged to contact their team to propose names for nomination.
The Admirals will return to Scope with three games this week centered around Thanksgiving: tomorrow versus the Springfield Falcons, and Friday and Saturday versus the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. There are several exciting promotions planned for the week, beginning with Family Fun Pack Night, Student Rush Night, USA Hockey Night and a Domino’s Pizza Oven-Baked Sandwich giveaway on Wednesday. Please visit norfolkadmirals.com for more details.
To purchase tickets to any Admirals game, you may visit the Scope Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visit any Ticketmaster outlet, call Ticketmaster at (757) 671-8100 or visit Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2008-09 season tickets today. Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!