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The ECHL announced that Reading Royals general manager Gordon Kaye was selected by the ECHL Board of Governors as the 2008-09 recipient of the ECHL Executive of the Year award.

"Every nominee was deserving of this award and to be chosen as the Executive of the Year is truly an honor," said Kaye, who was a finalist for the award in 2008 and 2009. "It is announced as an individual award, but I know that it is a reflection of the tremendous dedication and hard work of the Reading Royals staff.

"I am proud to be a part of the ECHL with so many people who do whatever it takes to improve their team, but more importantly are willing assist other teams to help the ECHL move forward."

Kaye was presented with the award at the Annual Board of Governors Meeting in Henderson, Nev. The other finalists, in alphabetical order, were Rob and Jim Brooks of the Wheeling Nailers, Justin Kemp of the Ontario Reign, Matt Riley of the Bakersfield Condors and Kristin Ropp of the Cincinnati Cyclones.

"Gordon is a tireless worker and passionate about the Reading Royals and league issues," said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. "He is a very worthy recipient of this award."

Kaye has been general manager of the Royals since 2005 and is also a member of the Executive Committee for the ECHL Board of Governors. He was instrumental in the creation and implementation of "Proud To Be A Royal" and "R-Team/R-Town" which were honored as the ECHL Marketing Campaign of the Year in 2006-07 and 2007-08, respectively. Kaye also created the Royals' Reading Eagle Wall of Honor which recognizes members of the organization who have made distinctive contributions.

He came to Reading from its parent company SMG, which is the leading facility operation and management company in the world. He was vice president of business strategy and development and responsible for evaluating new business opportunities with a focus on emerging market segments and managing arena development projects. Kaye was director of team technology for the National Basketball Association for five years and was responsible for assisting teams in the NBA, the WNBA and the NBDL in identifying, developing and implementing new technology-related initiatives with a focus on ticket sales and marketing. He also coordinated the NBA's relationship with Ticketmaster and other ticket companies while establishing the NBA/Ticketmaster call center and spearheading the NBA's On-Sale promotions. He was manager of team marketing for the NBA, responsible for supporting team ticket sales, marketing and corporate sales. He began his career with the professional baseball team in Utica and has also worked in the Arena Football League as well as for Capital Sports & Entertainment and the International Hockey League. Kaye received his bachelor's degree in American history from Hamilton College and his master's degree in sport management/physical education from Indiana University. He was awarded his MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business where he was admitted to Beta Gamma Sigma National Honors Society. Kaye serves on the board of directors for several local organizations including the Greater Reading Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Jewish Federation of Reading and the Alvernia College Business School Advisory Board. He and his wife, Anna, have two daughters, Amelia Rose and Stella Rose.

ECHL Executive Of The Year Winners

2009 Gordon Kaye, Reading Royals
2008 Darren Abbott, South Carolina Stingrays
2007 Matt Riley, Bakersfield Condors
2006 Steve Chapman, Gwinnett Gladiators
2005 Steve Chapman, Gwinnett Gladiators
2004 Terry Parks, Alaska Aces
2003 John Butler, Peoria Rivermen
2002 Matt Loughran, Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies
2001 Craig Brush, Florida Everblades
2000 Brian McKenna, Trenton Titans
1999 Carl Scheer, Greenville Grrrowl
1998 Charles Felix, Pensacola Ice Pilots
1997 David Paitson Columbus Chill
1996 Dave Berryman Louisiana IceGators
1995 Harvey Feuerstein and Craig Laughlin Richmond Renegades
1994 Jean Gagnon and Pierre Paiement Roanoke Express
1993 Larry Kish Wheeling Thunderbirds

Premier 'AA' Hockey League Fast Facts
- The ECHL celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
- ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 20 teams in 15 states and British Columbia in 2009-10.
- The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
- ECHL had affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League in 2008-09 marking the 12th consecutive year for affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
- 407 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
- 151 former ECHL players have played their first NHL game in the last four seasons.
- Record 52 former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2008-09 and eight players played in both the ECHL and the NHL: goaltenders Matt Climie (Idaho and Dallas), Riku Helenius (Elmira, Mississippi and Tampa Bay), Michal Neuvirth (South Carolina and Washington) and Marek Schwarz (Alaska and St. Louis), defensemen Wes O'Neill (Johnstown and Colorado), Raymond Macias (Johnstown and Colorado) and Kevin Quick (Augusta, Elmira and Tampa Bay) and right wing Joel Rechlicz (Utah and New York Islanders).
- There were 72 former ECHL players on NHL opening-day rosters.
- ECHL has been represented on last nine Stanley Cup champions including 2009 with Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, player Ruslan Fedotenko, equipment managers Dana Heinze and Dave Zeigler, athletic trainers Chris Stewart and Scott Adams and scout Derek Clancey.
- Former ECHL coaches working as head coaches in the NHL are Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals and Scott Gordon of the New York Islanders while former ECHL player Dan Bylsma is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boudreau, who coached Mississippi for three seasons winning the Kelly Cup championship in 1999, was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08 becoming the first former ECHL coach to receive the award. Peter Laviolette, who began his coaching career with the Wheeling Nailers, led Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup in 2006.
- There are 15 assistant coaches in the NHL who were players or coaches in the ECHL.
- Eighteen former ECHL officials worked in the NHL in 2008-09 with referees David Banfield, Chris Ciamaga, Ghislain Hebert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O'Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak and Jay Sharrers. Barton, Joannette, Leggo, McCauley, Nowak, Pollock, Rooney and Sharrers all worked the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
- ECHL has affiliations with 23 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 20 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion. - In the last six seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,500 call-ups involving more than 1,300 players since 2002-03.
- Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.
 
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