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Pro Hockey is Returning to Worcester in 2017

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

 

Professional hockey is returning to Worcester and the DCU Center, in the form of an ECHL team. This comes after the ECHL announced on Monday that the league's board of governors unanimously approved the new membership application from Worcester Pro Hockey LLC. 

“We are pleased to welcome Worcester to the ECHL. Cliff Rucker made a very impressive presentation to our Board of Governors. He laid out a strong business plan that has broad-based community support and is prepared to take the proper lead time to execute a successful introduction," said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna.

Cliff Rucker is principal and owner of Worcester Pro Hockey. 

“I am honored to be representing the city of Worcester and Central Massachusetts as the 29th member of the ECHL and look forward to working with our staff to put together a winning team that serves as a great ambassador of our region throughout the United States and Canada,” said Rucker.

The first puck drop for the new franchise is set for the 2017-18 season, a season that also marks the 30th anniversary of the ECHL. 

The team name and logo will be announced at a fan fest that is set to take place on April 3, 2016, at the DCU Center. The fan fest will include free skating, live music and food. 

For more about pro hockey in Worcester, click here. 

The ECHL 

The ECHL began in 1988-89 and is a "AA" Professional Hockey League that is based in Princeton, New Jersey with 28 teams in 21 states and one team in Canada. 

The ECHL is one of two minor leagues recognized by the collective bargaining agreement between the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players Association. 

The ECHL has seen 586 players go on to play in the NHL, 17 of whom made their NHL debuts during the 2015-16 season. 

The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of 30 NHL teams in 2015-16, marking it's 19th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at last 20 NHL teams. 

Click here for more information. 

 

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