Stanley Cup: Bruce Cassidy, Adin Hill Among Vegas Golden Knights' ECHL Ties

Stanley Cup: Bruce Cassidy, Adin Hill Among Vegas Golden Knights' ECHL Ties

Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy was among 14 individuals with ties to the ECHL to celebrate with the Stanley Cup Tuesday.

Jun 14, 2023 by Chris Peters
Stanley Cup: Bruce Cassidy, Adin Hill Among Vegas Golden Knights' ECHL Ties

In just its sixth season of existence, just as owner Bill Foley had predicted as the team was announced, the Vegas Golden Knights are Stanley Cup Champions. The Golden Knights defeated the Florida Panthers in five games to claim their first NHL title.

The work that goes into winning a Stanley Cup doesn’t just start with the NHL roster. For many, the path was long and winding through the various leagues over a career building to this moment of glory. For many, it was their first taste from Lord Stanley’s coveted chalice. And for 14 individuals tied to the Golden Knights franchise in significant roles, they touched the ECHL on their journey to Stanley Cup immortality. 

According to the ECHL, this is the 23rd straight season a Stanley Cup winner had an ECHL alumnus in the organization. Additionally, the 14 individuals who celebrated Tuesday night’s thrilling win is the most ECHL alumni ever to be part of a championship team.

The list is led by head coach Bruce Cassidy, who won his first Stanley Cup in just his first season with the Knights after an NHL coaching career that also touched the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals. 

Cassidy’s first head coaching job was with the Jacksonville Lizard Kings in 1996. He spent two seasons there and spent another with the Trenton Titans. The Stanley Cup was Cassidy’s first postseason championship at any level. He is the third former ECHL head coach to win the title, joining Jared Bednar who won with the Colorado Avalanche last year and Peter Laviolette who won with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.

Five players on the Golden Knights’ roster are ECHL alumni as players as well, including winning goaltender Adin Hill, who had a brief stint with the Rapid City Rush in 2016-17. 

Keegan Kolesar, Jonathan Quick, Laurent Brossoit and Logan Thompson also appeared in ECHL games as younger players. Brossoit, in fact, was an ECHL All-rookie selection in 2013-14 while playing for the Alaska Aces and Bakersfield Condors.

Quick, who won his third Stanley Cup Tuesday, spent the first year of his storied pro career with the Reading Royals in 2007-08.

Thompson, who represented the Golden Knights at this year’s NHL All-Star Game before an injury kept him out for most of the rest of the year, played 40 ECHL games between the Adirondack Thunder and South Carolina Stingrays between 2018 and 2020.

Kolesar spent time with the Quad City Mallards before growing into a valued fourth-line player and one of the Golden Knights’ most physical forwards.

A number of Golden Knights staffers and front-office personnel either played or worked in the ECHL as well including assistant coach Ryan Craig, manager of goaltending development and scouting Mike Rosati, pro scouts Kent Hawley and Vince Williams, European scout Alex Godynyuk and TV analyst Shane Hnidy.

Another good reminder that you’re often hearing the future voices of NHL teams when you watch ECHL games on FloHockey, both of the Golden Knights’ TV and radio voices are ECHL alumni as well.

TV play-by-play voice Dave Goucher was the play-by-play broadcaster for the Wheeling Nailers from 1993-95 before working his way up to the Providence Bruins and later the Boston Bruins. He has been the only TV voice Golden Knights fans have known as he took the job in 2017-18 for their inaugural season.

Radio play-by-play man Dan D’Uva was the broadcaster for the Trenton Titans from 2009-11 and has been the radio voice for Vegas since their inception.

The Golden Knights’ current ECHL affiliate is the Savannah Ghost Pirates, which helped develop a number of prospects that were under NHL contract this season with Vegas. Prior to teaming up with Savannah, the Knights were affiliated with the Fort Wayne Komets, which won the Kelly Cup in 2021.