Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dear Canadian press

Dear Canadian press,

There is a consistent error you are making with regards to your national sport. It concerns a league that has even had an outpost in Canada for a few years.

There is no such thing as the "East Coast Hockey League" and hasn't been for four and a half years. The league goes only by "ECHL" now, kind of like "IBM" instead of "International Business Machines." The change came about when the old WCHL was absorbed. It might be a little dumb, but it is what it is.

The ECHL attaches information about the league to the bottom of every press release. Here's a portion of that information:

The ECHL, celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08, is the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League and 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 25 teams playing 900 games in 17 states and British Columbia in 2007-08.

The league officially changed its name to ECHL on May 19, 2003.

The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the NHL in 2007-08, marking the 11th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.

There have been 337 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, including a record 47 in 2005-06 and 26 in 2006-07. There have been 192 former ECHL players who have played their first game in the NHL in the past five seasons.

I suspect this name information has not made it into the Canadian Press style guide, or whatever the AP equivalent is. That's why it's still so common to see stories like this, a tidbit that came from the Canadian Press, printed in The Daily News (Halifax).

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