The Colorado Eagles are in a bizarre social media storm.
Former ECHL commissioner Patrick J. Kelly — who the ECHL championship trophy is named after — was on the radio in Toledo, Ohio, Friday when he dropped a bombshell.
“I don’t know if I should say this or not, but Colorado kept the trophy, if you can believe it,” Kelly said on the Fox Morning Blitz on 1230 AM in Toledo. “They still have it. This is a new trophy.”
The Eagles, of course, won back-to-back Kelly Cups in 2017 and 2018. They left the league after winning last season to move up to the American Hockey League as the top minor league affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche.
The Eagles released a short statement Friday afternoon attributed to owner Martin Lind, saying the Eagles have the trophy but have unsuccessfully tried to return it.
“The management of the ECHL has full knowledge of the situation with the Kelly Cup. We have made numerous attempts to return it. They have chosen to ignore our requests, therefore the Kelly Cup remains in Colorado. This is all that will be released regarding this matter.”
An Eagles spokesperson declined further comment. The ECHL released a statement of its own Saturday.
"As stated by ECHL Commissioner Emeritus Patrick J. Kelly yesterday morning, the tradition of returning the Championship Trophy to the League was not honored by the Colorado Eagles. Despite a confirmed plan with Eagles’ management to return the Kelly Cup to the ECHL in December 2018, the arrangement was not fulfilled.
In reaction to this, the League created a new Kelly Cup...If the Colorado Eagles do intend to return the Kelly Cup, the ECHL welcomes its return so that it too may be a part of hockey history."
Social media accounts for the team have received a flurry of messages from ECHL fans demanding the return of the trophy.