The 2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs of the ECHL began on April 9, 2009. The 16 teams that qualified, eight from each conference, will play a best-of-7 series for division semifinals, finals and conference finals. The conference champions will play a best-of-7 series for the Kelly Cup.
Three league records were set during the first round of the playoffs. Game One of the North Division semifinals became the longest game in ECHL history, as the Elmira Jackals defeated the Trenton Devils 5 – 4 in a game that lasted 126:10. Elmira's Josh Aspenlind scored the game-winning goal at 6:10 of the fourth overtime. Previously, the longest game was the Greenville Grrrowl's 3 – 2 four overtime victory against the Louisiana IceGators in Game Two of the 2000 Southern Conference Finals, which lasted 121:24. The game saw another league record fall, as Elmira and Trenton combined for 145 shots on goal (75 for Trenton, 70 for Elmira), besting the 139 combined shots on goal by Louisiana (82) and the Jackson Bandits (57) in Jackson's 5 – 4 triple overtime victory in Game Two of the 2002 Southwest Division Semifinals. Elmira's goaltender, Michael Teslak made the third most saves in a single game in ECHL history with 71.
The Division finals saw the defending Kelly Cup champion Cincinnati Cyclones and the Alaska Aces cruise to easy Conference finals berths, under completely different circumstances. Cincinnati swept Elmira after both teams went the full seven games in their opening series, while Alaska defeated the Victoria Salmon Kings four games to one with both teams having an extended rest, with Victoria sweeping their opening series and Alaska winning their series in five games. The South Carolina Stingrays required a little more effort to oust the Florida Everblades, who sat atop the league's regular season standings, defeating them in six games to advance to play the Cyclones in the conference finals.
Three (Alaska, Cincinnati and South Carolina) of the four teams in the Conference Finals were former Kelly Cup Champions. The American Conference finals was a rematch of the 2008 edition with Cincinnati taking on South Carolina and Las Vegas made their second consecutive trip to the National Conference finals, taking on their most heated rival the Alaska Aces.
The South Carolina Stingrays led the Alaska Aces, 3-1, headed to Game 5 before blowing the lead, and having to face a Game 7, where the Stingrays clinched their third Kelly Cup with a 4-2 win, winning the series, 4-3. The Stingrays tied the ECHL record for most ECHL championships, with three. South Carolina would get their revenge on Cincinnati for defeating the Stingrays in the 2008 American Conference finals by sweeping the Cyclones in four games. The National Conference finals had the same results with Alaska sweeping Las Vegas in four games.
After the 2008–09 ECHL regular season, 16 teams qualified for the playoffs. The top four teams from each division qualified for the playoffs. The Florida Everblades were the American Conference regular season champions as well as the Brabham Cup winners with the best overall regular season record. The Alaska Aces were the National Conference regular season champions. South Carolina goaltender James Reimer was named the Kelly Cup Finals MVP.
GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; SA = Shots against; GA = Goals against; GAA = Goals against average; SV% = Save percentage; SO = Shutouts; TOI = Time on ice (in minutes); Yellow shade = team still in playoffs
NOTE: Neither team's home arena was available in the first week of the ECHL playoffs; Time Warner Cable Arena was unavailable for this round (final week of NBA games by the Charlotte Bobcats, and the North Charleston Coliseum had rehearsals for a concert tour. The ECHL arranged the playoff series in the following order: two games at the Extreme Ice Center, three games at the North Charleston Coliseum, and then one game at the Extreme Ice Center. Had a seventh game been necessary, it would have been played at the North Charleston Coliseum.