Kalamazoo Wings

The Kalamazoo Wings, nicknamed the K-Wings, are a mid-level professional ice hockey team in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A member of the ECHL's Western Conference, Central Division,[1] they play in the 5,113-seat Wings Event Center. They are the affiliate of the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League and Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wings voluntarily suspended operations through at least the 2020–21 ECHL season.[2]

Kalamazoo Wings
Kalamazoo Wings logo.svg
CityKalamazoo, Michigan, United States
LeagueECHL
ConferenceWestern
DivisionCentral
Founded1999 (in the UHL)
Home arenaWings Event Center
ColorsRed, white, blue
     
Owner(s)William D. Johnston/Ronda Stryker
General managerNick Bootland
Head coachNick Bootland
MediaWQLR
Kalamazoo Gazette
AffiliatesVancouver Canucks (NHL)
Utica Comets (AHL)
Franchise history
1999–2000Madison Kodiaks
2000–presentKalamazoo Wings
Championships
Regular season titles1 UHL 2005–06
Division Championships1 UHL 2005–06
4 ECHL 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2013–14
Conference Championships2 UHL 2005–06, 2006–07
1 ECHL 2010–11
Colonial Cups1 UHL 2005–06
Kelly Cups0 ECHL

Kalamazoo is home to the "Green Ice Game". Played since 1982 on St. Patrick's Day, it is one of the most celebrated games in minor league hockey. The team has sought to duplicate the game's success with the Pink Ice Game (Valentine's Day), the Orange Ice Game (Halloween).

HistoryEdit

 
On road October 2012 vs. Toledo Walleye.

The team began in the 1999–2000 season as the United Hockey League's Madison Kodiaks in Madison, Wisconsin. After one season in Madison, the franchise moved to Kalamazoo, where it renamed itself the Wings in honor of the original Wings that had played in the International Hockey League from 1974 through 2000. The new Wings obtained the right to use the old Wings' name and logo, as well as using the original team's history as its own.[3]

The K-Wings played in the UHL from October 2000 until June 1, 2009, when they withdrew because of concerns that the league, which had renamed itself the International Hockey League in 2007, might go bankrupt. Eight days later, the K-Wings joined the ECHL. From September 13, 2012 until the end of the 2014–15 season, the Wings had an affiliation with the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves.[4][5] They were also affiliated with the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets and Vancouver Canucks as well as their AHL affiliates the Springfield Falcons and Utica Comets, respectively.[6]

Prior to the 2015–16 season, the ECHL required teams to only have one official NHL/AHL affiliate, leading to the K-Wings only keeping their Columbus affiliation and the Blue Jackets' new AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters. They ended their affiliation with the Blue Jackets after one season and affiliated with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Syracuse Crunch for the 2016–17 season.[3] They changed again for the 2017–18 season to the Canucks and Comets, their previous affiliates for several seasons.[7]

Season recordsEdit

Season GP W L T/OTL Pts GF GA Pct Regular Season Finish Playoffs
United Hockey League
2000–01 74 37 31 6 80 220 220 .541 3rd Southwest, 9th of 15 Lost Play-in game vs. Muskegon Fury
2001–02 74 27 37 8 66 213 277 .446 6th Western, 11th of 14 Did not qualify
2002–03 76 29 39 8 66 210 282 .434 5th Western, 10th of 10 Did not qualify
2003–04 76 45 22 9 99 281 207 .651 4th Western, 4th of 12 Lost Quarterfinal series vs. Fort Wayne Komets, 2–3
2004–05 80 50 24 6 100 257 204 .663 2nd Central, 3rd of 14 Lost Semifinal series vs. Fort Wayne Komets, 3–4
2005–06 76 52 17 7 111 332 183 .730 1st Central, 1st of 14 Won Colonial Cup Final series vs. Danbury Trashers, 4–1
2006–07 76 47 23 6 100 251 191 .658 2nd Eastern, 4th of 10 Lost Colonial Cup Final series vs. Rockford IceHogs, 3–4
International Hockey League
2007–08 76 31 34 11 73 242 252 .480 5th of 6 IHL Did not qualify
2008–09 76 44 29 3 91 274 253 .599 4th of 6 IHL Lost Semifinal series vs. Fort Wayne Komets, 3–4
ECHL
2009–10 72 42 20 10 94 273 243 .653 1st North, 3rd of 20 Lost Quarterfinal series vs. Reading Royals, 2–3
2010–11 72 40 24 8 88 255 225 .611 1st North, 4th of 19 Lost Kelly Cup Final series vs. Alaska Aces, 1–4
2011–12 72 38 26 8 84 264 237 .583 1st North, 8th of 20 Lost Eastern Conference Final series vs. Florida Everblades, 1–4
2012–13 72 34 30 8 76 205 215 .528 3rd North, 14th of 23 Did not qualify
2013–14 72 42 22 8 92 224 197 .639 1st North, 4th of 21 Lost Quarterfinal series vs. Greenville Road Warriors, 2–4
2014–15 72 36 30 6 78 226 233 .542 3rd North, 16th of 28 Lost Division Semifinal series vs. Fort Wayne Komets, 1–4
2015–16 72 38 28 6 82 233 230 .569 3rd North, 13th of 28 Lost Conference Quarterfinal series vs. South Carolina Stingrays, 1–4
2016–17 72 38 30 4 80 222 237 .556 4th Central, 15th of 27 Lost Division Semifinal series vs. Toledo Walleye, 3–4
2017–18 72 34 31 7 75 251 251 .521 5th Central, 16th of 27 Did not qualify
2018–19 72 36 31 5 77 229 254 .535 4th Central, 15th of 27 Lost Division Semifinal series vs. Cincinnati Cyclones, 2–4
2019–20 61 23 30 8 54 194 241 .443 5th Central, 22nd of 26 Season cancelled

PlayersEdit

Current rosterEdit

Updated January 7, 2021.[8]
# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract

Retired numbersEdit

Team recordsEdit

 
Kalamazoo Wings playing against the Chicago Express in 2011

Single seasonEdit

Goals: 46   Nick Bootland (2007–08)
Assists: 70   Daniel Carriere (2005–06)
Points: 94   Kory Karlander (2007–08)
Penalty minutes: 344   Tyler Willis (2003–04)
GAA: 2.02   Ryan Nie (2006–07)
SV%: .929   Ryan Nie (2006–07)

CareerEdit

Career games played: 542   Justin Taylor (2010–20)
Career goals: 213   Justin Taylor (2010–20)
Career assists: 263   Kory Karlander (2004–13)
Career points: 442   Kory Karlander (2004–13)
Career penalty minutes: 1,463   Tyler Willis (2003–10)
Career goaltending games played: 422   Joel Martin (2004-18)
Career goaltending wins: 152   Joel Martin (2004–18)
Career shutouts: 18   Joel Martin (2004–18)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "ECHL Announces Revisions to Divisional Alignment and Playoff Format". ECHL. October 9, 2014. Archived from the original on April 7, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  2. ^ "CINCINNATI, IDAHO AND KALAMAZOO ELECT SUSPENSION OF PLAY FOR 2020-21 SEASON". ECHL. December 7, 2020. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "K-Wings Strike Deal to Become Tampa Bay Lightning Affiliate". OurSports Central. May 25, 2016.
  4. ^ "Wolves Enter Affiliation Agreement with Kalamazoo". Chicago Wolves. September 13, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  5. ^ "Wolves Extend Affiliation with Kalamazoo". Chicago Wolves. August 19, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  6. ^ "Kalamazoo renews affiliation with Vancouver and signs new agreement with Columbus". Kalamazoo Wings. August 20, 2014. Archived from the original on July 20, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  7. ^ "Kalamazoo Wings enter affiliation agreement with Vancouver Canucks". MLive. July 12, 2017.
  8. ^ ":: Kalamazoo Wings playing Roster". Kalamazoo Wings. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  9. ^ a b "WINGS TO RETIRE PAIR OF NUMBERS". Kalamazoo Wings. September 24, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2019.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Kalamazoo Wings at Wikimedia Commons