Our History

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46 Years in the Making

1974 - 2020

October 1973An IHL expansion franchise is awarded to Kalamazoo, MI and a group of investors headed by Ted and Martha Parfet.
February 1974Wings Event Center ground breaking ceremony is held, paving the way for the Inaugural Season of the Kalamazoo Wings. Construction of the arena is completed in less than 9 months.
October 30, 1974The Kalamazoo Wings play their first home game in front of 4,157 fans.
March 17, 1982A new Kalamazoo tradition is born when Wings dye the ice surface green for the first St. Patrick's Day Green Ice Game.
January 17, 1984Wings Event Center and the Kalamazoo Wings host the IHL All-Star Game, pitting the IHL stars against the U.S. Olympic Team.
May 16, 1995The Kalamazoo Wings franchise is renamed, becoming the Michigan K-Wings.
January 26, 1996The three-millionth fan in Kalamazoo Wings history passes through the doors of the stadium.
April 17, 2000The Dallas Stars end their affiliation agreement with the Kalamazoo Wings, resulting in the franchise's request for inactive status in the IHL.
July 27, 2000The Madison Kodiaks franchise of the United Hockey League relocates to Kalamazoo. Ted Parfet grants the Kalamazoo Wings name and logo to the new franchise.
October 20, 2000The Kalamazoo Wings play their first regular season UHL game at Wings Event Center.
October 30, 2004The Kalamazoo Wings play their first ever Orange Ice Game.
March 18, 2006Molly McMaster becomes the first-ever female to play for the Kalamazoo Wings.
April 14, 2006Kalamazoo Wings capture their first Central Division Championship and Tarry Cup.
May 27, 2006Kalamazoo Wings capture their first Colonial Cup and the first championship of any kind in 26 years.
October 11, 2007Kalamazoo Wings return to IHL.
June 9, 2009Kalamazoo Wings join ECHL.
March 17, 2010Jeremy Duchesne becomes first player since 1999 to start with Kalamazoo Wings in the ECHL and play in the NHL in the same season with the Philadelphia Flyers.
May 10, 2011Kalamazoo Wings win Eastern Conference Championship.
March 28, 2012Kalamazoo Wings clinch their third straight North Division crown.
August 17, 2012Consumers Credit Union becomes the first ever presenting sponsor of Slappy™.
September 18, 2012The home of the Kalamazoo Wings, Wings Event Center, announce a $2 million renovation project, which includes the largest video board in minor league hockey.
September 16, 2013Kalamazoo Wings unveil 40th Anniversary logo.
March 10, 2013Nick Bootland becomes the winningest coach in Kalamazoo Wings history.
December 20, 2013Kalamazoo Wings host first ever Blue Ice weekend, in honor of Bell's Brewery.
March 29, 2014Kalamazoo Wings clinch their 4th North Division title.
April 10, 2014Sam Ftorek makes All-ECHL First Team and Elgin Reid makes All-ECHL Second Team.
December 15, 2014Sam Ftorek plays in ECHL-record 790th career game, passing Cam Brown’s previous league record.
December 29, 2014Kalamazoo defeats Toledo, 2-1, in the ECHL’s first-ever outdoor game at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio.
December 29, 2014Joel Martin becomes the winningest goalie in the Kalamazoo Wings’ ECHL history.
June 18, 2015Sam Ftorek is named assistant coach of the Wings after 17-year playing career.
February 27, 2016Nick Bootland becomes first head coach in team history to reach 300 wins with the franchise.
March 5, 2016Justin Taylor becomes the franchises ECHL leading scorer with his 272nd point.
April 2, 2016Joel Martin moves into 5th all-time in ECHL history with his 156th career regular season win.
May 26, 2016

Kalamazoo becomes ECHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, their 11th NHL affiliate in team history.

Jan. 6, 2017Joel Martin passes Georges Gagnon with his franchise record 197th win.
July 12, 2017Kalamazoo becomes ECHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, their 12th affiliate in team history.
June 2018Former goaltender Joel Martin retires and is named assistant coach.
Oct. 19, 2018Kalamazoo retires Kevin Schamehorn’s #26.
Jan. 19, 2019Kalamazoo celebrates their 45th Anniversary, retiring Georges Gagnon's #1.
Oct. 23, 2019

Justin Taylor passes Kevin Schamehorn with his franchise-record 496th game in a K-Wings uniform.

Nov. 2, 2019Kalamazoo Wings set a Guinness World Record for largest lightsaber battle during Star Wars Night at Wings Event Center (3,889 participants)
Mar. 11, 2020The K-Wings played their final game of a shortened 2019-20 season, a 1-0 loss to Indy at Wings Event Center. The remainder of the ECHL season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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