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Kalamazoo Wings leave IHL

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Some of us on the West side of the state have been to a K-Wings game at one point or another, the K-Wings were once an affiliate of the Red Wings.

Well the K-Wings just announced that they are pulling out of the International Hockey League..

K-WINGS WITHDRAWING FROM IHL

Kinda sad to see them go, although as a Griffins fan, I've never really liked the K-Wings, but they've been a staple in hockey on the west side of the state for 35 years.

Their future is kinda up in the air, they've basically said that they will be playing hockey this season, but in what league nobody knows. The games vs. Fort Wayne and Muskegon were always fun to watch.

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Bummer, it's always sad to see a local team pick up and move out, regardless if they're your team's farm or not. Example, I'm an Indians fan but I still go to Mud Hens games all the time and watch them, just fun to get out to a game, cool to watch those guys as they break into the big leagues too, and I'd hate to see them leave.

I was sad to see the Storm fold in Toledo a couple years back, granted they were just a little ECHL hack and slash squad, but they were still a Wings affiliate and can be credited with making me a Wings fan after following them as a little kid. Fond memories of that old dump known as the Toledo Sports Areana, wonder if anybody else remembers when they had the female goalie, good times.

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At this point the IHL was a joke. Pretty much a disgrace to the former IHL. I'd much rather see them in the ECHL, or bring in a decent junior team.

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At this point the IHL was a joke. Pretty much a disgrace to the former IHL. I'd much rather see them in the ECHL, or bring in a decent junior team.

Yeah, I'm wondering what the eff is gonna happen with it. I'm currently living in Fort Wayne and I watched an interview with the IHL comissioner a few weeks ago during the Final and he was saying all this stuff about how the ownership base is really solid and the IHL will grow eventually but not before the 6 current owners are all comfortable and blah, blah, blah. Gotta wonder if anything he said was true.

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Yeah, I'm wondering what the eff is gonna happen with it. I'm currently living in Fort Wayne and I watched an interview with the IHL comissioner a few weeks ago during the Final and he was saying all this stuff about how the ownership base is really solid and the IHL will grow eventually but not before the 6 current owners are all comfortable and blah, blah, blah. Gotta wonder if anything he said was true.

Well, Paul Pickard announced he was stepping down as IHL CEO/Commissioner to return as the K-Wings President on May 22nd... so draw your own conclusions!

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I wish they would bring back the Vipers!

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I thought the IHL folded years ago. :blink:

Ah well. I remember Griffins games against the K-Wings. Sucks that they're leaving. :(

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Well, Paul Pickard announced he was stepping down as IHL CEO/Commissioner to return as the K-Wings President on May 22nd... so draw your own conclusions!

LOL... I didn't know THAT! Geesus.

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as long as they dont leave k-zoo i'll be fine, i like going to their games because their fun to watch and tickets arnt expensive haha. anyone know if they'll be leaving k-zoo?

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ECHL has a slot. The Toledo *cough* Walleye *cough* could use an opponent.

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I was sad to see the Storm fold in Toledo a couple years back, granted they were just a little ECHL hack and slash squad, but they were still a Wings affiliate and can be credited with making me a Wings fan after following them as a little kid. Fond memories of that old dump known as the Toledo Sports Areana, wonder if anybody else remembers when they had the female goalie, good times.

"Dump"? Dump??? The place had character. ;) Never mind it was 60 when it closed.

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This drops the league to a total of what 5 teams? Sad. I went to a lot of Komet games when I was in school in Fort Wayne

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This makes me very sad. I'm a Muskegon fan but have been to Kalamazoo for a game. I'm going to miss the rivalry between Kalamazoo and Muskegon. I wish them the best of luck and hope everything works out for them. Personally I'd love to see the IHL fold; it has been a bad league since it's return and only have 6 teams in the league for the first two seasons didn't make it any better. Maybe Kalamazoo will become a junior league team, I'd even come to K-Zoo again to see some Junior Hockey.

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This drops the league to a total of what 5 teams? Sad. I went to a lot of Komet games when I was in school in Fort Wayne

Reportedly Dayton will have an IHL team coming on-line next season. If so, they'd hold at six team... assuming Flint or Port Huron don't implode in the off-season.

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Be nice if they made the jump to the ECHL. Then-future husband and I went to a ton of Wings/K-Wings games back in college. Funny how well a relationship founded on watching Kevin Evans and Enrico Ciccone beat the crap out of people can end up working out.

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I think the IHL should fold and have their at least a few teams absorbed into the ECHL or something like when the original IHL folded and the Griffins among others were absorbed into the AHL. I've been to 1 K-Wings game and Several Muskegon Fury or now Lumberjacks games and they were always fun to go to. Muskegon games were the first semi-pro game I ever went to. I go to Griffins games more now because theyre closer and the IHL is a joke now but if they were absorbed into the ECHL I'd probably start going more because it would be better hockey than the I and could maybe see even younger Wings prospects before they get to Grand Rapids and I wouldn't be seeing the same 5 now 4 teams over and over.

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I've only been to one K-wings game but I remember it being fun. My brother pointed out how Turco was such a great goaltender. Not long after he was signed by Dallas.

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I hope they don't leave Kzoo. I've been to plenty of games throughout the last 6-7 years. I also remember seeing Turco play for the K-wings when they were Dallas' affiliate.

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I don't think the K-Wings will be going anywhere... They're owned by The Greenleaf Trust (Ted Parfet sold the teeam to them shortly before his death). They manage the finanacial nest eggs of the Upjohn/Parfet and Stryker families and other trust fund babies. They're heavily invested in the local community and I can't see them taking their ball elsewhere. Also, on the docket of the Kalamazoo County Commission meeting tonight is discussion of a new downtown hockey stadium as part of a new development plan.

If they to make it to the ECHL, I think it would be a good move. However, I think a new downtown stadium is premature. Wings Stadium was built in 1971, but it has a great location on I-94 and, better yet, it's paid for. Also, in recent years the K-Wings rarely sell out the place. I'm a proponent, especially as a taxpayer, of building the demand first, and then meeting it.

Edited by Gizmo

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I would hate to see Wings Stadium go. Playing there my whole life and all. I'd imagine a downtown arena would only have one rink, and the three rinks at Wings is huge for high school, travel, and house leagues.

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I like Wings Stadium for hockey (for concerts the place blows like a typhoon). Hadn't been to a K-wings game in 2yrs, mainly cause the last season I went, was when they won the championship, and were undefeated in the playoffs, till I attended a game, so...yea.... I've stayed away.

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With two kids playing travel/HS hockey, plus drop-in for me, I'm at Wings pretty much every day of the week from Sept to March.... so I hear you. I think Wings is safe for the foreseeable future, unless Greenleaf wants to cough up the nut for a new stadium, which I don't think has been discussed. They're talking about the usual hotel and restaurant taxes, etc. All that's being presented now are the results of a feasibility study.

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