History was made in Kalamazoo this weekend, thanks to the longevity of Sam Ftorek.
The Kalamazoo Wings defenseman stepped onto the ice for his 790th ECHL game on Saturday, breaking the record for most games played in the league.
Ftorek, 40, also played in his 1,000th professional hockey game the night before.
“On behalf of the ECHL, I would like to congratulate Sam Ftorek on breaking the long-standing ECHL record for career games played,” ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna said. “It speaks to the hard work, dedication, professionalism and love of the game that Sam has portrayed for all of these years.”
Ftorek passed ECHL hall-of-famer Cam Brown, who had played in 789 ECHL games from 1991-2006.
The son of former NHL player and coach Robbie Ftorek, he led all ECHL defensemen in scoring with 47 points (13 goals, 34 assists) last year, earning an all-league first team selection in the process.
Ftorek, a Phoenix, Ariz., native, has played 13 seasons in the ECHL with Mobile, Augusta, Greensboro, Gwinnett, Fresno, Cincinnati and Kalamazoo. He has been with the Kalamazoo Wings since 2009.
Unfortunately for Ftorek and the Wings, the Toledo Walleye spoiled the party, as the Detroit Red Wings’ ECHL affiliate gave Kalamazoo a 5-2 loss.
Here are the highlights from the game: