After many successful years in the International Hockey League, Toledo hockey found itself in the league in 1991, beginning ECHL play as the Toledo Storm. Winning two titles as the Storm, Toledo took off a year and rebranded as the Walleye in 2008-2009. This also included a brand new home arena.
Toledo has come a long way since their instatement in 2008 and really turned into one of the more successful league franchises during those years. Along the way, Toledo has really proved themselves, putting together some top talented players who have gone really far up in the organization that has turned the Walleye into the team that they are.
Originally starting his career in the ECHL with the Kalamazoo Wings, Shane Berschbach made his debut with the Toledo Walleye in 2014-15. Now in his sixth season with the team, Berschbach has managed to amass 393 points with the organization. This total is an all-time franchise high.
Known to be a great teammate, Berschbach, through 376 games in Toledo, has seemingly never taken a day off in his career. In 79 ECHL playoff games, the forward’s put up 73 points and is really one of the main reasons why Toledo had so much playoff success for so long now. When it comes down to it, Berschbach’s number will be hanging in the rafters without a question when he opts to retire.
An undrafted defensemen from the Michigan Wolverines, defenseman Luke Glendening is the definition of a grinder. Playing only 27 games with the Toledo Walleye in 2012-13, Glendening put up 21 points in a Walleye uniform, making his debut as a pro. In the same season, he joined the Grand Rapids Griffins, putting up 26 points in 51 games played.
Fast forward that year to the playoffs, Glendening put up 16 points in 26 games played in the AHL postseason. This would be the same year that the Grand Rapids Griffins won the Calder Cup championship. Making his NHL debut with the Detroit Red Wings in 2013-14, Glendening, 31-years-old, has now been with the Red Wings for the last eight seasons.
With 500 games now in Detroit and putting up 111 points in those games, Glendening has proved himself on the team’s backend through the years he’s played there with now continued success.
A fifth round pick of the Detroit Red Wings back in 2010, Mrazek only played three games in the ECHL with the Toledo Walleye. In those three games with the hockey club, Mrazek was victorious in two games, and as such, recorded a .944 save percentage. However, it’s his career outside Toledo that’s really stood out.
He was a key piece and the starting goaltender with the Grand Rapids Griffins where he would span two seasons. He followed that with a four-year tenure as one of two backstops with the Red Wings hockey club. After a sluggish stint for half a year with the Philadelphia Flyers, Mrazek, in July of last year, would find a new home with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Now, through seven NHL seasons, Mrazek owns 122 wins, a 2.62 GAA and a .910 save percentage. In an organization that has been known to put together good netminders, Mrazek is a shining example of what it is the Red Wings want in a goaltender.