Martin announces retirement, named Wings assistant coach

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Kalamazoo Wings goaltender Joel Martin has announced his retirement as a player and has been named assistant coach of the team.

Martin, 35, ends his playing career as the franchise’s all-time leader in wins, shutouts, games played, minutes played, and saves. His 14-year career spanned over 13 teams, seven leagues, and two continents.

“Every ride has to come to an end,” Martin said. Physically, my body is at the end of the ride. I’m excited to be a part of the day-to-day responsibilities and learn from one of the best in Nick Bootland. My family and I are extremely grateful for the opportunity to stay in Kalamazoo and with the Kalamazoo Wings organization.”

“Joel Martin is fueled by an unrivaled passion,” head coach Nick Bootland said. “He has watched the game from a different perspective, and he is a wealth of knowledge who will provide great insight.

“As a player, he showed an unbelievable attention to detail, and nobody could ever outwork him. I fully anticipate those traits carrying over into his coaching career.”

Martin spent nine seasons in Kalamazoo, and he backstopped the franchise’s last title team by earning a 12-1 playoff record in 2006 while leading the club to the Colonial Cup as members of the UHL.

Prior to making his professional debut in 2003 with the Bakersfield Condors, Martin spent three seasons in the Western Hockey League with Lethbridge, Tri-City, Vancouver and Calgary, where he appeared in 123 games, posting a 46-50-9 record, with a 3.24 goals-against average and an .893 save percentage.

Where he ranks (ECHL history)

-9-time ECHL Goaltender of the Week ranks first

-Three 30-win seasons rank first

-394 games played rank second

-22,962 minutes played rank second

-199 wins rank fourth