Hockey first came to Toledo in 1947, Virgil Gladieux and Emery Gilbert built and open the Toledo Sports Arena at a cost of $1.5 million. Gladieux paid $1,000 to join the expanding International Hockey League; the team was named the Toledo Mercurys.
With Toledo hockey came a devoted fan base that has cheered the teams throughout its 70 plus history— first as the Mercurys then Buckeye, Blades, Hornets, Goaldiggers and Storm—before dissolving away and re-emerging as the Toledo Walleye.
Toledo was awarded an expansion franchise in the ECHL in 1991, operating as the Toledo Storm between 1991-2007. The Storm won back-to-back Riley Cup titles in 1993 and 1994 and was also awarded the Brabham Cup in 1992 and 2003.
After a two-year hiatus, Toledo was back in the ECHL as the Walleye, playing at the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo since October of 2009. Since that time, the team has been affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and the Grand Rapid Griffins of the American Hockey League. The ECHL awarded the Walleye the Brabham Cup in 2014-15 and 2016-17. The team also has four regular season Division Championships in 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.
On December 27, 2014, the ECHL hosted its first-ever outdoor hockey event in Toledo at Fifth Third Field. An estimated 50,000 people attended Winterfest, a 10-day outdoor celebration.
The Walleye have two mascots: Spike, who was introduced on July 27, 2009 at a Toledo Mud Hens game, and CatTrick, a fuzzy blue cat.