By Woody Wommack
The Naples News
ESTERO. Fla. – Since deciding to hang up the skates to focus on his career as an Estero firefighter, playing professional hockey again was pretty much the last thing on Bill Kinkel’s mind.
Kinkel, who spent 25 games with the Everblades during the 2006-07 season, bounced around the ECHL for another year before decided to give up hockey and call Southwest Florida home. Rather than playing hockey on the Germain Arena ice, Kinkel could be seen working the games as a member of the emergency medical services staff.
But when Florida Everblades coach Malcolm Cameron reached out to Kinkel prior to Friday’s game against the Charlotte Checkers and offered him the chance to return to the ice as one-game fill-in, Kinkel jumped at the chance.
“I was actually scheduled to work EMS for the fire department here tonight,” the 25-year-old Kinkel said after the game. “They called me and asked me if I could play so I got someone to cover my shift for me and I got out there and tried to help the team the best I could.”