By Pam Shebest
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Everything about playing in the ECHL will be a new experience for the Kalamazoo Wings.
Having a familiar face between the pipes should help smooth the transition.
The K-Wings have trotted out one signing after another this summer, but the most important one came Tuesday when goaltender Ryan Nie was introduced as the team’s last line of defense.
Yep, the same Ryan Nie who played his rookie season in Kalamazoo in 2006-07 and helped lead the K-Wings reach Game 7 of the United Hockey League finals.
Only now, he has three years of pro experience — including two seasons in the ECHL.
“He’s just going to be in a bigger and better role for us now,” K-Wings coach Nick Bootland said. “We know what he can do on the ice, and now that he’s got the experience, he can be a leader for us. He set the record in Johnstown with 29 wins (in 2007-08).”