Veterans Ftorek, Martin return to K-Wings

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Kalamazoo Wings announced the signing of defenseman Sam Ftorek and goaltender Joel Martin.

Entering his 17th year of professional hockey, Ftorek is returning for his sixth season with the K-Wings. The 2014-15 campaign should also be a record-breaking season for the defenseman. Ftorek is 13 regular season contests shy of 1,000 in his career.

Currently ranking third for all-time games played in the league, Ftorek’s pursuit for history will also involve record books of the ECHL. With 766 of his professional games played in the ECHL, Ftorek is five games shy of tying Louis Dumont (1994-2006) for second place and 23 games shy of tying Cam Brown (1991-2006) for all-time games played in the premier “AA” hockey league.

Last season Ftorek led ECHL blueliner’s in scoring with 47 points (13g-34a). For his efforts, Ftorek was named to the All-ECHL First Team and received recognition from the K-Wings by earning the team’s Pepsi Sportsmanship Award, as well as the Otten Trophy Awards, which is given to the player who earned the most first stars. A leader on and off the ice, Ftorek has worn either the captain’s “C” or the alternate captain’s “A” in each of his seasons with the K-Wings.

Coming from an excellent pedigree, Ftorek is the son of Robbie Ftorek, who played eight seasons in the National Hockey League with the Detroit Red Wings (2), Quebec Nordiques (3) and the New York Rangers (3). Robbie Ftorek also possesses an impressive coaching resume with 23 years experience, 10 of which were in the NHL.

A fixture between the pipes for 13 professional seasons, the 2014-15 campaign will be Martin’s sixth in a K-Wings jersey. One of the premiere goaltenders to ever wear a K-Wings jersey, Martin ranks first all-time in K-Wings history (ECHL, IHL and UHL) in shutouts (14), second in victories (122) and third in goals-against average (2.66). Two seasons ago Martin rewrote the team’s ECHL record book for lowest goals per game (2.70), appearances (63), minutes (3,739), victories (31), save percentage (0.924) and saves (2,051).

In a career, that includes such highlights as earning the Central Hockey League Goaltender of the Year (2009-10) and being called-up to the NHL (New York Islanders), one of Martin’s biggest accomplishments occurred in a K-Wings uniform. During the 2005-06 season, Martin went 12-1 with a GAA of 1.84 and a save percentage of .934 en route to helping the K-Wings capture the United Hockey League’s Colonial Cup Championship.