Downtown News Magazine’s Kevin Elliott penned a profile of Toledo Walleye goaltender Pat Nagle, who hails from Bloomfield Hills, MI:
Formerly known as the East Coast Hockey League, the ECHL is a mid-level minor league, while the AHL is the top-tier minor league. While both are competitive, some consider the AHL to focus more on development for the major league NHL teams. While it isn’t uncommon for players to go back and forth between leagues, goal tenders are a little different breed.
“That happens often where each organization has different ways to going about things, and you get transferred, but more for goalies,” Nagle said. “It happens with forwards and defensemen, too, but with goalies, one day you’re starting in the AHL, and the next you’re backing up in the EHCL. It’s all part of the process.”
In Toledo, Nagle is a veteran player who is key to the team’s post-season success. The team, which has recently drawn higher crowds than the famed Toledo Mud Hens – the AAA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers – and has earned the best record in the conference for four seasons. He’s also played three seasons for the Fort Wayne Komets, the team’s top rival.
“It’s always tough. I have buddies on both teams,” Nagle said about being traded. “But for me, it was good to be back in the Detroit system. It’s funny how things work.”