The Toledo Walleye’s championship run ended a little short as they lost in the ECHL final to the Newfoundland Growlers, but the Walleye have impressed those in professional hockey circles as a winning machine over the past half-decade. The Toledo Blade’s Mark Monroe reports that the Walleye’s playoff success has turned out to be a good thing for player recruitment, as coach Dan Watson suggests:
“With the success we had … more names are coming across the desk,” Watson said.
Toledo also hosted the ECHL all-star game for the first time, giving the league’s top players an up-close look at how the franchise is operated and supported.
“Players in this league and their agents understand what Toledo is all about,” Watson said. “We have a really good organization and the city is behind us.”
The team sold-out 31 of its 36 home games at the Huntington Center. An average crowd of 7,783 attended the games at the downtown arena, which seats 7,431 for hockey games. The team also set a new single-game attendance record when a crowd of 8,397 filled the arena to beyond capacity on April 6.
“Players want to play in front of those atmospheres,” Watson said.
However, the third-year coach believes there will be significant roster turnover in the offseason due to a variety of reasons.
“For the most part, we will have a pretty new team. There are a lot of guys who will be moving on,” Watson said. “That’s just the nature of the beast [at the ECHL developmental level].”
Monroe continues, explaining the Walleye’s personnel situation…