FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2021
K-WINGS TO RETIRE JERSEY NUMBERS OF MEADMORE AND WILLIS
Kalamazoo will honor alumni Neil Meadmore and Tyler Willis at jersey retirement ceremonies January 15 and April 15, respectively.
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Wings will retire the jersey numbers of alumni Neil Meadmore and Tyler Willis in two separate ceremonies during the 2021-22 season, the team announced at a press conference Tuesday.
Meadmore, who spent parts of eight seasons with the K-Wings from 1979-1987, will see his Number-27 jersey retired during a pregame ceremony Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 before Kalamazoo takes on Cincinnati at 7:00 p.m. at Wings Event Center.
Willis, who played in parts of seven seasons for Kalamazoo from 2003-2010, will have his Number-13 jersey retired before the K-Wings take on Toledo on Friday, Apr. 15, 2022.
A member of the K-Wings’ 1980 Turner Cup championship team, Meadmore ranks among the top ten players in franchise history for games played (389), goals (148), assists (194), points (342) and penalty minutes (1,076).
“I was overwhelmed,” said Meadmore, who still lives in Kalamazoo and attended the press conference with his family. "To be mentioned in the same breath as Mike Wanchuk, Georges Gagnon , and my good friend Kevin Schamehorn is quite an honor. It’s very humbling to be a part of that group."
“Neil is a trailblazer and was one of the players who paved the way for the rest of us,” said K-Wings Head Coach Nick Bootland. “He gave us all a chance to chase our dreams. We owe a ton to players from the past. He was an impactful player and a true Kalamazoo Wings ambassador in our community.”
A key contributor on Kalamazoo’s 2006 Colonial Cup championship squad, Willis racked up 241 points in 349 career games for the Wings, while earning the second-most penalty minutes (1,463) in team history.
“It’s such an unbelievable honor,” said Willis, who recorded a video from his home in British Columbia. “I was speechless. It’s going to be so much fun. I look forward to it. To bring my family down, my kid loves hockey and my wife is from Kalamazoo, everybody is super pumped.”
“Tyler is one of the best teammates I have ever played with. He is a warrior,” said Bootland. “He had everyone’s back had the ability to get an entire opposing team off of their game. He was the most hated player by every team and fan base we played against.”
Both games will feature giveaway items for the first 1,000 fans, mini jersey retirement banners honoring Meadmore and Willis. More information about the pregame ceremonies will be released at a later date.
Individual tickets for all 36 home games are available now at the Wings Event Center ticket office and online. Starting next week, the ticket office will be open on Tuesdays from Noon-6:00 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from Noon-4:00 p.m.
The K-Wings will announce a full training camp roster and schedule later this week and the team will play two preseason games against the Toledo Walleye on Friday, October 15 at Wings Event Center and Saturday, October 16 at Huntington Center.
The 47th Kalamazoo Wings Home Opener is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23 against the Toledo Walleye at 7:00 p.m. at Wings Event Center. The team’s annual Fan Fest will start at 4:30 p.m. inside Door 7 before the game and will feature live music, a bounce house, a player red carpet, food trucks, axe throwing and a Smash Car, where a small donation will give fans the opportunity to smash a car with a sledgehammer.
The Kalamazoo Wings are a professional hockey team located in southwest Michigan that has been a staple in the Kalamazoo, MI professional sports landscape since 1974. The K-Wings compete in the ECHL and are the AA affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets and American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters. Kalamazoo plays their 36 regular season home games at Wings Event Center from October through April.