In a press conference early this morning, Mike Modugno, Director of Public Relations and Broadcaster for the Kalamazoo Wings in the ECHL, announced that tragedy hit the K-Wings: Slappy, Most Valuable Bird for the past five seasons, broke his leg and will be out for the remainder of the season and likely the postseason, as well.
Slappy’s broken leg was the result of an attack by an opposing team. K-Wings Trainer Scott Allison recommended that Slappy quit skating altogether. Upon learning the tragic news, Head Coach Nick Bootland met with the team for about three hours, and they have decided not to continue on with the season. The K-Wings season ends immediately.
“You know, I thought about it a lot. If Slappy can’t play, I’m not playing. No way,” said Jordan Binnington.
Captain Elgin Reid released the following statement: “Coach, I’m not going out if Slappy’s hurt.”
“I know rumors were being told out in the community that the players were thinking about wearing a green ribbon in salute to Slappy, but the players themselves said they could not handle getting on the ice without Kalamazoo’s favorite mascot. And the team held a vote, and the season ends today,” Modugno stated.
“We’re not going to be able to play today,” added Bootland. “Slappy…Slappy broke his leg.”
The K-Wings have requested privacy as they come to terms with the injury of their beloved mascott and the cancellation of the remainder of the season.
When asked for comment, Lynne Jarman-Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer of Consumers Credit Union, which sponsors Slappy, said, “We will be honoring Slappy’s dedicated service to the K-Wings, their fans, and the entire Kalamazoo community. He put smiles on the faces of so many. We wish him a speedy recovery and know he will be dearly missed.”
We invite you to share your support for Slappy by tweeting, posting to Facebook, and sharing photos with the hashtag #GetWellSlappy.
You can view footage of this morning’s press conference here.