Kalanges looks to pursue other opportunities

By Ed Rietveld

Over the past eight years one thing has remained constant in the NIU hockey program; Ian Kalanges.

Kalanges, who played for the Huskies from 2004 to 2009 and has been the hockey club general manager since 2009, and will graduate in May with a masters degree in sports management.

The idea that he won’t be here in the fall is something that Kalanges said hasn’t crossed his mind.

“Yeah, it hasn’t hit me yet because I’m still involved with getting some of the end of the year stuff taken care of,” Kalanges said. “Before the group of guys that are going to be taking over steps in, but it will probably hit me probably when I graduate in May.”

This past season NIU added a second team which played on the D-III level.

“It just gave more kids the opportunity to play,” Kalanges said, “Instead of cramming, you know, 30 guys on one team we were able to have 23ish guys on two teams. I know in the past there have been issues with ice time with having too many guys crammed on one team, but with having two teams it spreads everyone out and it got rid of that headache about ice time and that aspect of it.”

D-III coach John Lyne, who has been with the program as a player and now as a coach since 2005, said Kalanges presence has brought a sense of professionalism to the club.

“Since he’s taken over it’s really come along way,” Lyne said. “He’s turned it into a successful, professional program. Whereas a lot of the teams we are playing against have full-time people at the university’s that run the team, ours is still a student run organization.”

D-II captain Mike Sible said the program woudn’t be where it is today without Kalanges’ efforts.

“I think it’s hard to put into words what Ian’s meant to the program,” Sible said. “I think he’s been essential in the success and progress the program has made both on and off the ice. He puts a lot of time and effort behind the scenes that not a lot of people are aware of. But like I said, the program would not be where it’s at both on and off the ice without Ian’s involvement.”

Kalanges, who has interned with the Chicago Blackhawks (07-08) The Rockford Icehogs (08-09) and the Chicago Bandits (09-11), said he has some pretty high expectations for himself in the future.

“Short-term wise, I would like to get a sales position with either an NHL team or an AHL team doing ticket sales or sponsorship sales,” Kalanges said, “But long-term wise, the reason I got my masters degree in sports management was I want to be a front office executive for a hockey team down the road.”