Kalamazoo Wings defenseman explains moonwalk celebration: 'I wanted to bring life to our bench'

Eric Kattelus moonwalked his way to internet glory. ECHL

Eric Kattelus of the ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings skated to the middle of the Kansas City Mavericks' zone during a first-period power play on Wednesday night. He snapped the puck behind the goalie for his third goal in 13 games this season.

And then he did the moonwalk.

Yes ... the moonwalk.

"A little extra flair this time, I guess," Kattelus, a 30-year-old Michigan native, told ESPN.

Kattelus skated to the blue line, and then spun around. He raised his glove to his helmet, like Michael Jackson grasping his hat. Then he did the moonwalk, his shoulders emphasizing each move.

"You start playing defense, and you honestly don't know how many goals you're going to be able to score. You have to take advantage of your opportunities," said Kattelus, who shifted from left wing to defense last season.

Did he practice this routine?

"I'd like to say 'no' ... but yeah, I practiced it," said Kattelus. "It's all about balance. Heel-to-toe, heel-to-toe."

The celebration was meant to energize his team, which was in the midst of an eight-day road trip, and got the expected result, eliciting smiles along the bench. (As well as more than a few "crying laughing" emoji text messages from friends around the world, he said.) But Kattelus noted that the moonwalk also infuriated the Mavericks, as was expected.

"Absolutely they were. And rightfully so," said Kattelus. "But it was 100 percent to get our guys boosted up. I wasn't trying to disrespect the Mavericks organization or anyone. I wanted to bring some life to our bench, and that was one way to do it."

Kattelus said he'll keep that moonwalk celebration in his back pocket for another occasion. Meanwhile, he hopes that hockey players get more into the spirit of celebrations like their peers over in the NFL have this season, with elaborate touchdown celebrations.

"It's no longer the 'No Fun League.' I might have drawn a little inspiration from those guys," he said. "The chance to celebrate like that makes you want to score, doesn't it?"