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Tailing the Komets

1-0 Joe goes

I just got off the phone with Joe Franke who has been let go by the Komets after a 20-year affiliation as the team's equipment manager. Komets General Manager David Franke said both sides decided to move in different directions, and Joe Franke said that was exactly what each side decided.

``I have other things going on and, he wants to cut costs and go with a younger guy,'' Joe Franke said. "I'm not upset at all. The only thing I'm upset with, and they know this, is that they waited this long to tell me.''

Franke, 46, said he's not retiring from hockey and has had 12 calls over the past three days. He needs one more year for 30 in the business. During the warmer months he also runs his own lawn care service.

``I may be out of the game for a year if I don't like what's happening, but that's fine,'' he said. "I'll find something to do. I think I represented the team and was a true Komet. I was always there with they needed me.''

Franke is best known for being the oldest player ever to play for the Komets at age 42 on Dec. 16, 2002, when he came off the bench to beat Elmira 4-3 in a shootout. He came into the game in the third period after Tom Lawson was called up and Pokey Reddick was injured. After dressing as an emergency back-up more than 30 times during his career, it was Franke's first actual game experience. The highlights were shown on ESPN, and now more than 20,000 people claim they were at the game even though the official attendance was 6,497.

Franke has the best winning percentage but worst goals against average of any goalie in Komets' history (10.86), not to mention the best T-shirt, ``1-0 Joe.''

There might be even more updates to come today.

Posted in: Komets