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Tailing the Komets

On Danbury

I'm guessing most of you saw the situation going on with the Trashers today. If not, Trashers owner James Galante was one of 29 people indicted during a federal investigation into the trash industry. Part of the indictment details Galante allegedly paying three players $100,000 each last year and the entire team $750,000 in salary. The UHL salary cap is $275,000.

Players or their wives were sometimes allegedly paid as  employees of Galante's other businesses.

This is what I've been talking about all year. I've heard of players receiving $3,000 per week, or getting a $2,500 signing bonus and $2,000 per week and things like that.  Any idea now why some players might have considered signing there as opposed to other places? Think this might be why players who were released late in the season might not have wanted to report somewhere else? They had to take a massive pay cut.

This is why the UHL must adopt a hard cap for salaries. And then the owners need to give the commissioner's office the powers to enforce it.

Supposedly, the Trashers ARE going to play next year, as the team has been set up now under a different corporation.  They are also going to pay one hellacious fine to the league which has been investigating them for several months.

And don't give me any crap about Richard Brosal. It took the Feds several years to crack this with hundreds of people. How's the UHL supposed to crack it with one or two people?

Posted in: Komets


Hit Somebody!!!
Fri, 06/09/2006 - 2:58pm

Danbury Cheaters????

No way, you must be mistaken......Didn't see that one coming. And to think that Justin Cohn brow-beat some of us for calling them cheaters....he claimed all year that what they were doing was well within the rules and that we should not label them cheaters. Yes there was a salary cap that they went over by just a few pennies....I mean nearly $500,000, and looks like they were paying wives and dogs and imaginary friends of players....but cheating? No way.....Good call Cohn....This is where you try to say that you never brow-beat any of us. And that you never told us that starting rumors about other teams was bad because they weren't cheating.

Just busting his chops some...Good Luck on the ball and chain ceremony....and Congrats.

Tony E
Fri, 06/09/2006 - 3:20pm

I may be waaaayyy niave in asking this but let's see if I can make some sense. ( I know asking alot)

If the owner is getting busted great. If the players took money they shouldnt have they should be banned from playing in this league. My question/problem is with the fine. If the team is going to end up pretty much with a new owner who had nothing to do with the problems, aren't they running a risk of financially crippling a new ownership group by socking them with a huge fine for something they had nothing to do with? This isn't like the NHL where the owners are multi multi gazillionars.
Blake please explain if you can. Can they kick/ suspend the players out of the league? What about the new ownership and the fine?

Fri, 06/09/2006 - 3:25pm

Same owner, different corporation. It's already been set up.

Technically, since there is no union or negotiated CBA, the players didn't do anything wrong in taking the money. They just better d--- well hope they paid all their taxes.

Tony E
Fri, 06/09/2006 - 3:34pm

If I was the UHL I would try to force James Galante out and get new owners in there. Reason being he is facing jail time and if the Feds prove that he cheated on his taxes in this mess then they may force him to sell. I know they themselves can sieze assets in order to satisfy the debt and penalties. Besides the UHL doesn't want a criminal owning a franchise. He has been nothing but trouble since he came into the league anyway.

Fri, 06/09/2006 - 4:29pm

Mr. Galante set up his son, AJ as team President....even though he is attending college, could he be held accountable also? After all, he is over 18 also. The feds indictment states that UHL rules do allow for loss of member club and forfeiture of games played. The indictment did make for some interesting reading....all 113 pages of it.

Fri, 06/09/2006 - 4:44pm

I have a question for Blake..Any word on the division format for next. I heard that the K's are going to be placed in East with Danbury, Elimra, and the Frostbite. The central will consist of all Michigan teams and the West all the Illinois teams. Is this true?

Fri, 06/09/2006 - 6:14pm

I personally don't see any way they can go with three divisions. Maybe two. But yes, the Komets will probably be in the East, but Port Huron adn FLint will play more games out there. It's a much shorter drive for them through Canada.

His son is not mentioned in the indictment that I saw.

Fri, 06/09/2006 - 7:01pm

Like I said sometime ago on this blog: Why would anyone ever take on as a business partner someone involved in the trash business in Connecticut and whose name ends in a vowel?

Fri, 06/09/2006 - 7:30pm

Can the UHL just "kick" anyone out of the league for any reason? Why would the UHL want a Danbury or even an Elmira? Has the commish ever given a valid answer to why?? If they do place the K's in the East that is a slap in the face of the organization. I do not care if the PH or Flint play more out east the fact is the K's would loose home dates. They would have to play 2 game series out East and the same thing would happen when an East team comes here. 2 divisions would make more sense and at least a chance of rivalries being establish again.

Hit Somebody!!!
Fri, 06/09/2006 - 7:34pm

Lose the East fast...if they put us out in the Eastern Conference it is a load of Shat. When are they going to wise up and realize how stupid it is to travel that damn far. It is not like Gas prices are $1.05...everything costs so much more due to the gas prices. It is time for Dickie to grow a set and retract the Eastern teams and shoot for a franchise in Indy and one other Midwest City.

Fri, 06/09/2006 - 9:07pm

Gee, what division did the Komets play in when they won the cup in 2003? Anybody? It doesn't matter because at the very most they'd make two trips out East. That's two freaking weekends. Not a big deal.

Hit Somebody!!!
Fri, 06/09/2006 - 9:14pm

So Elmira and Danbury will play 40 games against each other? That is fair. We play them 4 times. And that is going to decide the conference title and determine playoff positions? Bottomline, it makes little sense to have those teams in this league anymore. That is not hard to agree with is it?

Justin Cohn
Fri, 06/09/2006 - 10:17pm

Blake, thanks for the congrats on previous post! Hope you all have fun without me. Send me some e-mails and let me know what's going on while I'm gone, people. Maybe they'll have a coach soon. And Blake, see if you can keep Hit Somebody in detention hall while I'm gone or something.

Sat, 06/10/2006 - 5:51am

This is freaking hilarious. At least they have an owner commited to winning at all cost.

Sat, 06/10/2006 - 8:27am

My guess is Komets will make two or three trips out, playing everybody one maybe two times. They'll come here probably three times. It'll balance out somehow. And remember, Adirondack isn't dead yet.

Sun, 06/11/2006 - 4:03am

I just found this article in the Metro West Daily news. It says who was called in by the Grand Jury.... VERY INTERESTING GROUP OF PLAYERS!


Sun, 06/11/2006 - 10:29am

UHL players sign a standard players contract agreeing that their compensation is as stated and that they are not receiving additional money under the table. Those players certainly should be held accountable for accepting checks made out to their wives and living allowances in excess of league limits. They knew the rules and chose to take the money anyway. League credibility is on the line. Ban them.

Sun, 06/11/2006 - 12:01pm

If they had to ban players who signed illegal contracts, the quality of play would drop dramatically. I'm not sure we should blame the players for the owners' idiocy -- unless the players didn't pay their taxes.

Tony E
Sun, 06/11/2006 - 1:10pm

While I do think there should be a penalty on these players I also have reconsidered my stance that they should be banned. Considering many of them make less than your neighborhood sanitation worker, an extra few thousand dollars is a big deal. It isn't like they are making a million and greeding for more. It isn't right, but you can see why these guys would find it hard to say no to the money.
I wonder in theory, would there be anything wrong with a team offering a players wife a job as an incentive to sign? Of course I mean a real job not an under the table payment.

Sun, 06/11/2006 - 2:49pm

These guys are still human... Most are not able to rest after the season to heal bumps and bruises so the idea of making enough money to take the offseason off and heal up was probably more than they could resist. I cant blame any off them for taking the extra money, I mean the chance to triple your salary for one season is too good to be true.

Sun, 06/11/2006 - 3:26pm

I hope you people are kidding. These are minor league hockey players who work 8 months of the year. You are making excuses for them signing illegal contracts, accepting paychecks made out to their wives for phantom work, being co-conspirators to fraud. In a nutshell, cheating. They are healthy men fully capable of working in the offseason and that owner readily writing checks for imaginary work is fully capable of hiring them for real work.

I agree with the post up there. If it comes out that any of these players accepted money outside his contract, he should receive a lifetime ban. It is the only way to stop it.

For those of you who believe it will weaken the league, I'll also point out that the governors can set that cap anywhere they want it or eliminate it completely. They haven't done that.

Sun, 06/11/2006 - 4:27pm

Well Puzzled I hope that you have never done anything that is considered illegal in this society... Most of us have no room to talk, whether the illegal action is relativly small or large in scale it is still illegal. So I guess if you have never done anything wrong in your entire life both personally or professionally then go ahead and fire away...if not your just a hypocrite...

Sun, 06/11/2006 - 5:16pm

Blake, nice talking last night and sorry to delay you.....

Let the law take care of the players. I am sure some of them will need to play for a few more years, have part time jobs, and their wives to work to pay off the IRS. People who play this game get dumb and the IRS will nail them.

While seeing Chief go it is about time for everyone for him to move on. Things get stale for everyone if things don't change. You start doing things the same year after year and before long you find out the other teams have improved. Then you become a middle pack team! Look at any of the pro sports and only in a few cases has a team that stood still stayed on top.

Let everyone wish Dave and Mike the best of luck in putting a new face and chapter on the Komets for 2006-2007.

Keep your sticks down and head up!!!!

Tony E
Sun, 06/11/2006 - 5:27pm

Puzzled, my original instinct as you can see above was a ban, no questions asked.
Now I am at least willing to listen to why these guys took the money. I am not saying they shouldn't be banned. I certainly think some kind of punishment should be coming.

Sun, 06/11/2006 - 6:14pm

No comments that Duhart was one of the ones to be questioned? HE played 16 games for them two seasons ago. Wouldn't it be intertesting if he asked to be moved due to the ethical ramifications of taking dirty money? (I doubt it)

Sun, 06/11/2006 - 6:48pm

I wonder how much the K's knew before they chose Duhart in the dispersal draft???

Tony E
Sun, 06/11/2006 - 7:50pm

It is interesting that they would choose to go after a guy who only played 16 games. They must think he took a heck of alot of money. Or maybe he is being named because he is one of the few "well known" names in the league? Does anyone remember what the circumstances of his arrival/departure were?

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 06/11/2006 - 8:54pm

The Danbury Cheaters story grows deeper and dirtier. The argument above about "oh give the players a break because they need the money and you can't blame" is hogwash. It is either cheating or it isn't. You can't say they cheated but also give them a break. This is the same BS that we are getting right now from the MLB and its player's union about the performance enhancing drugs too. I listened to former big-league star Andy Van Slyke this morning on 670 The Score out of Chicago and he was giving an excuse for the players that all though it was cheating, if they didn't get caught, is it really cheating. And that if players in the 50's and 60's would have had steroids then, they would have used them too. He gave an example of driving 120 miles an hour down the highway and there was no cop around to pull him over so he wasn't really cheating. I think this whole argument that atheletes today make to justify their cheating is arogant and sets the wrong example for kids and for society in general. If it is cheating...it must be penalized. Bottom-line.

Sun, 06/11/2006 - 10:35pm

Sports = cheating....bottom line... From the management side to the play on the feild, ice, court, etc... Everyone can sit there and give you several ways to cheat in every sport they have knowledge in. For fans to sit there and let some things slide and to raise hell on others is ridiculous. Would everyone be going crazy if this were the K's in trouble. Some may still be unhappy; but others would clam up and hope nothing too bad happens. The UHL is obviously gonna let the Trashers play under current ownership, so I dont see them doing too much to the players in question. I'm sure that the feds will take care of things and Mr. Galante may have to watch his team from jail...

Sun, 06/11/2006 - 10:44pm

And just to clarify...I do not agree with or think that what Danbury did is right. I'm just saying that I cant blame these guys for what they are accused of doing. I think that whatever these guys get, owners or players, will probably be justified.