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Tailing the Komets

ECHL accepts Kalamazoo

The ECHL announced on Tuesday that the Board of Governors has unanimously approved the Expansion Membership application of the Kalamazoo Wings for admission to the ECHL.

Kalamazoo is scheduled to begin play in October when the Premier

Posted in: Komets


Tue, 06/09/2009 - 5:37pm

Do I see dollar signs? Lots for attorneys. I hope they do well. I really do. With all the travel and the revolving players. Can anyone see Kalamazoo vs Alaska in the play-offs. I wonder who their secondary affiliation is with? I do not think the I-H-L is totally done with Kalamazoo & Paul Picard. Just my old brain working over-time. WELCOME Dayton!! Save me some seats for games against the Komets. It is only a two hour drive. Lets get it on.

Tue, 06/09/2009 - 6:27pm

Now will my k-zoo, IHL, Bawa jersey be a collectors item?

Tue, 06/09/2009 - 7:15pm

Why the sour grapes for kzoo? So they left I hope the fair well in the ECHL. Perception wise the ECHL is a "better" league than the IHL and is a feeder system. While there will be threats of lawsuits to enforce the bylaws my guess it will never happen. While this is a gamble for kzoo all of minor league hockey is a gamble and nothing is guarantee. I still think Flint is going to be the next team that will fold and the IHL will add another expansion team and the IHL will be a 6 team league again. When we had these new teams I am sure there will be an expansion draft for them so I am sure we will loose the rights to some good players from the K's.

Tue, 06/09/2009 - 10:15pm

No sour grapes here. I couldn't be happier for the Kalamazoo Back-Stabbers... I mean Wings. ;) Somebody pop some popcorn. It's going to be extremely entertaining when they crash and burn. :D

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 3:03am

I wouldnt start dancing on K-zoo's grave or prematurely celebrating thier demise. Thier owner has very deep pockets by all accounts and needs them to be successful in a more recognizable league to try and get the downtown arena he covets...

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 7:31am

If i was the IHL...the last thing i would want would be this to go court. Alot of the IHL's dirty laundry could be made public...it would be very easy to find that the IHL was in breech of contract if just one team violated the leagues bylaws.

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 7:59am

I think (my opinion) hint, hint. The breech of contract my belong to Paul Picard. I would guess he had a "personal service" contract. I really don't know. Time will tell!!!

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 10:48am

I find it amazing that so many Komet fans are delirious to see part of the league's "anchor" leave. The IHL is running out of "sure things" and expansion franchises can't mask or hide that...

Many of us Kalamazoo fans aren't sure what to think quite yet. We'll miss Muskegon and Fort Wayne, and yet we won't and we won't miss the mess the IHL is becoming. And the prospect of affiliation (eventually, if not right away) is a big selling point to Kalamazoo fans.

I look forward to catching some ECHL games though and seeing where it goes.

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 11:42am

PRIMIS -- Wait until the people in Kalamazoo get the bill for your new stadium. Let us be perfectly honest. Mr. Johnson wants the tax payers to pay for the new barn. Just take a look at what a mess there is with Fort Wayne and the baseball deal the political leaders stuffed up our you know what's. I bet you can hardly wait to see Bakersfield or Alaska vs. the Kalamazoo Wings. Now that will be a rivalry!! Good Luck! Your need it.

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 1:03pm

Kalamazoo will ONLY see any teams in the National Conference (Alaska, Bakersfield, Idaho...etc.) if Kalamazoo themselves decides to go out West or if any of the West teams decide to come out East. That's how it works! Or of course, if Kalamazoo would happen to make the finals they would see a West team too.

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 3:27pm

Hopefully the Kzoo fans will continue to blog on the Komets' website although they are so happy and excited about what they feel is the much better hockey. I guess Kzoo has everything they could want now... Well, everything but a decent blog about their team, right Blake?

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 3:34pm

Yeah, it is unlikely that'll see much of Alaska, Bakersfield, and such. They could meet during the regular season, but in the ECHL, you don't usually play teams outside your division. That means K-zoo would have to not only make the playoffs but then get to the FInals to see them. And hey, we all know that's not going to happen. ;)

But believe me, Wheeling and Elmira will be bad enough. Not to mention that they will play a few teams outside the division at least a couple of times a year.

As for why some Komets fans are glad to see K-zoo go, you must understand that that is a natural reaction when you discover a traitor in your midst. As far as I'm concerned, if the Komets ever play Benedict K-zoo again, it will be too soon.

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 6:10pm

I've seen a lot of ECHL games.

There is nothing that stands out that would make me "that's the kind of hockey I want to be watching!" Sorry to refer to Cohn's interview he got Blake, but I can't remember who said it but the guy was right when he said the ECHL was more "skating" and the IHL was more "puck controlling."

You see a lot more rookies because of the 4 Vet limit in the ECHL. Its great to see the talent they can bring, but then you do end up with a lot of "so-so" rookies and just players to fill a roster spot because of the vet limit. But its kinda funny because in the past, I've heard SOME, not all, Wings fans say they want more vets or no vet limit at all for the IHL to make it better but yet, now these same people are boasting about their move and now they will have a tough time with just playing 4 vets.

I'm not going to bash on the ECHL because it isn't a horrible league to watch, I'd just rather watch what we have in the IHL (but of course with more teams, no one can really say they are satisfy with the amount of teams). The ECHL seems more stable because of their league size and their loss of teams isn't as big as what a one team loss in the IHL looks like.

We don't know what the future has in store for us. In the next year or two the IHL may get 2 or 3 more teams, maybe not. The ECHL might lose 2 or 3 teams (most likely Johnstown and Wheeling), maybe not. In that situation, its horrible for Kalamazoo. There are a lot of "what ifs" and we can play that game for a long time and it'll just keep going and going.

What us Komet fans can do is just don't fall to the level a lot of Wings fans have fallen to already. Many who have fallen to this level within 3 hours of their announcement of going to the ECHL.

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 7:10pm

good comments ashley. echl is not a lot different than the ihl in terms of talent and level of play. i for one would rather see more vets so i like the ihl rule. time will only tell how kzoo will do, it will help show komet fans what to expect down the road if the ihl falters, but i for one will go with the ihl until they fold or become successful.

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 7:30pm

For the sake of the Kzoo fans I wish them luck. Kalamazoo has great fans, I've always been treated well there and enjoyed their fans who have traveled here over the years.

This move wasn't decided by a vote among the fans, it was done by the owners. Isn't that always the way it works? And I'm sure the owners think this will work for them or they wouldn't be doing it.

Yes, I'm a bit upset about it, I wish Kalamazoo was still in the I. I do feel betrayed by their owners but I refuse to transfer that feeling to their fans. If the I grows and becomes vary solid I think many in Kzoo will wish they had stayed. Who knows, maybe they will be back in a few years. If they are I will rejoice at their return and welcome their fans back to our barn.

If the I fails and we end up in the E then I'm sure the Kalamazoo fans will welcome us back in theirs.

BTW, who left the I for the Colonial first, was it us or Kalamazoo? IIRC it was Kalamazoo but I'm not sure and I'm too busy (lazy?) to look it up right now.

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 7:51pm

I am sorry but, six teams is successful! The NHL only had 6 teams for something like 35 years or more. The original I-H-L was only six teams for a long time. I would like several more teams but until that happens I can take 6 teams. I happen to like playing the same teams. The rivarly is intense. The players get very intense. Paybacks do not take very long before being collected. Only seeing a team one or two times a season sucks. I happen to love going to games in other IHL cities. The IHL has the best fans through out the league. The idea of driving to Jamestown and back after the game just don't cut it. No, I like the IHL and think that works just fine for me. I like having 6 or 7 vets and 5 or 6 rookies. I like getting to know players and having them around most if not all of the season. It is nice to see a guy get a call up and than follow his progress. I guess you could say I am spoiled. I just like it the way it is!!!

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 7:53pm

I for one would like to see a league made up of MI, OH, IN, and IL teams. Nothing more than maybe 12 teams? A part of me just doesn't like being in a league where a team may not even play a team. Whats the point?

I'll ask this. If the Komets were in the ECHL and made it to the finals, does it bother you they may have not seen the team they would be playing? Or do you like the idea of not knowing what to expect from the opposing team?

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 8:23pm

I have been to several ECHL games. The players are younger alot of them were drafted and are affiliated with NHL teams. I would definately say that it is a better more entertaining league to watch. Why dont the komets rise above the flints and kzoo"s and head to the A.H.L.

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 8:41pm

Dschebig ++

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 9:12pm

Dschebig ++

Wed, 06/10/2009 - 10:54pm

So if the Komets went to the AHL, do you honestly believe that the ticket prices wouldn't go up? I know pro-AHLers always say, "But we're paying AHL prices for AA level hockey." Yeah, so? They are charging what they feel they must to cover costs and make a profit. Do you really believe that they wouldn't raise the ticket price if their expenses increased? I, for one, would NOT be able to afford that. Not to mention that affiliations are for the birds. The parent club tells you who to play and how to play them, and sometimes they call up a vital player when your team is trying to make the playoffs and then don't even play him! (Filatov, anyone?) Plus I'm not the star-struck sort. It gives me no thrill to think, "Wow, someone out there might someday be a big star." Who cares? It just doesn't mean that much to me. To me, Colin Chaulk and P.C. Drouin and Guy Dupuis ARE big stars because they are OUR stars.

Thu, 06/11/2009 - 1:32am

Do you think they will wait until the stanley cup finals are over to announce kzoo's affiliation with whatever AHL team (GR), then shortly after that announce the plans for the new downtown arena in kzoo, my guess on the things to come.

Thu, 06/11/2009 - 5:45am

@Wendy: You nailed it perfectly. "To me, Colin Chaulk and P.C. Drouin and Guy Dupuis ARE big stars because they are OUR stars."

The *great* thing about how Dayton is marketing the Gems is by saying that it is going to be a community based team and that the (paraphrasing here) fans own the team. Having a vested interest, and a sense of ownership or 'posession' (e.g. "my" team or "our" team), regardless of actual basis in fact, is what makes the Komets and the IHL so special.

Our players.
Our team.
Our coach.
Our ice.
Our Jungle.
Our Cup.

Enough Already
Thu, 06/11/2009 - 6:25am

Since there is this discussion about how the Wings are going to be so much better I have a solution, How about getting a 3 or 5 game series between us and the now almighty Wings. It would be a good way to see how the IHL stacks up to the ECHL, and give us another chance to pound on the Wings some more. I know this will never happen, but would be interesting and entertaining none the less.

Thu, 06/11/2009 - 6:58am

BRANDAN: +++ You nailed it perfectly. I really like the way you put it into words. It may be owned by the Frankes after all they pay the bills, along with ALL of the managment headaches. But it is "R" Team. I sure am glad they share it with the rest of us.

Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:23am

Well Dschebig, I think we do quite a bit to help pay those bills in all honesty. Don't get me wrong, I understand there is a lot of thing the Frankes do and I believe, for the most part, they do them well. Their money plus corporate sponsors plus a lot of ticket money is what makes the world go around.

Is it time for a new post yet? There's only so much Kalamazoo talk any Fort Wayner can stomach... For example, does anyone know anything about this guy that signed at the same time Warner did? I like giving the home town boys a shot at the team.

Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:48am

Well I guess all I can say to the Fort Wayne fans is this:

It's done, and no amount of words from you guys are going to change the fact that Kalamazoo bolted for the "E".

No amount of excuses, insults, or words will change it, and you guys better hope like heck that your faith in your owner is right, because it's not looking so good.

And to be honest you're now held hostage by Muskegon's interests in the league, and better hope you can do everything in your power to keep them happy. If there was a buffer still for losing Kalamazoo, there would be no buffer for losing Muskegon, and Port Huron looks like they're leaving in two years anyways. Good luck holding the IHL together, it's going to take a little to do so now. And it's your only option so long as the Frankes own the Komets. It would suck if the IHL ran into serious trouble and the Komets then had nowhere to go. I wouldn't like to see that.

In Kalamazoo, we're going to wait and see what transpires. I can tell you already that there will probably be a good attendance bump right off the bat if they market the move to the "E" to the fans at all, especially if an affiliation can get done soon as well (and I've found out that contrary to popular belief, Toledo has no affiliation with Detroit or anyone at the moment, so that may yet still be a possibility I guess).

History will prove if the move was wise or not.

Thu, 06/11/2009 - 10:01am

im guessing that the kwings will be affiliated with the detroit red wings.

Thu, 06/11/2009 - 10:23am

Some info,

Thu, 06/11/2009 - 10:27am

So many interesting comments from all of you. I'm going to change the subject somewhat and I would be happy to read all of your thoughts on it. I think that the fate of the IHL now rests on whether the Quad Cities come back into the league this year as an expansion team. Let me explain. We all know that the IHL is more vulnerable than the ECHL because of the number of franchises etc. Somewhat reading between the lines I think we have two leagues now vying for a very few possible expansion prospects. Namely the Quad Cities, Rockford ( who have rumors flying around that they may only be staying in the AHL one more year), Des Moines ( who also seems to be in trouble), Chicago, Indianapolis, and maybe Peoria (down the road). I'm positive that the ECHL would love to pick up these cities as a way to expand into a new mid-west division and essentially put the competition (IHL) out of business. The IHL needs Quad City as sort of an anchor to be able to give Bloomington a natural rival and also as a way to entice these other cities to look at the IHL more favorably. With Quad City and Bloomington I think Rockford, Peoria, and even Des Moines would be more encouraged to place teams in the IHL because of easier travel, lower costs, and natural rivalries. Eventually we may want to thank our partners in Bloomington for being there. Because they exist today, and are in the middle of Illinois, they provide a great argument on why the IHL makes more sense than the ECHL. If, however, the Quad Cities decide to go to the ECHL I am afraid the other cities will fall like dominoes. A strong presence in Illinois, along with a few expansion teams may also, someday, entice existing ECHL cities to think about jumping to the IHL. Would not an extremely strong presence in the Mid-West give Cincinnati, Toledo, and even Kalamazoo second thoughts about which league makes more sense for them? The IHl Board of Governors now have a tightrope to walk. On one hand they want to be sure of the financial stability of a new franchise. On the other hand if they are not bold enough they may lose out to the other league.