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Tailing the Komets

Here's what Colin said

Updated 4:02 p.m. with David Franke's reaction below.

The Komets gave him permission to look around after meeting with him in May and saying the second year of his contract would be invalid. A European agent put his name out and HC Alleghe called and began negotiations. Chaulk said the team greatly reminds him of the Komets in that it's a small town that is used to winning.

``It was really a slow process, a lot like when I signed here in Fort Wayne. When David called me, I was at a time in my life where I was looking for stability and a place to call home. I knew if I came to Fort Wayne that call-ups would not be something they would be excited about. That didn't bother me because they paid me very well and treated me very well. I know that I've never been treated anywhere better than I was in Fort Wayne.''

He said the money is essentially the same as what the Komets offered, but he was looking for more stability. He's also concerned about selling his house and leaving had nothing to do with the coaching situation. He did want a no-trade clause, but the UHL has eliminated those at its recent meetings.

``I had a two-year contract, and the Komets broke the contract,'' he said. ``It's been a very stressful two months on my marriage, my family and me personally.

"There is 99 percent of me that believes the Komets would never trade me, but Gretzky got traded. I came to Fort Wayne for stability and for four years they gave me that, but now I feel there is some doubt.

``We've had very calm negotiations with the Komets, and I don't have any ill feelings. It's been a great relationship.''

Chaulk said he hopes to continue running hockey schools in Fort Wayne during the summers, and said he has a list a mile long of people to call and thank.

His favorite memories in Fort Wayne are winning the Colonial Cup in 2003, Game 7 against Rockford in 2005 and the birth of his daughter Ava here. ``There must have been 50 fans who gave us something for the birth of our daughter. It was unbelievable.''

``I can't thank the Komets, the Franke family, the Fort Wayne community, Fort Wayne junior hockey and the fans enough for the courtesy they have give me and my family. I'm extremely appreciative.''


``I think we tried to do our best. Colin can make more money in Europe than he can in AA hockey here in the United States. Colin is going to be 30, and he's never tried Europe before and this is something he's thought about doing for a couple of years and now is the time to jump.''

``We wish him nothing but the best. It's going to be weird not having  him on the team, but this is what goes on in business.

``It opens up a lot of money for us on the cap. If he came back he would have eaten up a lot of our weekly cap amount. This will give us some flexibility to maybe go after some different players. We would have liked to have had Colin here, but now we'll have his money to spend on a couple of players.'''

Posted in: Komets


Thu, 07/06/2006 - 11:42am

Well Hobo, I've got to say you had the no trade clause right. Score one for you.

I guess I can't fault his reasons too much. He wants to stay with one team and he feels, especially after this past year, that the K's could trade him.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 11:47am

I'm not trying to keep score.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 11:48am

Just call me Blake Jr.!!!!!

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 11:51am

I still say that a minor league player at any level asking for a no trade clause is absurd. If moving himself (or his family) to Europe is his idea of stability, then good for him. The Komets did the right thing in this situation.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 11:54am

I think I've gotta disagree with you their Tony. I think Colin has a right to ask for some sort of stability and assurance that he won't be trade. At this point in his career I think he's earned that much.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 11:56am

Blake, if the second year is invaild, does that make him a free agent where the UHL is concerned?

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 11:57am

Greg at the AA level no player should have that right. If he played up to par he would have nothing to worry about. It would have been near impossible to trade him with his salary anyway in a cap league. Even with a pay cut he was going to be paid very well. Really in a hard cap league trades of any kind are going to be reduced.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:00pm

Yes, Greg, but only after this season.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:02pm

Blake I don't want to put you on the spot so feel free of course not to answer. What are your thoughts on AA hockey players having no trade clauses? If you don't want to offer your opinion let me ask, how common is it for players to get them?

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:07pm

Blake, I'm confused (as normal) when you say after this season you mean after this coming season. If that's true then he's still under contract with the Komets. How can it be invaild?

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:09pm

Tony, a player should at least ask what is the possibility of my getting traded at any part of the season, if the is it could happen and the palyer does not wish to be traded then he doesn't sign with that team. I think that's all Colin was trying to accomplish.

But I do feel after a time they should have the ability to ask if not have a no trade clause.

Blake Jr.
Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:09pm

I think any player can ASK for a no-trade clause, but only a select few actually deserve it. If the Mgmt. gives it to them then it's fine on both sides. I don't quite understand how moving to Europe is more stable than staying in the States or even Canada. Then I guess the $$ comes into play. Who knows....

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:13pm

Because they made him another valid contract offer that was substantial enough to meet the league's criteria.

A no-trade clause is no longer an option in the UHL.

I get the sense that neither side is thrilled with this but both realize it is the reality. Neither side is burning any bridges. I can understand where Colin is coming from and where the Komets are coming from. They simply couldn't make it work. No conspiracy theories, just business.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:17pm

Interesting comments by the Frankes. They seem to be making a money issue out of this while Coiln is making a No trade cluase out of this.

Does this differ from offer sheets given to keep rights until Aug 1?

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:18pm

Well I am sad to see Colin go. I wish him all the best in Italy. He will be a hard player to replace at this level. He had all the intangibles that you would ask for in a hockey player. This makes me wonder what is up with the last two summers. First we lose a guy like Venedam and now Chaulk. We never truely replaced Venny so I am curious to see how we will try to replace Chaulk. I do however think the team will be solid this year and compete for a championship because both of candidates for the coaching position will recruit very well.
On another note....has anyone heard anything about Goodwin, Dombkiewicz, or Neumeier? I haven't heard anything about those guys at all. Blake if could give us some insight on those guys and a couple of others from last year it would be greatly appreciated.

Jungle Monkey
Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:29pm

I think its GREAT! Lets move forward with a clean slate. Chaulk was a good player and a nice guy, but.... I don't like a player dictating to managment who he will and will not play with (Duhart). When you are Michael Jordan or Joe Montana you have that right. Until then shut up. Two mega-egos have now left the building (Puhalski and Chaulk) best of luck to both of them.

Captain Duhart
Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:30pm

I don't get it either.....Hey honey, I love Fort Wayne but I don't think this league is very stable, LET'S MOVE TO ITALY!!!!
I don't think that is the right thinking. I think Chaulker will be impossible to replace but lets give it a hell of a try.

PS Dear Frankies, you are loosing season ticket holders by the thousands. DO SOMETHING QUICK!!

PSS Does anyone know where I can get a gold deal on Fort Wayne Fury tickets?


Jungle Monkey
Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:32pm

Try Fort Wayne Kia.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:33pm

Right now players are all up in the air just like you waiting to see who the coach is going to be. I do know the Komets have talked with all three of those players mentioned. I have enough headaches, including I see a Blake Jr. That's pretty good since I've never been married. You should know, though, that I'm a very strict disciplinarian father.

Just to throw this out as a possibility, I wouldn't be shocked to see Guy wearing a C. He'd do a great job.

It's been a long few days so I'm going home -- for once.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:35pm

Right next to the Indiana Kick, the Huggie Bears and the Fort Wayne Hoosiers at the coliseum box office.

Jungle Monkey
Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:35pm

Sign AJ Bozoian... he's still a rookie!


Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:39pm

Greg if this was the NHL I might agree with you. But at AA hockey players do not (and should not) have that kind of sense of security. That is the lifestyle of an NHL star. Like Colin said, Gretzky got traded (3 times I believe)
I just don't think players at this level are entitled to do anything but play until their services are no longer required. Getting traded/released etc is part of the business.
I don't buy into this whole thing. He went to Italy for a paycheck. If this was tough on his marriage how is him leaving the country for 6 months going to make it better?

Notice it looks like no other minor league teams he talked to apparently were willing to give him the "security" he wanted either. He could have followed Guinn to the CHL and made a decent living with the same quality of play.
4 years with one team at this level is very rare in todays game.
Calling a spade a spade, this was a last big cash grab for Colin and nothing more.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:40pm

I think we all should chip in and get Blake a subscription to E Harmony! Of course if he does get married, his wife will take away his computer privleges when he gets home so no more late night blogging! ;-)

Blake Jr.
Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:55pm

These days you don't have to be married Blake...but thats a whole other blog topic....I could see Guy in a C.
I hear there is a guy in the Detroit area that won't be too busy this year. He may want to try out for the Captains spot...just a thought

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 1:26pm

Why does everone think it would be such a hard decision to take 6 months of your life to make good money and spend the time doing what you love while travelling through Europe?

Try it for a season, you don't like it, comeback. It could be the experience of a lifetime -- for him AND his family if they go.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 1:42pm

Skate that is true. What does his wife do? How old are his kids?
Something doesn't make sense. If the dollar figure is close then it would seem to me it would be more "stable" for his family to stay in Fort Wayne and take your chances not getting traded within 12 hours of home/Fort Wayne or maybe 14 hours from home/Toronto.I base this on how long of a drive it would be from the furthest city in the league to Fort Wayne/Toronto. 12/14 hours might actually be too high of a guess. Instead he is picking up the family (or just himself) and going overseas. It doesn't add up.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 1:43pm

Skate you are right it would be the experience of a lifetime. All I am saying is, if Colin wanted a change of scenery, just say so.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 2:29pm

The bottom line is we keep hearing the word "stability" thrown around when it comes to this league. I dont think it is absurd for anyone to want stability in the workplace. The way people are talking about these players makes them sound like migrate workers or yard tool etc... Use them up then throw them away...or swap them to your neighbor for something else. If what Colin says is true and the Frankes said that the second year of the contract was invalid then I lay this at the feet of the Frankes. I strongly believe that you honor your contract. When colin and the Frankes entered into this contract they were both looking for stability. Lack of forsight is not a reason to tear up a contract. There is no doubt that the K's should be able to replace 1 great player with 2 good players. So lets hurry up and sign the next batch of migrate workers, stuff them into some sweaters and chear for the logo....

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 2:41pm

Asking for a no-trade clause in your contract is like my requesting that you don't fire me if you give me a job! While I like and respect Colin a lot....I understand that this is a business decision. Getting to stay in one city for 4 seasons is extremely rare at any level. I cannot think of too many jobs where I stayed at one place for that long. If someone offered me that kind of opportunity, it would be given very serious consideration.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 2:44pm

At least the players speak English! LOL!