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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 - 3:03pm

JR , like it or not but sports at all levels is exactly the way you describe it and has been for a long time. There is no loyalty really by either side. Players go where the money is even if the situation is worse and owners cut players at will when they do not perform or when they become too expensive. Look at the NFL every year. Good players, players with plenty of game left get cut every year because of the salary cap.
I think the Frankes desire to not pay Colin what he made last year was based on the performance of the team, his performance and his injury just as much as it was the money. The team did not reach their goal. So the coach is gone, the captain is gone and most of the team is gone. I applaud management for cleaning house and getting new hungry blood in here from top to bottom.
Management knows what they are doing. They have proven it before and they will prove it again. I only with the Toronto Maple Leafs were run this well. Maybe they would win a cup in my lifetime.
I am going to miss Colin, Guinn, Virag etc etc but I know that 5 years from now, there will be a whole new group of Komets "legends". So yes I will be cheering for the uniform and the players wearing them. And providing they don't bring in any more Mark Fitzpatricks, I will be cheering for all of them after they are gone as long as they aren't going up against the Komets.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 3:04pm


Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 07/06/2006 - 4:01pm

Colin Who?

He is not staying in this league because the teams he would want to play for can not afford him with the players they have all ready promised contracts to. K-zoo is loaded and can't afford him. Muskegon is loaded and can't afford him. Rockford will be loaded and can't afford him. And why would he subject himself to another year with that knit-whit in Chicago?

Bottom-line...it was $$$$$$$$.....plain and simple guys. I don't blame him, and I don't blame the Frankes. So please don't sign Kevin St. Pierre to Colin's contract and $$$$$$$. He doesn't deserve that cash either. Please be creative and let your new coach bring us in some studs next year. Hope it is Marks and I am sure he has a team loaded with talent and excitement waiting in the wings.

By the way...I loved Chaulker....I will miss seeing him play. All-time Komet great, for sure. No one can argue against that.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 4:19pm

Sorry to see him go, to fans here he will always be a Missouri River Otter.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 4:33pm

Well is just business...well its nothing personal...thats just how it is now adays... what a load of crap !!! These are the excuses we now hear when someone wants to cover thier backside wether in sports, real life, or whatever. Lets tip toe around issues till they go away. I guess I'll just bury my head in the sand with the rest of ya and hope things go well. I'll even take my glasses off during next season so all I see is Orange blurs racing around so I dont get attached to any one or two players. That way when a great player like Chaulk leaves and wont give a rats you know what.......

On another note I hope that fans dont start thinking of sports as a business....THAT would truly be sad....

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 5:19pm

Sports is a business. That is reality. It is an ugly reality but that is the truth no matter how much it hurts. There is nothing wrong with being attached to a player. To this day my Doug Gilmour autographed Leafs jersey is my only possesion I wish to be buried with.
But what would you have the Komets do? Give Chaulk whatever he wants at the expense of the rest of the team just so fans can have him around for another year or two? You can't do that especially in a cap league. Apparently no other team in North America gave him what he wanted. If he signed with another team in the ECHL or CHL or anywhere else you might have reason to ask "if they can afford him why can't the Komets?" but he had to go to Italy to get what he wanted. Good for him. It will be an exposure to culture and lifestyle that he will hopefully enjoy. This isn't about the Komets management. This is about a player selling his services to the highest bidder.
There are no issues to tip around. The Komets did the right thing by not letting an aging player dictate the future of the franchinse. Both they and Chaulk did what was best for themselves.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 5:28pm

JR, the thing that struck me about talking to both of them today is that they understood it was simply business. Colin CAN make more money overseas, especially if he stays for more than one year; and the Komets made an equitable offer, but could not match what he could make in Europe. Both knew it and moved on. That's life and they handled it like adults.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 5:35pm

Tony E,
MR.I know it all.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 5:39pm

Not all...not yet anyway...give me a week or two and I'll get there :-)

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 5:54pm

In the article Colin said the money was essentially the same; but that he was looking for stability. Something towards the end of the year or during the offseason gave him the impression that the stability was no longer there.

Tony, how do you know that he looked into any other team or league in N. America???? It sounds to me that his only option was to look over seas. And how can you say that he was just looking for the highest bidder when it sounds like all he wanted was for the K's to honor the contract. And you can give all that garbage about this is how sports is now adays; but that doesnt mean that I have to like it.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 6:02pm

First of all, on sports/business, no you don't have to like it. I don't like it. I am not even sure the players/owners like that aspect of it. But at times like this we are unfortunatly reminded that this is still a business. It sucks but if the Komets didn't run it like a business and run it well, the team could go the way of Danbury or Missouri.
I don't "know" if he looked into other teams in the USA but he was free to try the ECHL,SPHL,CHL and any other league but the UHL. He wanted more than his contract honored. He wanted a no trade clause or a promise not to be traded. He wanted stability for his family. I have a hard time thinking if that is the truth that heading for Italy which would mean his wife would either have to quit her job ( I assume she works) and come along or the family gets split up while he goes away for 6 months would be his first choice.
Really we are never going to know exactly who did what here and why. It isn't for us to know. The speculating is fun and makes for good blog fodder.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 6:23pm

Moving forward... Anyone got a new captain in mind? Dupuis has been mentioned. I would like to see the K's look elsewhere. Nothing against Guy. I would like to see a younger guy with some fire. Not another Komet retread.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 6:25pm

From what I saw earlier in Blake's article, this Italian team played a 42 game season. If the money is similar....then Colin just gave himself a really nice raise....same money, but half the work. Where do the rest of us sign up at?!?

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 6:29pm

It is hard to have anyone in mind until the coach and team are in place. I wouldn't mind them waiting until after training camp to name the captain. Let players compete for it or even possibly vote on it themselves.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 6:33pm

I think that the beauty of the whole thing is that the K's dont even have to run the team well. All they have to do is put a half way decent team on the ice because they have a meatball like me who orders next years season tickets early without first checking what the product is gonna look like. And unless you want to eat, drink or go to church there isnt much to do here in the winter time so your gonna get 2 t0 3000 walk ups... I mean honestly, how3 many people loved the product on the ice last year??? And we still averaged @ 7300 fans per game... And another beautiful thing is I'm ranting and I dont even remember where I was going with this......

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 6:36pm

Lol that sounds like the plight of a Leafs fan. There is an estimated 8 year waiting list for season tickets, all home games virtually sell out before the season starts and yet they haven't won a cup (or even been to the finals) since 1967.

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 07/06/2006 - 6:46pm

JR, I feel your frustration. I have been seeing and hearing this coming for sometime now. It is funny that all of the things alot of people say behind the scenes end up being true. And everyone calls it rumors...go figure. I have said until I am orange in the face that the Frankes should do what it takes to bring Chaulker back. The one thing I will never understand is this...how does Muskegon and K-zoo get away with signing back their core group of guys that are all-stars in this league and we can't afford one of our guys? And I know that neither of those teams have signed them publicly yet...but they will. Makes you scratch your head a little?

I am still excited about next years possibilities...keep one thing in mind JR...No Greg Puldipshatski next year killing this team. That in itself is exciting....right? MAN!

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 6:47pm

Like JM said...moving on, I agree that I wouldnt mind seeing a guy with some fire be the next captain; but obviously that will be the decision of the new coach.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 8:28pm

Here are some choices from last year that I would think would make good captains: Goodwin, Dupuis, Neumeier, or Luciuk. Also, why don't we have Jamie Milam signed yet? That guy is gonna be a stud rookie in this league.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 8:48pm

I'm with JC...where is Milam...this guy should be signed by now...

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 07/06/2006 - 9:07pm

No offense to anyone....but I hope Luciuk is not back. He did not impress me very much last season. He has to be the most forgot about player when he is on the ice. He does nothing that goes noticed. He too disappeared in the playoffs. Lots of them did. Kelly Miller didn't. I say if there is an empty veteran spot...you sign him.

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 10:34pm

As for the comment thus far on this site... Tony... are the Frankees paying you? Stop worshipping everything they do.

As for Colin leaving, GREAT PLAYER!!! Probably one of our best in the UHL. However, GET OVER IT. He is leaving, move on. For people that say "I won't go to another game, etc" come on, get a grip. We all know you will be there this fall.

On a side note Duhart will be our next captain.... I can pretty much guarantee that (as long as he is on our team)

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 4:29am

It's been a lot of fun reading the submissions to this blog over the last few years. I have participated before, but this will be the last time. The reason for my interest in Fort Wayne was one Colin Chaulk. The Komets are a great franchise, stands are full most games, the fans are the best I've seen. Colin is the most dedicated family man I know. Having said this, if what Colin has brought to the organization doesn't deserve some level of stability than heaven knows what does.
There has been a few comments about the Toronto Maple Leafs in the blogs from last night. Having lived in or around Toronto all my life, the Fort Wayne situation is looking somewhat similar. Stands are full, teams making some money. A few good players leave, so what, why worry? Good luck and god bless.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 4:33am

I understand that hockey is a business, but what is the purpose of signing a contract if both sides don't honor it. The Frankes negated the 2nd year of Chaulk's contract. Both sides agreed 1 year ago on a contract and the second year of the contract should be honored. After that, then both sides begin negotiations all over again. Colin Chaulk will be greatly missed. To me he rates as one of the best Komet players to ever play the game in Fort Wayne. He always gave us his best when others on the team did not. He played both ends of the ice and could carry the puck across the blue line instead of always dumping it in. I will still proudly were my Colin Chaulk Komets jersey to the hockey games in the future. He will alway be "Captain" Colin Chaulk. Good Luck in Italy.

The Komets need to sign Kelly Miller and Jamie Milam for the upcoming season.

Frankes, please pick John Marks as the Komets next coach and do it quickly so that he can begin putting together his team for the 2006-2007 season.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 4:34am

Does anyone here know what all was included in the "soft cap" that is not allowed in the " hard cap"? And do you think this had anything to do with not being able to afford signing Chalk?
I hate to see him go,but this team under achieved last year,and was not fun to watch.
This franchise needed a drastic change,we need to put the rumble back in the Jungle.
Bring back the chant!!!!

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 5:23am

I think most if not all of us are KOMET fans. We've seen players come and we've seen players go. Even though we complain that the Frankes let go some of the best players we've had in a while because of money or because they can't play for the coach, in the end we watch because we are all KOMET fans.

I'm really excited for next year.

As for as new captian. I agree with Tony, lets get players signed first then decide.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 5:42am

Guy would be a perfect captain. I think he would be a great motivator and bring a positive attitude to the club. About chaulker, I have to agree with JR. I think the Frankes should have honored that 2nd year. Colin did nothing wrong this year and was an excellent leader again. I don't blame him for trying to get some stability. Chaulk's name was put up the last couple years for possible trade options. How safe would you feel about your job then? If your emplyer gave you a 2 yr contract, then after the 1st year they said, "Sorry. We're not going to honor the second year." I applaud Colin for taking the chance to maybe keep his job. Best of Luck and we know you'll do great things.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 5:51am

Let's put the last four years into perspective

02-03: Won Tarry Cup as regular season champs and the Colonial Cup as playoff champs.

03-04: Won Tarry Cup as regular season champs then knock out of playoffs in second round to Muskegon.

04-05: Division champs, third in league, loss in finals to Muskegon.

05-06: 2nd place in division, sixth place in the league, loss in first round of the playoffs.

Should a leader be able to do a better job of leading his team to three straight years of declining performance. And before everyone says it's the coaches fault or managments fault. The "captain" is their to lead his team with the system and philosophy put forward.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 6:07am

The captain can't hold their hands during the game and be with them on the ice every shift to be sure that they do everything right. Don't lay all of that on Chaulk, like people tried to do with Frenchy. They can only do so much.

Jungle Monkey
Fri, 07/07/2006 - 6:11am

C'mon Greg thats like blaming the night manager of the quik-e-mart for lagging economic performance on fleet fueling stations.