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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


Fri, 07/07/2006 - 6:20am

I disagree. I'm just saying that the performance of the team overall has declined over the past three years and common threads have been Puhalski (now gone), Frenchy (not currently with the team), and Chaulk (gone). Isn't there just a chance the other reason the Frankes broke thier word is beacuse they saw this trend as well. That's why they let Puhalski talk to Chicago, that's why they let Chaulk see what else is out there for him, that's why they told Frenchy that he originally was not in their plans for this coming season.

If not then explain the reasoning for not doing everything they could to keep those trhee.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 6:33am

JM-so are you saying the Chaulk had little influence on the team if you are comparing him to a night manager? If so then why was he captain at all? Should the Captain have some responsibility for his teams performance? Apparently your saying no.

Jungle Monkey
Fri, 07/07/2006 - 6:35am

I'll give you three reasons....



and $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 6:35am

Puhalski wasn't worth the effort. Salary Cap. I think that they realized that the fans were getting extremely upset, and since we're their bread and butter, they felt that they had to make huge changes. They weren't willing or couldn't fit into the cap, to pay Colin and Frenchy what they wanted or had been making and they knew this after the end of the season. Puhalski just didn't want Frenchy back because Chief was a jerk.Why the Frankes felt like they had to kiss Puhalski's butt all the time is beyond me. They have openly stated that maybe they made a mistake with letting Frenchy go so quickly. I don't think that the Frankes want to see Chaulk or Frenchy go, but realize that the money they can offer might not be enough. Nobody likes to take pay cuts and if somebody else is willing to pay you more, why stay?

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 6:37am

You know, everybody on here needs to put themselves in the place of these players and say, "What would I do?" We all know the answers.

Jungle Monkey
Fri, 07/07/2006 - 6:39am

I will be the last person to defend Chaulk as a captain. Lead by example and be soft spoken is a load of crap. I want a guy that yells on occasion, a guy that punches Robin Big Snake in the mouth if he tries to run Frenchy. All I'm saying is that it was pretty evident that you were either with Puhalski or you were against him.... which do you think Colin was?

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 6:40am

Been gone for awhile.

Why is no one mentioning the salary cap in all of this. The league instituted a cap - one where everything is reported. With what happened to Galante teams will most likely follow the rules at least for awhile.

So, Colin had a 2 year deal. Between years 1 and 2 the league goes to a new financial structure for teams. They want to renegotiate because of these new rules. Obviuosly Colin didn't want to renegotiate.

What about the NHL? It institutes a cap and EVERY player, whether a first year rookie or a superstar who had a 10 year deal took a 26% (I think that's right) PAY CUT.

Why shouldn't Chaulk have expected to take a cut. I don't know, but maybe those guys who have resigned in Muskegon took a pay cut.

There is a correlation here, right?

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 6:46am

Let's remember that accroding to Blake the Komet's came in under the cap this past year and that amount has now been RAISED an Extra $25,000. So I ask again why aren't the Frankes willing to pay Chaulk and Frenchy what they are asking? Could it have something to do with the overall teams perfomance declining over the past three years and those two being only olny two who have been here throught?

Jungle Monkey
Fri, 07/07/2006 - 6:58am

Maybe they're just tightwads.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 7:02am

I highly doubt that anymore. Back in the IHL I would've agreed. But not now.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 7:33am

Wow...I am the new whipping boy for one time posters with fake emails. Lol ok I can take it...HMMMMMM MAN!
Mikey, Yes I am the long suffering Leafs fan. I compare the passion of Komets fans to that of the Leafs but the organization is run 100000% better. In my 32 years of on this earth the Leafs got close to the finals once (dang that Gretzky guy). The Komets have won 2 titles that I was aware of since becoming a fan and have made other appearances in the finals. The Komets do not bring back over the hill guys just because it is a nice story (Please tell me they are NOT going to sign Gary Roberts!!!)
One thing I didn't know was that this blog had been around a few years?
Contracts....well what is the purpose of an NFL contract? Guys with contracts get cut at the drop of a hat everyday. That is what happens in any league where the contract is not guaranteed. In effect, Chaulk was cut.
One other thing, can we please put this rumor to bed that Puhalski didn't want Frenchy back? Or can someone give me some kind of evidence to support it? Just because it keeps getting repeated here doesn't mean it it true. Is it just theory or does someone have facts?
The Komets rid themselves of aging, injured overpaid players who got too comfortable with their lifestyle and situation in Fort Wayne and in MY OPINION let their play slag because of it. If they end up bringing St Pierre back at a reduced salary and a reduced role, fine. Otherwise, bring on Kevin Reiter and another quality goalie and use the left over money to sign a couple of young physical defencemen that everyone here wants to see.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 7:38am

normally in a soft cap you can go over but there are penalties for doing so. Kind of like the luxury tax in baseball.
A hard cap means that under no circumstances can the payroll be above whatever the threshold is. I don't know what the penalties are for breaking the cap but they are normally much more severe than just a fine.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 7:42am

Next to Colin Chin, Chaulker is the best captain the Komets have had during my tenure covering the team, and he's very comparable to Chin. Like every great captain, he does stuff that no one sees outside the locker room as well as on the ice. Please, let's not question his abilities as captain. To me, that's ludicrous.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 7:43am

Tony- If I'm Kevin Reiter I'm watching what the Komet's do with Frenchy. If the K's sign Frenchy then I, as Kevin Reiter, am not going to sign with the K's. I would like to chance to play more than the token game while Frenchy plays the majority. I don't think we can get the qaulity backup unless Frenchy is willing to take a reduced role and I'm not sure he'll do that.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 7:45am

Blake, I'm still not seeing any argument other than mine as to why the Frankes wouldn't belly up, and you can't deny that fact that overall perfomance of the team has declined on the past three years. Doesn't the captain of the team have some responsibility there?

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 7:55am

Greg, maybe it was just time for changes, on both sides. Let's face it, I wrote at the end of the season that this era of the Komets was over and it was time to start the next one, and that is what's happening.

As for Colin's responsibility, his numbers didn't change and neither did his leadership. I don't fault him for the last season at all. If anything, he was caught in circumstances.

Life goes on and changes. This is something he feels he needs to do, but it wouldn't shock me if he comes back someday, either.

I told you guys very early in this process that this was all negotiating, but everyone had to find a conspiracy. If there was a conspiracy, do you think the two sides would have been so cordial? We've all seen this stuff before where it became very ugly. Neither side is happy right now, but they realize it's nothing personal. It's business. Besides that, what a wonderful opportunity for Colin and his family. Play every Tuesday and Saturday, and then travel the region the rest of the time.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 7:56am

Captains have different styles. I kind of like a guy who leads by example and doesn't rant on a regular basis. That way when he does open his mouth people really stop and take notice. I don't blame anything that happened to his lack of leadership on the ice or in the room. If anything, remember the turmoil the team was in at the start of the season. He might have done his best job as a captain this year by helping to hold the team together.
As to Reiter..If French is "handed" the starting job I would agree with you. If Reiter and Frenchy go into camp with an equal chance to compete for a starting job, I would think Reiter would be up for it and honestly, I think he wins.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 8:12am

You know, it makes me laugh and think about what if the internet was around the day Gretzky was traded from Edmonton...or in the years after Ruth was traded to the Yankees.....the night Buckner let the ball go through his legs... only in the last few years have fans had true real time forums to "vent" We should consider ourselves lucky.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 8:39am

Good Luck to Colin; He made the right decision. I also hope that Frenchy will do the one year contract. It wouldgreat to see him back for another year. He's a great goalie.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 10:14am

Tony: My email address is ok, Roberts will come back along with Lindros. Peca is coming to TO also, at least he wants to. And I have posted in the past, must have used an assumed name. Finally, I guess it just seems like a few years for the blog. Have a good weekend.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 10:17am

That's what I was going to ask you Tony. How did you feel when Lindros signed with the Leafs?

chaulker =(
Fri, 07/07/2006 - 11:03am

im gonna miss my chaulker!!

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 11:32am

Mikey, I was not talking about you. I heard on fan590 Peca was coming. That would be great. Lindros I was leery of because of the injury but they didn't overpay for him. Stiffs like O'neill and Allison bothered me.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 12:05pm

It's simple:

1) Chaulk wanted primere money as a top guy

2) Frankes arelimited on the money

3) Frankes are scared of his injury

4) Frankes want to try someting different

5) Chaulk was ready to try something different

6) If they reached agreement, fine. If not, I think both sides were ready to split with a minimum of hard feelings

7) Something differemt came along, Chaulk wanted to try it, and did.

8) Frankes are confident they can take that moeny and replace him.

9) Again 3 teams in the past four years won the Colonial Cup WITHOUT Colin Chaulk

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 12:11pm

Skate, that was one of the most lucid, well thought out posts I have seen on here in a long time. It was almost as good as mine (just kidding) Really very well said.

Komet Fan
Fri, 07/07/2006 - 2:12pm

For people to even be questioning the value and leadership of Colin Chaulk is absolutely ridiculous!!!! Chaulk has been the PREMIERE player in the UHL for the last 4 years, bar none. Certain people want to lay blame on Chaulk for the failures during the past few years. You people need to look elsewhere for that blame. Start with Chief... The guy is a HORRIBLE communicator, crappy motivator, and has cost the Komets countless players over the past 6 years. Next, blame the Frankes. Some of the guys that have been brought in have been just brutal. Not going to list names, but just think about it. Our defensive players have been old,slow, and didn't believe in taking the body the last 3 years.

On to Frenchy, 105-36 the last 3 years. 69 games over .500.... Last time I checked, that is well over a 80% winning percentage. People want to compare him to Lawson? Give me a break!!! Look at the defensive corps Lawson had and look at some of the stiffs that have been here with Frenchy. Frenchy not a championship goalie? Please!!! He won a championship in the WCHL. He is a 2 time league MVP. The guy is flat out a stud at this level.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 2:50pm

St Pierre= Peyton Manning? Well not quite because St Pierre has managed to win a big game/series in his past

QUOTE "Chaulk has been the PREMIERE player in the UHL for the last 4 years, bar none"

ummm I disagree. Robin Bouchard? Hugo Belanger? I can name at least 4-5 other players who I say were better or at least on par with Chaulk so to say he is "bar none" above anyone else I think is looking at him with orange colored glasses.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 3:11pm

I dont remember Bouchard or Belanger ever playing defense.... I always thought of them as cherry pickers...

Chaulk is one of those special players in that he can beat you on offense, shut down your top offensive players, try's to put you thru the glass, plays BOTH special teams, and if you really piss him off...he'll beat the tar out of ya. And he is always hustling. That in my eyes makes him one of the top players in the league...

Hit Somebody!!!
Fri, 07/07/2006 - 3:22pm

I totally agree JR. Alot of people are so hung up on pure goal scoring, which is not a bad thing, but when we talk about all-around players...Chaulk is #1 in my book.

Fri, 07/07/2006 - 3:22pm

JR he is indeed one of the top players in the league. I just took issue with the assertion he was the "bar none" best player in the league. I think there are 8-10 players who are within the realm of best player, Chaulk being one of them.