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Tailing the Komets

Inside the Zone for Feb. 8

Posted in: Komets


Mon, 02/08/2010 - 7:14pm

I don't know Blake it is hard to be a Nellie when everything you pointed out is true. That is just the black and white of the situation. I am interested to see if you are going to do your mid-year report card of the K's thus far? Always like seeing that and the fans feelings.

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 7:59pm


Mon, 02/08/2010 - 8:19pm

Well its finally official as mightbite pointed out...thanks to FYC for this link...


Musky to fold at the end of the season...USHL moving in...

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 8:28pm

Don't see how the IHL survives this.

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 8:52pm

Sad day for fans in Muskegon, for sure. I'd have to agree with one person who responded. We've seen times far harsher economically than this, yet the team survived. It makes you wonder.

Adam Mapes
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 8:53pm

This is huge!!!!! Honestly does it really matter whether Evansville or Chicago get an exspansion franchise? JMHO

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 9:17pm

The wild card in all of this is the owner of the Mallards Lechinski (sp). He's not one for idle banter and will call out the league and the direction its going if needed... The Mallards have an out clause in thier contract with the IHL stating that if membership dips below 7 teams he can withdraw his team from the league, with no penalties I believe... The Frankies and Kinnies can continue and try to subsidize the rest of the league for next year by rushing in Evansville; but I think the writing is on the wall.....

Blueline Baby
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 9:22pm

I have a question about the USHL....they do not pay the players, right? So, how do the players do that? I mean, how do they live? I know their travel expenses are paid for by the team, and their equipment is paid for by the team, and probably their apartments might be too, but what do they do for food, tv, phone bills, etc? How would they pay for anything like that? I'm truly curious as to how a league like that would be attractive to any player at all. Unless your parents had lots of money and could foot your bills for a few months until a higher league like the IHL, ECHL, AHL, etc "discovered" you, how the heck would you make it?

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 9:31pm

I dont know much about the USHL except that players are billieted to local families (like foreign exchange students) who get around $200 a month to help with costs...

Adam Mapes
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 9:35pm

If I'm correct all the players have part-time jobs in the community that they play in....

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 9:42pm

Between school, practice, travel, and games, I dont see how those kids would be able to hold down part time jobs.... Not saying its not true, just seems unlikely...

Blueline Baby
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 9:50pm

JR, that sounds more believable than a job. I don't see how they could do a job with travel and practice schedules alone, leave school aside. Either way, this is a blow to Muskegon. I don't, however, think it will kill the IHL. We lost Kalamazoo last year, and gained a couple teams this year. I believe a "time will tell" attitude is all anyone really can adopt at this point. No one can say who will stay and who will go at this moment. All any of us can do is speculate.

Go Komets!

Hit Somebody!!!
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 10:00pm

Interesting isn't it?

That this thing started as a "rumor" on a blog that several sources backed and kept sending messages that this was a done deal. The Frankes laughed at it. Bob Chase before the Quad City game on the radio Sat. night said that it was just a rumor on a blog and that the FuryJack were staying in the IHL. Mr. Hextall danced around the topic and said that he thought the Jacks were staying in the league even though a USHL team was coming.

Seems to me that this was alot like the "rumor" that started last season with K-Zoo that folks rolled their eyes at.

Blake did a great job tracking this one down. He was the only beat-writer that efforted to get this story and obviously, he couldn't get anyone to give him the straight scoop, on the record. It might be said that the Frankes didn't totally know, or that Hextall didn't totally know.....but what is funny to me, people that talk to the Frankes said they knew this weeks ago.

Kudos to Blake for holding feet to the fire on this story. He busted his tail to get people to talk.....even though they claimed it was just a "rumor".....he efforted over and over to get the story.

I think it might prove one thing once again, when there are multiple leaks out there, they tend to run to the FYC blog to get the word out and 9 times out of 10, they have been dead-on. I am speaking of certain sources on that blog. The Dayton Story broke on that blog, K-Zoo broke on that blog, and Flint's woes from last season....once again, that blog.

For those of you who rolled your eyes at people who found this story un-worthy of talking about, well, what do you say now?

Is this the final nail in the IHL coffin?

I personally don't see how this league can take back to back years of losing 2 of the top 3 teams in the league financially and then have sinking ships in Flint and Dayton, and rocky roads in Bloomington, and continue.

Is Evansville being rushed into the mix going to save this league with an arena that is basically McMillan rink sized? Or the Chicago Hounds talk that always comes up this time a year with an area in Chicago that is flooded with entertainment options including major sport and minor sports all ready there, is that the answer....not to mention no arena to play in, Hoffman Estates again, maybe, maybe not?

I don't have all the answers. Not sure anyone does at this point. But it sure does make for a good discussion.

Huge props to Blake once again as he is the #1 beat-writer in Minor Hockey as far as I am concerned, and if it wasn't for him, and his efforts, and this blog......no one would ask the questions or get the word out. That is for sure. FYC is a great site as well for getting info and discussing hockey topics......but running down these stories and informing the public, Super Fan is the guy.

I will miss playing Muskegon as much as I miss playing K-zoo.

End of the day, the Komets will survive.......where will they survive at, meaning what league and what level of hockey.....remains to be seen.

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 10:09pm

Blueline Baby, here is a link to the USHL's official website. Should be able to answer any of your questions. If you have any that go un-answered I should be able to find out for you...


Hit Somebody!!!
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 10:23pm

Great In the Zone Blake and Glen. Well done.

Super Nellie...gheesh. LOL

Blake has officially turned to the darkside.....he even has a black glove on his right hand.

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 10:36pm

Good post, Hit.... I think some K's fans just dont want to deal with any "ugly" truths when it comes to the IHL... The Muskegon rumors just prove that no information is "safe" or "secret" and that owners of teams need to be able to move quickly because word is gonna get out... 2 of the big 4 who got together to breath life into the old IHL and its style of forgotten hockey are now gone (with Musky folding at the conclusion of this season). When I was over in Japan part of the culture I had to get used to was that if a they did not make eye contact with you they didnt have to aknowledge your existance, and I really think that the IHL needs to make eye contact with all the problems that have happened to the league over the past 2 1/2 seasons and stop pretending that if they ingore them, they will just go away... Part of what they tried to sell the fans on when they disbanded the UHL and gave new life to the IHL was that they were going to be more diligent when bringing in new franchises into the league and stop the UHL/Brosal revolving franchise door. So far besides Quad City, they have failed miserably...(Flint/Dayton/Bloomington). Time to read the writing on the wall and do whats best for themselves and the fans...

Adam Mapes
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 10:39pm

This is the perfect time for the jump to the AHL!!!! Our ticket prices are the exact same as the Peoria Riverman.......I know some other AHL teams have higher prices, I was using an old "IHL" team as an example!!!

Blake Sebring
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 10:48pm

Adam, really, get a clue. Why would anyone in their right mind want to take a busness operation into a more expensive proposition right now in this economy? Ignore the hockey part of it and just answer that question.

Because that's what this is all about, not hockey. It's a business question.

Why is the AHL preparing to pick off four or five ECHL teams? Because it desperately needs the teams because the current teams are going out of business. They can't make any money under that structure.

I think what's going to happen is the Midwest AA teams that are left will end up forming a new league this summer. They aren't going to have any choice if they want to play.

To answer your question before you answer it, Peoria controls its own building and gets parking, concessions and suites, which the Komets do not. That makes a world of difference. The Rivermen also have an owner, St. Louis, which really doesn't care how much money it loses in the deal. That will never be the case in Fort Wayne.

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 10:48pm

Honestly, the only way an AHL team makes it here is if the Frankes sell thier hockey rights in Fort Wayne and a NHL club buys out there AHL franchise owner and moves them here... Your seeing more and more NHL clubs doing this because its about the only way teams can make it financially with AHL clubs spread all over the country. I think more realistically, some type of IHL/ECHL merger in this area to make one strong midwest league or one strong midwest division in the ECHL makes more sense... If the stronger IHL teams are absorbed into the ECHL, I'm sure some type of arrangement can be made in regards to the initial franchise fee so the ECHL's can offset their losses they will incur after this season... JMO

Blake Sebring
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:06pm

I agree JR, but I'm not convinced the ECHL is in any better shape, AND I'm not sure the ECHL owners would make a deal to accept new teams are a lower expansion fee. If some of the things I'm hearing happen, the ECHL could be in the same boat because the teams will be so spread out, it won't make any financial sense to operate.

If Wheeling and Johnstown go out, who do Cincinnati and Toledo play? I'm also hearing some strange things about Kalamazoo, which I hope are not true. Charlotte goes to the AHL, if say Gwinnett goes to the SPHL, who do Florida and South Carolina play? If Ontario, Bakersfield and Stockton go to the AHL, how do the other 3-4 remaining ECHL teams won the West Coast survive? How does the ECHL make that kind of geography work without everyone losing millions? They may not be able to.

You know who I really would not want to be next fall? A player looking for a place to play.

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:14pm

Strange things about Kalamazoo? They've decided to join the NHL? They are hiring trained bears to skate for them? Nothing would surprise me about Kalamazoo at this point.

Hit Somebody!!!
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:14pm

I agree, I think.....

I have heard some new league of some sorts of midwest teams.....but where are the teams coming from? The IHL can't find them, or they have lost them.

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:16pm

Agreed Blake, I have heard alot of the same rumors you are hearing except anything about K-zoo...Whats up with that??? Anything you can share?

I agree that a new midwest league would make the most sense and have heard that we could possibly see a minor league map that more resembles a map from the future where the East Coast Hockey league is actually on the east coast only, the West coast hockey league re-emerges as an AA affiliates for the new western AHL squads and the CHL and ?HL taking up the middle of the country split horizonally sharing the AA afilliations for those teams based in the central part of the USA... All kinds of intriguing scenarios to discuss....

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:17pm

Oh, and that should read "resembling maps from the PAST, not future..."

Hit Somebody!!!
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:20pm

My K-Zoo guess is the AHL....right? How do they support that? with 3000 fans that support the ECHL, the same 3000 that supported the IHL? I can't believe that makes sense, but we are talking about K-Zoo and I am sure Pauly is behind the scenes still working his magic.

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:21pm

As for the ECHL, I've been saying they were on the cusp since Kalamazoo jumped ship. Just check the numbers. They are too spread out to stay afloat if they lose many more teams. Being bigger doesn't make them more stable in this case.

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:24pm

The main thing that has to be done is a sane reorganizing of the minor league hockey landscape; but who takes the reins, and how long would it take to come up with a feasible plan and implement it???

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:24pm

Yeah, I see that too JR. Back to the future.

Charlie I
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 4:21am

Kalamazoo is trying to get that downtown building built and the K-zoo owner wants them to use that building and put them in the AHL...That would be my guess.

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 4:37am

The K-zoo owner definetly has an agenda for a downtown arena and he's using the Wings to try and get him there... He has business interests downtown and wants the business that an arena would hopefully generate; but it may back fire on him as alot of K-zoo fans do not want an arena downtown because its a pain in the rear to get to, no parking, and they flat out dont want to pay for it.... Right now they are only averaging 42 more fans at this point in the season compaired to last year in the IHL (and, IMO, they have a much better team this year than last...). The guy has money to burn, so who knows what he'll do; but 42 more fans this year doesnt cut it when trying to talk voters into a new arena, IMO