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Tailing the Komets

Just talked to David Franke

On a few things:

The Komets definitely want Colin Chaulk back and he said they told him that three weeks ago. They are negotiating some contract points.

``We're looking to make a couple of adjustments, but it's something we've talked to him about and he's fully aware of,'' Franke said. "There's nothing to comment on that.''

What about the rumors of cutting his contract?

``If Colin comes back, he'll receive a very, very fair wage indicative of his performance and his ability. He knows that and knows we want him back. I think he wants to come back, but we'll just see. If he doesn't play here, he'll play in Europe unless he wants to be traded, which I doubt that will happen as he's pretty well entrenched in this city.''

This is what Colin had to say:

``They have offered me a contract, but it was not the contract that was originally signed. I'm looking everywhere I guess, and I'm not really sure what I'm going to do. I'm not saying I'm not going to be in Fort Wayne, but I don't know.

``It's not like I don't have lots of time to think and make a decision. We'll wait to see what these league meetings say. That will play a part in my decision, too.''

Chaulk will have shoulder surgery June 22 for a frayed labrum. Franke said he fully expects Chaulk to be ready by training camp.

``It' s just two-to-four weeks,'' Chaulk said. As for his injured Achilles: "It's good. I'm walking around, but I still can't run yet. I see the doctor on June 12, and if I'm not cleared then, I should be in a week or two after that.''

Franke also said, contrary to rumors, no one from the Komets has talked to goaltender Tom Lawson, but they plan to call and find out what his situation is.

The Komets will be very active in Tuesday's dispersal draft for Motor City, Roanoke and Missouri. The reason more details haven't come out is that the UHL is trying everything to keep Adirondack alive.

Franke said he wants a team that can better take advantage of the new rules with speed next year and expects only four or five players back from last year's team.

``We're really waiting for the summer meetings to see what the landscape is going to be this year,'' he said. ``We're going to take this slow and not jump at anything. There are going to be a lot of players available and we want to make sure we're getting the right ones.''

Posted in: Komets


Tony E
Sat, 06/03/2006 - 10:21am

LOL!!! I nearly fell over last week when I got an order for 17 different Albert Belle cards!
I actually still sell Cecil every once in awhile. He is still a legend over in Japan

Sat, 06/03/2006 - 10:41am

Yeah, I'm huge in Japan, too.

Tony E
Sat, 06/03/2006 - 10:42am

I just got an email from an anonymous troll asking me why I "kiss up" to the Frankes so much.
For the record, I kiss up to nobody. If I did once in awhile I probably would get further ahead in life.
I do not know David or Michael personally. I have had occasion to say hello to them as many fans have. I have simply watched how they conduct themselves and this team since I began to follow them in 1994. I have talked to folks who have played for and worked for them and have never heard a bad word. Have they made the occasional mistake in player choices etc? Of course. But when they realize it (which normally doesn't take too long) they own it and act quickly to try to fix it. What else can you ask for?
I see a hard working family owned and operated team who while with the reasonable expectation of turning a profit, do honestly care about the public at large. They do not hide from the fan base and are willing to listen to honest compliment and critic. This isn't because they have to but because they see themselves as part of the community, not someone above it.
This organization is succesful on and off the ice because of the smart and classy way it is run from the top down. If anyone has anything to tell me that will dispute this, I am willing to listen but it would take alot more than the occasional "unsuccesful" season to change my mind on this. I could only hope that my business is run as well as theirs and that I treated people as well as they do.
If having respect and appreciation for the way they do things is "kissing up" then I guess I am guilty as charged.
Sorry for the rant but if folks are going to email me, please put a name to it. I promise I won't dump a truckload of Kerry Toporowski cards on your front lawn!
(funny did anyone mention him back in the posts about most hated opposing player?)

Sat, 06/03/2006 - 10:46am

I disagree with Tony 75% of the time, but at least be man enough to discuss it in a public forum.

Tony E
Sat, 06/03/2006 - 11:11am

Thanks JM. I respect every opinion I read, even those I disagree with. The reason we are all here is that we care about this team and want to see it do well. We all have different ideas about how that should be accomplished. I don't get angry because someone else wants things differently than I do. The passion on these boards is wonderful. I don't mind discussing things via email, but I would like to know who I am discussing it with.
Have a great afternoon all. My other half (errrrr the highly exaulted one) demands I get away from the computer for a few hours and actually "relax". So you all know who is going to wear the pants in our house once we are married......
coming dear....yes dear....of course dear....whatever you say dear..... :-)

Sat, 06/03/2006 - 11:22am

I really hope to see Colin back next season. As for expecting 4 or 5 players back from last year is wrong. There should be a few more than that. I can think of several more that should be brought back. I think that they are stupid by thinking about not offering for Drouin to come back. That would be a stupid move. They need to look into bringing back a couple of the defenseman that played well (Dupuis and Lindsay) and find some other ones to work with them. They need to think about Miller, Luciuk, Carpentier, and possibly even Rumble. But that's just my opinion.

Komets PA
Sat, 06/03/2006 - 11:26am

Hey Tony,

I know of a decent dj. When's the wedding???
Anyways, you are right on the Franke front.

To the masses: I'm not a kissa** but I know that all of you on here are as passionate about the team as the Frankes are. And in every business you make good and bad decisions and in the end, if you still have a good functioning business, then you made the right decisions. We could be like the cities all over America losing their franchises because of truly poor ownership. You don't have that here and you haven't in the past 17 years. Remember all the days in the 70's and 80's when the team was constantly in turmoil? No one hears that anymore and we always seem to get a good quality team on the ice save for the year we were Anaheim's affiliate. Enjoy, criticize, let some steam out, cry, complain, bi*** and whine, but at least you have that freedom and at least you have a team that you can be proud of and you know for a fact that when October hits, you will see your team on ice. More than some cities formerly in this league can say. Enjoy the sun, a cold Molson, and if it were a truly great world, a Tim Horton's donut right now. BTW Tony, if you come down for opening night, you are more than welcome to visit Blake and myself in the press box if you bring a few dozen Tim Hortons with you.

Sat, 06/03/2006 - 12:57pm

Tony, save some of those Tim Horton's donuts for your friends in Section 206, Row 18....lol

Sat, 06/03/2006 - 1:34pm

Hey Tony, swing by 208 also, won'tcha? By the way to answer you previously about Lawson- Personally I think Frenchy is two folds better than Lawson ever was. Sure Lawson was ok, but he had a hell of a defense infront of him. Heck it was a hell of a team all around that season. I don't think he would be that much less expensive compared to Frenchy as he has won a cup with Fort Wayne and has pretty much played in the AHL since. Plus we all know that bringing back guys from a previous year just because the team was successful then, does not spell success nowadays. I'd like to see either Robinson from Rockford or a very talented rookie. Without Frenchy coming back, I hope finding a decent goalie is ontop of the Franke agenda right now.

Sat, 06/03/2006 - 3:20pm

Hey Tony,
While you're in 206, bring a few extra donuts for Sect. 204 across from Bob.

Another point for everybody - while we don't always agree with the moves the Frankes make, it could be much, much worse. Previous Komet owners, for their own reasons, have declared bankruptcy (Bob Britt) or moved the team (David Welker).

I want to raise the cup every year too. I'm not saying we need to kiss a**, but we as fans have had it pretty good. Look at all the other teams in this league and the IHL who didn't make it 5 or 10 years.

Sat, 06/03/2006 - 4:49pm

hey komet pa, we are lucky to have the frankes and we do usaully have decent and exciting teams, but does that mean we have to sit back on our butts and become complacent? hell no.. i expect from the team that leads the league in attendance by almost double to be the premier team in the league. we have the ihl experience and we should be heads abouve any other team. i dont like muskegon and its dominance and its boasting of being hockey city. we should be doing that! ssoo even though i love the frankes for saving and keeping the ks on a profitable right ship, doesnt mean im going to sit back and rest on their laurels. i remember the britts and the welkers and the cheerleaders and the stupid koloa bear and i was one of the few who stuck it out thru thick and thin so that is a reason i will stay on the ownership so they wont get lazy. they know what they are doing but that doesnt mean that im not going to give my 2 cents worth about getting rid of the best goalie in the leagu e or the inability to put a ruff and tuble team together. ive paid my dues and im sure the guys welcome the criticizim(SP). i sit in a section that is mostly season ticket holders and most are long timers also. its amazing to me how most of us are on the same page and this blog gives us a chance to express our opinions, we smart bloggers dont attack anybody but we sure will stick up for our thoughts until proven different. so its gonna be an interesting summer but i still wish the ks would haave held off on ticket prices and season ticket monies since they now tell us the league is going to be much different. i mean if we go to just a few vets and many more rookies with a smaller payroll, then maybe we wont be around to see a diluted product! just a thought.

Tony E
Sat, 06/03/2006 - 5:16pm

Larry, Most Likely Ashley and I are going to be married a year from this past Memorial Day Weekend. The only hang up is if she needs to go to school that summer to finish her major (she is 12 years younger than me). We are planning on having the wedding near here and had not thought about a DJ. If you know someone who would be willing to make the trip up we would be glad to listen. I will be glad to bring donuts up and hang out at in the press box but Ashley might want to throw me overboard LOL.
Seriously, we would be happy to bring 200 timbits (the wonderful donut holes) for everyone on the blog to opening night next year but they won't allow them in the building.
Now if you guys want to organize a face to face meet and greet outside before the game or something I will be happy to bring the donuts. I will even go over to Canada to get them because they are MUCH MUCH better than the ones from the Tim Hortons in Michigan.

Sat, 06/03/2006 - 5:32pm

Tony...that would be really neat to do....but I'm sure that one or more of us could help you bring the "forbidden goods" into the MC.

Tony E
Sat, 06/03/2006 - 5:53pm

Well, I could bring in another hundred to bribe ERRRRRR feed the redcoats and maybe even send up 20 to the owners?
I am serious folks. I love Tim Hortons and will be glad to pull this off. There is nothing better than opening night of the hockey season and a mouth full of timbits. Its better than s..... wait I better not say that LOL!!!!

Sat, 06/03/2006 - 7:50pm

I like the Frankes too. Personally they are great people and have done a lot for hockey in Ft. Wayne. They are also very passionat about what they do.

However, don't think that for a minute if the Frankes failed to run the team and sell there wouldn't be another team in Ft. Wayne in a heart beat. I don't like hearing the Frankes "saved" hockey in Ft. Wayne. If they didn't buy the team someone else would have. The Komets are a money making machine and people in the hockey world are very aware of this. It's a no brainer.

If the AHL could get Ft. Wayne in their league they would do it in a heart beat. This is one of the best minor league hockey cities in America.

Sat, 06/03/2006 - 8:37pm

JM, how about the fact that they have the honor and integrity to pay what they owe instead of just screwing everybody by declaring bankruptcy?

You guys who think anyone can own the Komets right now and be successful obviously don't know your Komets history or FW sports history. The town has always been incredibly fickle. Example: Bill Russell and the Celtics come to town, you'd think instant sellout, right? 3,300. Or how about Indiana-Notre Dame basketball? 4,500.

Here's how much Ken Ullyot and Colin Lister got out of their ownership of the Komets: Not a damn thing. Same for Bob Britt and David Welker. That leaves only the Original owners and they were 80,000 in the hole when they brought in Ullyot and Lister in 1957.

This town has a long history of going great guns the first year or two to check something out and then the third year attendance slumps or crashes. It happened with the Komets in 92-93, the Fury and the Wizards. The Freedom is kind of struggling with that right now, and it will be interesting to see how IPFW does next winter in basketball. Wizards and the Komets are the only pro teams in FW history to last more than 10 years and have any kind of financial success. That's pretty freaking amazing when you consider we had the very successful Fury, the Daisies, the fastpitch Pistons, the IBL in the 70s, etc. There are more than two dozen teams who have tried but could not make it in this market.

FW is known for having very cheap fans (NOT an insult). That works in that it helps keep ticket prices down, but it also makes the owners be very shrewd about how they run their businesses. If they aren't, their team dies a quick death.

Do you guys have any idea how close we came to losing the Komets for good in the end of the IHL? THey tried for a year to find local investors to help out and every one of them said No, do what you have to do. It was a bad investment because there was no hope. And I'm talking about people who could afford it easily. The Frankes had already lost more than a million at that point, too. (Yes, I checked the numbers).

But they stuck it out and took the team to the UHL knowing they had no cushion to fall back on. If the UHL didn't work right away, they were dead. Any idea how many mortgages have been taken out on their houses over the years?

And how many losing seasons have they had since 1991? Two. How many times have they not made the playoffs? Twice. That is an astonishing record.

Tony E
Sat, 06/03/2006 - 9:15pm

Amen Blake. Imagine one winter in Fort Wayne without the Komets. How many other businesses would suffer with nothing going on in town? The restaurants, the hotels, etc. Even the Memorial Coloseum might be in trouble because many bigger acts will not come to Fort Wayne on a weekend night when they can play in bigger cities. The trickle down revenue that the Komets generate all over the citycan't be measured but I think it is safe to say if they were ever to leave town, you would see some depression in town, emotionally and financially.

Sun, 06/04/2006 - 7:38am

All praise the Franke family.

Komets PA
Sun, 06/04/2006 - 9:08am

I will find a way for you to get those wonderful Timbits into the rink. I have connections. :) As for a d.j. for you, I do travel out of town and state to do gigs and have been dj'ing for 20 years. And for a Komet fan I'm sure I could give you a good discount.

I remember the few weeks after the team moved to Albany when we didn't have a team in town and it was about the worst few weeks of my life. I had been going to games since I was 2 weeks old, my dad had been going since the beginning of the team and my mom since the early 60's, so it was a big part of my familys life. Lots of people on here weren't even fans back in those days when you had a fan base under 4,000 per game. Hockey has always been my life and from day one Michael and David listened to what the fans wanted. Michael even had lunch with myself and a friend of mine to listen to our ideas and used some of them in the first season they owned the team. And how many people have ever gotten to tell Bill Gates how to do his job and actually had him listen? We have it pretty good around here and we haven't had to deal in the snake oil salesmen that run some of these franchises.

Sun, 06/04/2006 - 12:54pm

that still doesnt mean we have to go along with everything they do. god bless the frankes but they aint right about everything! i just dontlike it when they say one thing and do another or when they just dont say anything or when they let true komets just go like frenchy or fletcher. so they lost some money, so what? thats the risk you take as an owner of any bussiness, hockey or anything. if you lose then you find out what you did wrong and try things to fix it. the frankes have been very good at that and they really are good people and good owners, its just that they have to realize that the fans are a little more sofisticated(sp) than they think and we would like to know things or reasons why ect ect. most season ticket holders really feel like they are used by the club and arent really cared about. true or not thats the perception most have. so lets just hope its a good summer and the fall will start a whole new era of the orange and black!!!

Sun, 06/04/2006 - 12:56pm

oh a second point i was here and was one of the under 4000 fan base members. i too was sad when the ks left for albany but that still doesnt mean im going to back off any comments and suggestions.

Sun, 06/04/2006 - 2:13pm

I don't know why I even bother sometimes. Go outside and enjoy the weather.

Sun, 06/04/2006 - 4:35pm

JungleMonkey and Tony E now seem like best buddies.

Go to OPRAH !
Go to OPRAH !
Go to OPRAH !

Sun, 06/04/2006 - 4:37pm

D. Franke says we are going to have a skating team to take advantage of the new rules.

Translation: Another team of 5' 10" 176 pound forwards.

Just like every year under "Chief."

Sun, 06/04/2006 - 4:48pm

Chuckitt: I agree with most everything you said in your post, except for one thing.

The majority of fans who attend the games are NOT sophisticated about hockey. Look at the people who post here, most crying for Puhalski's head. It's the same old 25 people or so.

I submit the vast majority of people who attend the games don't care a bit who the coach is. You have 3,200 season tickets sold (estimate). How many are sold to businesses who give them to people who attend one that game all year? You think they are sophisticated?

Most people don't know the difference between a hip check, poke check, sweep check, cross check or an NSF check. I guarantee you 4/5 of all fans can't define interference or the tag up rule. Enev the linesman don't call THAT right.

As I've said before, until attendance falls from the 7,500 level, there will be no major changes in teh coaching ranks.

Sun, 06/04/2006 - 4:51pm

I have asked this before with no reponse:

If the NHL and HFL can have workable, verifiable hard salary caps, why can't the UHL?

Why can't the UHL use the same process, only on a smaller scale?

Eliminate the vet limits and maybe increase rookies to 4. If you have a hard cap and can get 20 vets to play for what you can play, so be it.

Why should the fans have to tolerate a lesser product if better players -- who are willing to play under a cap -- are being cut?

Sun, 06/04/2006 - 4:52pm

Typo in last post: 10 vets, not 20.

Sun, 06/04/2006 - 5:00pm

Skate, you're stealing my thunder. I've got a column in a couple of weeks before the meetings which says the UHL needs to eliminate the veteran rule completely. If not, then everyone might as just as well admit they are cheating.

Tony E
Sun, 06/04/2006 - 5:21pm

Skate I ain't makin no friends with nobody GRRRR lol ;-)

Tony E
Sun, 06/04/2006 - 5:23pm

It is very true, a hard cap (no luxury tax) with stiff penalties for going over ( such as forfeit any game in which your payroll is over) will level the playing field.