• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Tailing the Komets

Kalamazoo reaction

Posted in: Komets


Wed, 06/03/2009 - 9:20am

I understand the point about the stability of the league. Most had said that's the big issue. But it's only been two years, we do seem to have intrest in expansion, and they statment of the release said they wanted to"...continue with affordable entertainment". That last one doesn't make sense to me especially given the fact that they know any other pro league they go to will have a drastic travel expense increase. If this is a power play to fold the IHL and get all the teams (or the more stable ones) into the ECHL, it's a darn risky one.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 9:40am

Thanks Blake for all you hard work. Great job reporting to Komet fans as always! There just must be something NO ONE wants to talk about. The piece of information missing that would make some kind of sense out of this mess. The owners just seem to be trying to be politically correct. There is a skunk in the wood pile for sure. I guess the best thing for us is to show some understanding and wait it out. As I have said before it is only June 3rd. and there is no kockey until October. I am sure you will keep us informed.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 9:51am

Agreed, Dshe. Excellent reporting, Blake. It seems like they also made a special effort to save Pickard's reputation too. A lot of questions out there that will only be answered with the test of time.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 10:18am

RunningKomet -- You can be a nice person when you want to be. It is really difficult to be sane with the insane. That is what this has turn out to be. Hard to explain or inderstand when you do not have all of the facts. Peace Bro!

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 10:39am

What are you talking about?

I didn't know rooting for a hockey team involved rooting for Flint to get their act together and to go into a crappy market in the QC's......this is just plain dumb, the only stable markets in the midwest are already taken.........

Chicago - AHL
Grand Rapids - AHL
Rockford - AHL
K-zoo - Dropped out of the IHL looking for stability
Cincy - Horrible hockey market
Dayton - Considering IHL, after having bloated attendance numbers over 3,000, actual count was 1,500
Toledo - ECHL, if not the AHL soon enough
Peoria - AHL - Struggling, but still fighting to give their fans top quality hockey.
Milwaukee - AHL

Do the math people, the only teams considering the IHL are:

Quad City - Fad hockey that failed miserably in the 2nd best hockey, maybe in the world.
Dayton - How I think that a return to Hara will benefit them, not necessarily a stable market, lot's of question marks.
Who's left?
Indy - Not going to happen, they've renewed their Junior lease and plan on extending it as the USHL grows
Youngstown - Moved to USHL, wouldn't even consider this league.

Time to wake up and notice that if the Komet's were to actually get a sound financial backing and a geographic footprint, it'd be in the AHL. Besides the others mentioned, Lake Erie and Des Moines both have AHL teams, that's 7 teams in our geographical footprint. I'd rather see NHL prospects then looking for Arthur Kiayga to improve his game.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 10:50am

And just how do we go about getting this "magical AHL team"? (Loaded question, but I'm asking it anyway) What NHL team will send us thier affiliation?

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 10:55am

If magical means stability and better hockey, then ya.

I don't know, I'm not rich. We aren't going to get an AHL team, and that's the problem.

A lot of money and a good working relationship w/ it's big league squad is my guess. I don't understand why it's so unfeasible to field an AAA hockey squad, when we had one for sooooooooo many years before the U-Haul and IFL.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 10:56am

"What NHL team will send us thier affiliation?"

Jim Balsillie's fantasy Hamilton team?

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 11:01am

The Coyotes currently have an agreement with San Antonio. I don't that changing and as of right now Mr. Blackberry does not have a team (yet).

Chaulker-You of all people know what happened in QC. All they had to do was cover the operating expenses and they couldn't even do that. Then there's the fact that they put two years of a bad team on teh ice and there was nothing the QC ownership could do about it becuase Calgary was in charge there.

Do you really think the "casual fans" (or even the die hards) will put up with a sub-par on ice performance? I think not.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 11:30am

I guess as long as Ft Wayne fans continue to come out in big numbers paying AAA prices for AA hockey then why would the Frankes move up???

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 11:58am

I know the very well the situation in QC (Luc?), I also know that it was a fad hockey market to begin with and the locals have pretty much found other ways to spend their money, the trend started WAY before they got the AHL and it just wasn't a market for hockey, it was a market for winning......is Ft. Wayne the same way, probably, but I'd like to think of the fans in a higher regard and demand something better then what the IHL has offered.

I'd like to see an attempt made to bring the loyal Ft. Wayne fans better hockey, that's all. Does that mean winning a championship every year?? Probably not, but at least we could see talented border line NHL'ers every night.

Like JR said, as long as we continue paying for these prices, we'll and coming out in droves.....

You're on the blogs as much as I am, do you like wondering if Bloomington's going to fold up shop before the next game? Or rooting against a Flint team that hasn't been paid in weeks/maybe months?

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 12:22pm

I don't worry as much about the other teams becasue in the end I know (trust) the Frankes will do what it takes to keep haockey in Fort Wayne. I haven't minded watching the same 5 teams over the past two years. I haven't disappointed with the talent level of a Chaulk, Varone, Curadeau, Hodgman. I've liked watching them and wouldn't mind being able to still these guys play. I don't think they are of inferior talent.

The point for me is, would I be willing to go to an AHL game if the team was sitting in 6th place in thier division and not competetive. My answer, no I wouldn't and I doubt the casual fan would as well. Fans of Fort Wayne have been spoiled the past few years with winning teams. Take that away and I imagine attendance dropping to Welker like days. Then the NHL affiliate pulling the plug on the AHL Komets and Fort Wayne would be back where they were in lower level hockey where they can actully "control" the team they put on the ice.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 12:35pm

That's fine, then send them to the ECHL along w/ Toledo and rumored K-zoo.

If you can't accept a losing season or two when you are rooting for your team, then what kind of fan are you? I don't base my need for season tix on the amount of games they win, I go because I like competition and battles, something that we haven't seen in a long time w/ all around skilled players.

I love the Chaulk's, Guy's, Varone's, Mac's and others, but wouldn't mind seeing these guys in a league that produce growth. Bottom line, this league has been a failure since day 1, we've just been the champions of a weak link in the minor league hockey chain.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 12:50pm

I'm just saying, I think the "casual fan" would want to see a winner and they they look in the paper or the TV to see and they see/hear the Komets aren't doing well, they may not come. And what if it's not a season or two, what if it's on a consistant basis. Remember, the NHL teams decided what players to send to the affiliates. The Frankes would be able to fill holes but not be in cntrol of the team. Is that the type of hockey you want to invest in????

Right now the Frankes have total control of what kind of team they put on the ice, at the AHL level they won't at all. The ECHL is a bit of a different animal, they could be affiliated or they don't have to be. I would chose the latter. The Frankes knw what it takes to put winners on the ice and I would rather not see that ability taken away from them simply because the players would be of "superior talent".

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 12:55pm

"If you can

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 1:06pm

I can see that, that's fine......I have to break someone's arm in this town to get a regular season hockey game on any TV in a bar, so are we a hockey town? I'd tend to say no if all we want are winners. That's the case of the majority of minor league hockey towns, just don't see how you can't take the good seasons w/ the bad.

Do the Wizards/Tin Caps win? I possibly remember them going to the playoffs once and they built them a new stadium.

Fine, I have no problem w/ the ECHL or even a northern division in the CHL, but can we all agree on the IHL being a complete bust it's first 2 seasons? Give me one positive that's come out of it as a league. And don't tell me future teams in QC, Dayton, and Indy, because that doesn't satisfy me at all because of allready stated material in my previous posts.

BTW Blake, thanks for all the great updates on the league's going on's, much appreciated.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 1:16pm

Dsche - I am totally lost on your comment, but that's fine, happens all the time. A shot in my direction?

As far as only supporting winning teams... Blake, I think you're probably right on this one. Losing has never been something people in Fort Wayne are good at taking, at any level. Whether it be at a high school game or at a minor league sport game. Look how bad the arena football did, or is doing (do we even have that in the Fort still?). Take a look at the Mad Ants, those tickets are cheap (and if you look at all you can easily get freebies) and that place is still dead on game nights, even when they had two former IU players on the roster. If the teams are losing, people find other ways to spend their money, a lot of times on food by the looks of the population and the number of restaurants around these days.

I have to be honest, I was almost happier when I was in the dark about all this stuff and I was just clueless about hockey from May to October. That being said, I can't stop checking this thing to see what's coming next!

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 1:17pm

I won't lie and say things a rosie in the IHL. Kalamazoo's moves hurts big time, but I think there's more to the "Stability of the League" statement. I don't have nay facts so it's all speculation and I won't bother Blake's blog with it. I just feel that the IHL is the place to be for the Komets right now. Certainly not the AHL, as if they could get a franchise anyway.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 1:23pm

RunningKomet -- I am sorry. I was in a hurry the middle part wasn't directed at you personaly. All of this stuff is driving my old brain crazy. I am going to the lake a relax.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 1:24pm

Its not a hockey town, its not a baseball town, its a komet town, and they have figured out how to keep and maintain Komet nation.

if what Kzoo has released publicly is the truth then IMHO they made a terrible business decision, but that's business, kzoo is taking a huge risk but there must be some huge reward for taking that risk. If there is no huge reward then that makes their decision even worse.

I'm not worried, I am convinced and believe in the IHL business model, my season tickets are secured for next year.

If I had a pile of money and the right city I would duplicate everything the Komets do, absolutly everything, and be the next IHL expansion team!

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 1:39pm

You know what this kind of reminds me of? A horror movie where 6 friends are holed up in a house with a psychotic killer prowling the grounds outside.

K-zoo: Forget you guys! I'm gonna run for it.
FW: No, K-zoo! Don't be a fool!
K-zoo: I'm sick of looking at you five all day! Besides, I can make it!
FW: No K-zoo! You'll be killed! Wait for Dayton and Moline. Word is that they're on the way.
K-zoo: You wait for 'em. I'm out of here.

[K-zoo sprints out the door. A blood curdling scream is heard a few seconds later.]

FW: Idiot.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 1:51pm

C'mon Blake the Komets have a good following and probably always will during a time of the year where there aint much to do around here (winter) the Wizards/Tin Caps is minor league affiliated baseball where you get everyone talking about the players that have come thru here that have made it to the Bigs. I went to one of the Freedoms games a few years back and it was just horrible football... They could have won all thierr games that year and I wouldnt have gone to another game. And the basketball they have had hasnt been much better and again they could have won thier league every year and I wouldnt have returned because the quality of play was just horrid...IMO

I am one that 2 years ago stopped buying season tickets for the K's and told myself and others that I would return to my season ticket holder status in 2 years if the IHL and its produst convinced me to do so.... I re-evaluated that position after the season and with all the BS going on right now I have decided to wait another two years because I am just not convinced in the IHL... I feel that the league and its BOG's have been pumping out a steady smoke screen all year long to the fans about the state of the league and I dont appreciate that personally... In this age of the internet where you can find all kinds of people inside these front offices willing to share info the league cannot treat fans as ignorrant sheep who just follow where they lead without question....

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 1:58pm

Wendy. That was really something. Can I ask you a question? What color is the sky in your world?

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 2:08pm

Do you realize the Frankes are the only owners ever to make any money off the Komets? David Welker, Bob Britt, Colin Lister and on and on, lost their shirts. Ken Ullyot made a little money just because he got out at the exact right time, just before Harvester moved, but even he never got half of what he was owed. Even when Ullyot came to Fort Wayne in 1957, the team had just lost $120,000 and were just about dead. Instead of getting all the money he was owed, he got stock in the team.

This is not the sports town everybody believes it is. IU and Notre Dame used to play every year at the coliseum, 2,700 fans, and that's when they were both scoring 90-plus points a game. Boston Celtics and Bill Russell playing the Pistons, 2,500 fans on a Saturday night. There are a million similar examples. Everything gets real hot for the first year or two -- if you win -- and then it cools off dramatically. You can't just sell the game, you have to sell the entertainment package.

You'd have to be psychotic as a sports owner in this town to raise your costs and gamble on bigger and better.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 2:22pm

Bigger, not necessarily better.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 2:34pm

Didn't we set a per game franchise attendance record this year?

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 2:41pm

I think I heard that. Yes.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 2:49pm

Then having one of the best minor league hockey franchises in the country will settle with the level of play and the inconsistent stability and threat of it folding up shop.

From the hockey world standpoint, this league looks bad and it's obviously run by the Frankes, which Ben Smith wrote about in his blog (if any of you orange and blackers want to go over there and slam him for telling the truth, go right ahead)

I suppose I'm fine w/ that, but you won't see me in my regular seats this winter.

If not asking for the AHL, at least give us stability and competition, is that too much, or do they not make money in any other hockey league? Does it have to be Franke run in order to make money? Some owners are just happy breaking even and competing.....if you can't win it every year battling against other team on the same playing field, I guess you just disperse and start your own league.

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 3:32pm

I'm perplexed, the IHL didn't have any teams fold in the last 2 years, kzoo "quit", far from folding. How many teams in the other leagues folded in the last 2 years? I lost count. The IHL sounds stable to me.

Competition, this was one of the most competitive years I've seen, we were in 4th place not too long before the playoffs. Any one of the playoff teams could have won it.

I don't know any good business owner who is happy breaking even.

If it wasn't for the Franke's and their way of doing business we wouldn't have had the stability we have had the last 20 years.

What am I seeing wrong or is this the age old debate of let's go to a higher league.

Hit Somebody!!!
Wed, 06/03/2009 - 3:49pm

The IHL overall, if it can be stabilized financially, which is not a given in this economy, is still the best choice for me as a hockey fan as it is. The ECHL doesn't excite me. I like having the closer teams as rivals, I would like the level of play the league to improve, and I think it has slowly and will continue. I like to Boo the other team's veteran players who we all grow to hate year to year. It is about entertainment much more to me than it is seeing future "so-called" prospects in the lowly ECHL or the higher level and much more expensive AHL. I want rivalries, hatred of the other team, fun, hard-nosed hockey, that doesn't break my bank-account and I can recognize most if not all of the players from week to week.

Kalamazoo will learn real quick that in the ECHL, the level of play isn't better than the IHL, and the prices would be higher to pay for it. And you won't have a Fort Wayne or Muskegon to gear-up for.

Those are my 2 cents.

Viva IHL!!!