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Tailing the Komets

Looking ahead a little

I talked with Komets General Manager David Franke a little the other day about his immediate plans. There are some significant deadlines coming up such as the trade deadline at 3 p.m. March 14, the college amateur signing date of March 21 and the playoff roster deadline at noon April 16.

The main question I had was how a United Hockey League team could possibly go into the playoffs with a 19-man roster and survive. Last year the Komets used 22 players during their run to the finals, and it's very unlikely any team could get by with only 19 players. Franke explained that as of March 21, teams can sign two college players and they will not count against the 19-man active roster. That's the league's answer to no longer holding the North American Amateur Draft.

Teams can also put four players on injured reserve, and it's possible to put even more on team suspension. The only way those players would be eligible in the playoffs would be if they replaced someone who was going on IR or team suspension.

I also asked Franke about the likelihood of trades when there are still 10 and possibly 12 of the 14 teams still in playoff contention. Doesn't that limit the trade possibilities?

"If people want to make a move, they'll make a move, but I'm not sure how active it's going to be out there,'' Franke said. "Everybody has a full roster and is probably right to the limit as far as the salary cap. I expect teams that are out of the running to maybe make some moves.''

Franke said the Komets would like to increase their defensive depth and would like to add another scoring forward -- the same as every other team in minor league hockey.

"To be honest, I think what we have right now can get the job done,'' he said. "We're keeping our ears open, though.''

After a 5-11-2 start, the Komets have gone 24-9-2 and have climbed back into title contention. Franke also has to be careful not to disrupt the growing chemistry in the locker room that has allowed that kind of run. Scoring has always been this team's biggest nead, but the Komets have scored 4.1 goals over their last 20 games and 5.0 over their last 10.

This is what Muskegon coach Todd Nelson had to say about the Komets in the Muskegon Chronicle on Sunday: "Fort Wayne is a much improved team right now. They come real hard and have always been a hard-working team. That team has a lot of heart over there.''

Posted in: Komets


Wed, 03/01/2006 - 7:21pm

"To be honest, I think what we have right now can get the job done."

That is an honest assessment? I know you want to back your team and not say anything that would be deemed negative but lets be realistic. If we decide to enter battle with this group we will need some help in the playoffs. With all things being equal, we do not match up with some of these teams. Anything is possible but its going to take some career-like performances from our posse of 10 goal bandits, our defense needs to be air-tight, and St. Pierre will have to be on his game.

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 7:56pm

I disagree with scoops about needing some help(by the way are you a scoooop guy?).

I've seen this team when they are gellin and if they can keep it together and play like each game is their last chance in the playoffs then we can beat anyone.

BUT (and i used a big but) it has to be 60 solid minutes of hockey each game, not 59:59 because all it takes is 1 second for Bouchard to stick one in the top corner of the net.

Need 4 points this weekend!

Wed, 03/01/2006 - 7:59pm

They play seven of the next nine at home. That will tell us everything. They have been playing pretty well for a while, and the chemistry in the room is very good. We'll see.

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 5:26am

Burgee's right. If these guys play a solid 60 minutes of hockey, they can pull it off. On another note: Last night was the season ticket holders open house and I noticed that Rob Guinn was not there. Any news on that front, Blake?

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 9:51am

Too much "ifs" and "buts".

The core gelling with less talent but playing a solid, error free, and physical 60 minutes of playoff hockey can beat a more talented team. Supreme talent, firepower, or whatever else you want to call it can make up for those lapses and that is a luxury we just do not have. The Komets to date play too inconsistant on those very key elements. You have heard Blake and Chief talk about those very things all season long. Things do not magically happen in the second season. You are what you are. That is a realistic fact.

We'll go as far as St. Pierre carries us because he makes up for some defensive lapses and we sure are not going to outscore the big boys. He can keep us in every game, thats for sure. I'm rooting like crazy for them but I am not saying they are a cup team simply because they are my team.

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 11:13am

Trust me, Guinner's absence was planned for and excused. Nothing is wrong with him, just some scheduling conflicts.

Tony E
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 12:07pm

I am glad the slamming of Guinn has calmed down. The fact remains, there isn't a team in this league who would not be happy to have him.

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 1:38pm

Trust me, I'm not one of those Guinn-bashers! I happen to think he's one of our best defensemen. I was just concerned because he wasn't there last night.

Tony E
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 2:14pm

Lol I think he didn't show up because he didn't want to make an example out of the folks on here who said he doesn't hit ;-)

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 4:53pm

Truth be known Guinn had school last night and was excused from the open house.It looks like Luke Sellars had a good start Wed. against the Fury.

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 4:55pm

We still need that big first line "goto" type of scorer. We don't have that guy. Remember when we brought Bobby Stewart in and he was "that" guy 3 seasons ago? We need a like him if we are going to do anything in the playoffs. I think our defense and St. Pierre will be good enough. I am just thinking about that 3rd period powerplay chance when we are tied, 2-2 and need a big goal. We need that offensive minded player to make that big play to win us a game. Just my opinion, obviously.