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

Michael Franke on the Komets' immediate future

``We've committed to the Central Hockey League,'' he said. ``There's no question about that. I'm satisfied with things in the CHL, but I'm not satisfied with things going on in the industry, and that's a broken record for me. I've been saying this for a long time.
``We have a lot of smart people in the business now, probably a better group than we've had in a number of years. I'm sure all of those businessmen and businesswomen who are involved in ownership of these teams are begining to do all the right things. I think we started that process out last spring. It's just an interesting time. I choose to be optimistic that things are going to work out well for minor league hockey.''
Posted in: Komets


Hit Somebody!!!
Wed, 04/27/2011 - 9:25pm


I hear him.....but I think there might be some careful words there that make it sound like there might be more to this thing than just being committed to the CHL.

What if the CHL loses 5-8 teams or more this summer?

Then what? No way some of the teams could survive that with teams being so far spread out all over the place.

"Interesting time?"

Wonder what that means?

We'll see.

I don't totally buy this line.

Wed, 04/27/2011 - 9:44pm

The company running the CHL (actually the owners of the WPHL, operating the CHL under a Joint Operating Agreement with the real CHL, owned by Horn Chen, the owner of Tulsa and Wichita), has had, lets say a little turmoil lately, just losing their CFO last friday:


Should be an interesting summer. I see the CHL going more along the path of the old IHL, becoming more of an entertainment league, if they can ditch the PHPA.



Blake Sebring
Thu, 04/28/2011 - 1:16am

Hit Somebody, minor league hockey birther

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 1:33am

Hockey should be expanding not contracting. Simply put the business model today doesn't work for all of the teams. A lower player salary structure is required at the AA level to address this issue as more and more clubs in the future will fail. There are 30 baseball teams at the AAA and AA level, plus four times as many more at the A level. The situation isn't the same with hockey. In comparison with baseball hockey is top heavy...

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 7:14am

I dont see 5-8 teams leaving this year (at least) The only team that has made an official announcement is Odessa. Alot of talk of Bossier shutting down after the post season. I don't think the SPHL cant take all the Texas teams and Mississippi at once. It wouldnt make sense for them to form a league of their own either, cuz then we are looking at another IHL type of league (5-6 teams)

The most interesting topic going to the summer is if Colorado leaves for the ECHL (Rumors are they have already been invited to the league) If Colorado leaves the league, that lives both Arizona and Rapid City on an island itself (especially RC)

Ultimately I think the ECHL is going to form a "Central" division which will compromise mostly of the CHL leftover teams (Rapid City, Colorado, Missouri, Tulsa, Witchia and Allen)

The Texas teams will either join the SPHL or go to juniors...and others will just cease to operate.

I think the real question is where do teams like Quad Cities, Evansville, Dayton go?

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 7:55am

They go wherever Fort Wayne goes, just like they have been.

off the post
Thu, 04/28/2011 - 10:27am

who really cares? as long as there is professional hockey in ft wayne, fans will attend. these people running minor league hockey need to hit the smelling salts though and wake up! fans still desire to have an arch rival or two. kind of hard to promote that when your playing teams 20 hours away. where is the common sense from these owners and leagues?

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 10:36am

Who really cares? I care. All because it's "professional" hockey doesn't mean it's good hockey. I'm more of a hockey fan than a Komets fan...All because it's orange and black doesn't mean it's golden. If the level of hockey is bad, you won't see me there wasting my money and I know Im not the only one

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 10:37am

Gives the owners far away vacation spots. Just like the IHL having their league meetings 2,000 mi away in vegas of all places.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 11:08am

If you're reading this, you obviously care.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 12:41pm


It only makes sense.

Then again, it made sense last year. Time to loosen the purse strings.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 1:09pm

Let's say you open a restaurant....
Are you going to target only customers on one side of town ?
Common sense says you wont be in business long if you eliminate three quarters of your possible customers !
Look at the ECHL and CHL , and look at all the teams
close to each other that CANT play each other.
I'd like to sell you dinner in my empty restaurant, but gee, you live in New Haven !

off the post
Thu, 04/28/2011 - 1:50pm

game misconduct.. and how many seasons have you missed thru out all the league changes? could careless what league they play in RK. im just a hockey fan. no matter the league, as long as its professional, and a competitive team, the fans will attend games.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 2:01pm

Again...If the hockey is crap (NAHL, AAHL, SPHL, etc) I won't be there. We've been lucky enough to stay at atleast a Double-A level for 59 years, if it drops to Single-A I drop as well. Had we had another year if the IHL2 my season tickets would not have been renewed.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 2:38pm

So are you saying you like the CHL ?

Gillmore Tuttle
Thu, 04/28/2011 - 2:57pm


Yes, I personally enjoyed the CHL better. First, despite what some may say the quality of play (competition) was much better. Second, it was nice to have new faces in to town; it gets old when Dayton was in town for 3 consecutive weekend series. There were fewer fights but the play overall was more physical. Finally, and most importantly no more trips to Flint or Port Urine...

Mr. Snufflupugus
Thu, 04/28/2011 - 3:13pm

ECHL/CHL blah blah blah.
These "rumors" are nothing but guesses. Educated guesses in some cases but guesses.

Someone posts an idea and because it makes sense it becomes closer to truth than rumor.

For instance, I can (and have since last year) post an educated guess that by 2014 AAA and AA minor league hockey will be down to about 40 teams. I don't care about the name of the league at this point because it won't matter soon. These leagues WILL regionalize because they have to. Every league will want the Komets because of the stability they offer.

Someone (sorry forgot if it was this thread) said they want better hockey, not just pro hockey.
If my "rumor" is true and there are 40 or less AA-AAA teams then I think all minor league hockey will benefit by an increase in overall talent. I am not sure at this point the CHL was any better than the IHL. It is a different game to be sure. The Komets did not adjust to a league where clutch and grab was not allowed. I wonder how well a CHL team would have adjusted to the IHL style. Is one better than the other? I don't know.

Ok.. rambled on long enough. Probably have to duck some rocks being thrown at me. I'll just wait for the facts to shake out.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 3:15pm


I know we enjoyed watching the new teams such as Ft Wayne,Dayton etc... The only problem that I see it that it is so far for us to travel. We made the trip to Ft Wayne for the 2 games last week. It was a brutal ride in a car let alone in a bus like the players had to.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 3:51pm

I enjoyed the play of the CHL Ive said all year I had more fun losing in the CHL then I did winning in the IHL2. I was NOT a fan of the officials, both on and off ice however.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 10:13pm

can we all agree to disagree on moving to a different league, i can't take another summer of that blog blah.

i'm sure old man Sebring has a time table on when each topic is going to be rehashed like it has over each summer, can we talk about something different.

Lets pick on Rapid City all summer, they are a bunch of cheaters that manipulate league officials and whine worse than Robin Bouchard.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 10:21pm

But first, lets all review the rules:


Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 04/28/2011 - 11:08pm



Blake Sebring = Super Fan.

The Frankes, not bashing them, but always are careful at crafting their words.

Just go back to the season when rumors were flying that Colin Chaulk would return to the Komets.....they would say things like they have no plans to bring him back and they haven't talked to him blah blah blah, but at the end of the 3 paragraph quote that would be posted on this very blog.....would always be a sentence that would leave the door wide open to the same notion that they were poo-pooing in the previous 3 paragraphs.

I am not bashing.....just saying that once again, A very clever and well crafted response that says they are committed, but the door remains cracked open just in case it makes more business sense, and makes more money, to move the show to another league.

And I am happy they are considering it.

The travel in the CHL is STUPID.

It is absolutely crazy we have closer AA hockey teams in our own backyards that we aren't playing in Toledo, Cincy, and K-Zoo.....and to have an opportunity to in someway bring some of the IHL teams together with these teams in the ECHL....if that opportunity came forward.....How many of you would advise the Komets to not take advantage of that golden opportunity to save money, make money, and give the fans of hockey in the Midwest a better smarter product.

You say Birther.

I say Blather.

It is blather to say 3 paragraphs that the CHL is all that and a bag of chips, after you just blasted it less than a week ago, and then keep the door open and not see that keeping that door open is the absolutley correct thing to do.


I might not have the smoking hard drive with official documents or taped conversations with ECHL officials or teams....but you or anyone around here would be naive to think that the Komets aren't smart enough to look for something better.

Cripes Sake.....They still bankrole Dennis Hextall as the IHL Commish.....Why?

Because he is Pretty?

No, because they are still looking for the ideal situation, whether it be joining something new or improving something all ready there. IHL3, MWHL, GLHL, FHL, ECHL, ABCHL...whatever the HL you want to call it.

Is the CHL ideal and the be all to end all?

I happen to think NOT.

It is nothing more than a stop-gap until ducks are in rows, and so the Komets have a place to play. Nothing more....Nothing Less.

IHL under CHL Moniker?

CHL and IHL Dating?

What if the CHL flames out this summer? Will the Komets still date that fat old ugly chick that stinks and has nothing to offer any more and is high maintanance and costs too much?


We'll see.

Let the summer of "Interesting Times" begin.

*This post was made for discussion purposes only, Hit Somebody!!! is just upset that hockey season is over and that we didn't have a parade for the Turner Kup since we were the last IHL team standing....so be easy on the poor kid,,,LOL* ;)

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 5:37am

I wonder when droning on about old guys smearing suntan lotion on each other falls into Blake's timetable?

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 6:33am

I think if the komets canmake a deal to get into the ECHL and bring dayton with them that would be great. QC, Bloominton and Evansville can do as they wish. Like HS said, we'd have Toledo and Cincy and K-zoo back.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 5:50pm

Didn't Bloomington fold at the end of the season?

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 6:05pm

No, Bloomy has not extended thier lease as of yet....

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 7:16pm

I've heard nothing from or about Dennis Hextall for months until now....Blake, IS he still doing anything with this league? I know, you need a little break....sorry! Are you bored yet? :)

Hit Somebody!!!
Fri, 04/29/2011 - 11:39pm

Here ya go BLB.

You ask, I deliver.


DH is still working the Franke.....I mean IHL front. Or is it CHL front, or is it IHL under the CHL Moniker Front, or what is it exactly he is working?

I am confused all together.

Looks like the QC reporter is hearing the chatter too, and seems to me that whenever there is smoke....well......there is that hot stuff that flames up high and produces smoke,,,right?

Mon, 05/02/2011 - 11:10am

Unless there is something going on about adding CHL franchises near Rapid City ( which I doubt ), the possibility of Colorado moving to the ECHL would almost certainly dictate the same move by Rapid City.

Obvious to everyone is the fact the "western teams" will always have a further distance to travel. The distance between Colorado and Rapid City is 5 hours by bus. Without the two "neighbors" in the same league is nonsensical.

I'm not sure what Arizona will do if some of these Texas teams fold.

Today, in the ECHL playoffs, Alaska has a 3-0 edge. Kalamazoo and Wheeling are tied 1-1. Both series are seven games. It sure looks as if Alaska will be in the Kelly Cup finals. How would you like to have that trip for either Kalamazoo or Wheeling?

Nothing in minor league hockey makes any sense anymore.

Mon, 05/02/2011 - 12:08pm

I think I have to go along with Hit Somebody on his views.

Go to Greg Rajan's blog (you can find it on ice chips), and read the two stories from different CHL cities and make up your own mind.

The fact is that the Owners did have two meetings in Dallas regarding the league ( they were mandatory and highly unusual). Rumors persist that the meetings included these possibilities: 1) purchasing control of the league from Global Entertainment, 2) splitting the league into two separate levels, or 3) going from "AA" to "A" level hockey for the entire league.

Rumors are just rumors, I know. Still the idea that meetings needed to be held, the ECHL Commissioner does not deny that Colorado (or Fort Wayne, for that matter) has been invited, accepted, or whatever term you want to use regarding joining up. ( He won't comment about teams in another league. Nice official non-comment.) Taking in all of that, plus the idea of a whole league dropping to a lesser level as a way to save money for the franchises, is a little suspicious to me.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.

Sometimes we have to read between the lines and while Michael Franke says he is not worried about the "immediate" future, I can't help but get the feeling of another summer like the last one.

It all depends on your definition of "immediate".