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Tailing the Komets

Michael Franke's response

Here's what Michael Franke had to say when I asked him about Brendan's column:


``95 percent of the column was bogus. I've never heard of the stuff. Nobody has heard of the stuff. I don't know who his source is, but the Flint Generals and other teams do buy sticks through Komet Kuarters. If that's what he's talking about, I don't know. They bought some today. I don't know what he's talking about.


``However he wrote that article and whoever his source is, he could not have been any more incorrect. He's obviously talking to someone who has a vendetta.


``I don't know where any of that stuff comes from. I will tell you this, this last summer, anything we could do to help the Flint Generals or anybody in this league, we've done. Outside of that, I don't know what to say.''


Do the Komets own part of Flint? ``No, we don't.'' Do they own part of the rest of the teams in the league? ``No, we don't.''


Stephen Franke owns a minority share in Bloomington. Michael Franke has always said that any questions pertaining to that should be addressed to Stephen.


More from Michael Franke: ``It's in the bylaws, you cannot own a majority of more than one team. Can you own parts of other teams? Yes, you can, but we do not own any of Dayton or any of those teams.


``How can it be our fault if we are helping them? I read the thing where he talked about the Saginaw pucks on the ice. The pucks were like 19 cents apiece. Heck yes, I'm going to do that if I can save 81 cents a puck. Why wouldn't you? How's that any different than General Motors or Chrysler or the banks or the newspapers or anybody? I don't get it.''


Franke also said there are no legal documents anywhere that say the Komets own any part of Flint which is what would be required by Michigan law.

Posted in: Komets


Sat, 02/27/2010 - 11:35pm

Thank you! The only part of Michael's statement I would disagree with is the reference to GM, if GM had been as cost conscious perhaps they wouldn't be owned by the government now........

Sat, 02/27/2010 - 11:38pm

Lets hear all the FHL Lovers now haha Thank you Blake for asking him about this.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 12:55am

Thanks Blake. I'd be interested to here Brendans response.
Michael Franke is a stand up guy. In the times I have been fortunate enough to chat with him and ask questions and from the articles you have written he will do one of two things.
#1 answer truthfully
#2 Decline to answer the question

The man does not lie, at least not in my experience or recollection.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 5:49am

No legal documents=don't mean that nothings going on under the table.I once asked him about a player showing up at Parkview with a head injury & he said it didn't happened & it was a player named Doyle after a fight with Darren Banks.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 6:26am

If you believe this. I got a bridge to sell you really chaep.

Notre Dame
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 9:27am

The "bylaws" sorta like teams can't leave the league. AKA Kzoo and Muskegon. Well who to believe. As the league turns!

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 9:47am

Wow. That throws down the gauntlant for Savage. I supposed that multiple sources all over the league could be making up the story. This wasn't a "partial denial". Franke straight up said its all horsehockey. I've learned that usually where theres smoke theres fire, but until someone proves it I guess we have to take the denial at face value.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 11:06am

Just because someone is not a "majority" owner. Does not mean they are not funding a team. Think about that.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 11:09am

You guys completely missed the boat.

Franke didn't answer the question at hand, he skillfully side-stepped it and was let off the hook by it. The only answer he gave was that the "Komets" didn't own any other teams.

He failed to address the actual question at hand though which was if any of the FRANKES held any ownership and/or were financially propping teams up.

Nice try though. Also nice to see so many readers here willing to drink the kool-aid one more time without even thinking about it or what they're reading...

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 11:22am

Jim Jones had his people drink the kool-aid also.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 11:29am


It appears the question if the Komets own any of the other teams was asked and answers. I went back and read it and re-read it. Who cares if an individual Franke has a litte money in another team. It happens all the time in hockey. Why does the Frankes get a such a bad wrap for trying to help out teams along.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 11:30am

Also, about the bylaws...there is a difference between what Kalamazoo did leaving the league and what Muskegon is doing....a huge difference..

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 12:39pm

Mark, I think I might know what that difference is....

But please tell everyone what that difference might be....please.

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 12:48pm

Is it safe to say that the debate will start in the language used here....

Own vs. Finance.

Own vs. Float Money

Own vs. Loan

Own vs. Line of Credit

Own vs. Grant

Own vs. Gift Money

Own vs. Charity

Own Vs. insert your own word.

Not sure that the explanation here has cleared anything up really, other than the fact he makes a point, what is wrong with helping a fellow league member along when they are in trouble.

I call it propping it up.....but that is just my me. It is niether here nor there I guess.

Is the IHL the best thing for hockey in this town?

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 12:50pm

delete the my.....I need to proof read. Dang it.

Tim Hoke
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 2:25pm

Ba ck in the day of Ken and Colin the Komets kept the league alive and I cant see anything wrong with helping teams out for a while as long as it does not get to be an on going thing that lasts forever!! Yes this will be a very interesting off season with minor league hockey. Whatever happens will be hopefully good for the fans of minor hockey........whatever the league is called. Just hope that all the owners use good common sense for the good of the game. Geez maybe it will collapse and Barack will bail out minor league hockey and supply all the teams with GM pucks eh????

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 3:21pm

The difference Hit, is Kzoo left the league to go to the ECHL, a competitive league. The bylaws say, and its been out in the public that a team can't play PRO hockey for 3 seasons...Muskegon PRO franchise is folding, and a USHL team is moving in under the same name. Thats the difference. Musky did it the right way..Kalamazoo did not...

Tim Hoke
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 5:38pm

Good point Mark.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 8:25pm

There will always be those who for some reason have to find a reason to bash the Franke ownership. You just better pray they don't decide to put this team up for sale because if they do, hockey will be dead in this town. Nobody out there that has any real money is going to sink it into a minor league hockey franchise so if they do find a sucker to buy it, you can count on it being run the same way other minor league teams are run. No consistancy from one year to the next in players, coaches, jerseys, and overall product quality. And every year you will have to spend the summer wondering if there will be hockey next year. That is what a HUGE portion of minor league hockey cities put up with every year! So bash away. Oh the evil Michael Franke...pure pure evil. Gheesh.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 8:44pm

++ Most excellent Mr. Snuffleupugus.

Also, if I recall and read correctly, Muskegon will have different owners next season. A whole new hockey game as it were, with a half season and whole off season notice to the league and the rest of the teams. As much as I hate to see them leave at least they have done it with class and honor unlike the Kzoo exit.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 9:39pm

tim made a good point. ken and colin helped other teams so the league could continue until better owners could be found and it worked then and the frankees are hoping it will work today. so who cares if their money is out there??? and by the way, mr fred zollner also used his money to help other teams stay afloat for the same reasons and today there is a very viable league called the nba! so what does it hurt any of us if the frankes spend their and i repeat, their money any old way they want? i dont come to your job and tell you how to flip those burgers! (very old and bad joke there!)

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 11:31pm

ken and colin helped out to keep the komets in AAA hockey, not the the ihl2 or ihl b league.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 11:41pm

At that time the IHL was not considered to be "AAA" hockey.

Blake Sebring
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 11:56pm

Doesn't matter. It's happening in every league right now, even the NHL.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 12:08am

just get me back to AAA hockey, Please! it wont bother me if i see a great player at the coliseum one day and chicago stadium the next.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 12:21am

anyone remember watching langenbrunner play in the fort? that was when we were AAA.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 5:56am

Remember Primis is a Kzoo fan who is bitter and hates the Komets. As I stated before Savage's article was filled with opinion not facts. He misrepresented his opinion as fact, that's bad journalism and that's why Savage will never make it past Flint. BTW, Primis Kzoo has not gone up in attendance this year, what's the deal with that? I thought by going to a better league more fans would come out. This was also proven in QC the IHL is a rousing success while the AHL was a dismal failure.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 9:18am

doesnt matter if its aaa or aa its still hockey and its the only hockey we have. all of you who think we need something differnet, where are the money people standing in line waiting to spend their money to give it to us???????? if you dont remember, the reason we got out of aaa was becacue it became too expensive....remember????

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 10:15am

A few days ago RunningKomet asked me to write one of my "books" regarding the Brendan Savage article. At that time I posted that I wanted to wait a few days to think things through....So here goes, this will be long so I would advise anyone who doesn't want to read it to go to the next post now..... First of all, we have people who post on here that never quite get the fact that the K's have been around so long that different "eras of time" get mixed up. One just happened with BullChit who wrote "Ken and Colin helped to keep the K's in AAA hockey". They were never involved with the team when the K's were "AAA". From 1952-1967 the Komets played in the original IHL. In the 60's Ken Ullyott helped prop up some other teams as the league needed help to survive. ( One team was Toledo). The talent was good and there were only six teams in the NHL ( Oh my, how could a league survive with just six teams?) When the NHL doubled it league members to twelve ( 1967) the level of talent dropped considerably. It had to. Stocking six new NHL teams meant that most players came from the AHL. Then in the 70's the upstart WHA was formed. It took even more players from the available minor league pools. (Anyone remember Bob Fitchner with the Quebec Nordiques)? By the way, the AHL was the only "AAA" league at that time. The IHL, EHL, WHL were all a step below the AHL. From 1967 until the WHL folded the IHL had six to ten teams per year as teams came and went. Then they agreed to let Denver come into the league, followed closely by Salt Lake City. That was the beginning of the end for the "old" IHL and the start of the metamorphosis of the "AAA" IHL as other cities wanted to come into the "I". Big cities, such as San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta, Detroit, Orlando, etc. Soon they started thinking of themselves as competitiors of the NHL and salaries skyrocketed, travel costs became unbearable and the K's found themselves in the postion of having to leave the league that they were so entrenched in just to survive. Hello UHL. Then, of course from UHL to present day IHL.....Now knowing a little history, why wouldn't the Franke's want to pull out of the higher league in order to not go bankrupt. There wisdom was proven when the IHL had to fold as a league. Remember when the IHL sued the Komets because they accused them of using Komets name?.....Some on here and other blogs call the IHL the "FHL" ( Franke hockey league). They cry that the the Franke's have put money into other teams just to keep the league afloat and to protect their investment. Who wouldn't. It was what Ken Ullyott did over 40 years ago and no one villifies him. Also we have people who come on here and question the money that the Franke's may have invested in other teams. Let's go back to when the K"s joined the UHL. Remember then, as that was happening the Franke's were entertaining offers from others to buy the team. One was from the owners of the Quad City Mallards. The GM for the Mallards was Howard Cornfield. Does anybody remember that the Mallards already owned, not only Quad City, but Rockford also? Fort Wayne would have made THREE teams owned by the same group. Why wasn't the league called the QHL (Quad City hockey league)? Seems to me we have a double standard here. By the way, have many of you noticed how the Quad City bloggers just hate and make fun of the IHL? It's funny, but when they were on their steak of five 50 win seasons in a row and drawing 9000 fans a game, it was just fine......So, why don't we give the Franke's the benefit of the doubt as so many have with Brendan Savage and his article. For those who do not want to renew their season tickets, then don't. However, after thinking about this for days I believe I will trust the people who kept hockey here, seem to be successful business people, and know so much more about what is going on than anyone of us do, that I'm willing to let them lead. Survival of minor league hockey, as we know it, is teetering on the edge. My "gut" feeling is that the turmoil in minor league hockey will reach its zenith this summer and the Franke's have us well positioned to go in any direction it takes. If I were them I would not do anything different than they have done. And, I for one, am glad they are there. Before we "crucify" them, lets just wait and see how this all plays out....I know this was long, and if you read it all the way through, then "thank you".

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 11:18am

Excellent point, Chuckitt....I am happy with the hockey that we have. Sure I like everyone else have my fond memories of the old IHL (AAA), but I also enjoy the current product.

I will admit that the IHL has dealt with some problems....the same problems that the ECHL, CHL and AHL have dealt with. We just don't hear as much about them because they are not in our "backyard" This league is only in it's 3rd year...it's also a business. A successful business gets that way thru careful LONG TERM planning and growth.

Lets also remember that there is an economic recession going on right now....and it's always easier to criticize the people running the show instead of doing the job yourself.

Enjoy what you have instead of griping about what you don't have....it will lower one's blood pressure.