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Tailing the Komets

Puhalski is leaving

The Fort Wayne Komets are looking for the 25th coach in their
55-year history, The News-Sentinel has learned. Greg Puhalski, the winning-est
coach in United Hockey League history, is taking over the new Chicago Hounds
team in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Puhalski, 41, recently completed his sixth season behind the
Komets' bench. During his tenure, the Komets won the 2003 Colonial Cup, had
back-to-back 50-win seasons in 2003-04 and 2004-05 and won four division titles. Last season he led the
Komets to a sixth-place finish in the overall UHL standings. The team was
knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by Rockford in five games.

``This is a personal and family-related issue for Greg,'' Komets General Manager David Franke said. ``I know this was a very difficult decision for Greg to make, but as we sat and discussed it, it will bring him a breath of fresh air, and we'll take on a different look, too.''

Puhalski worked with Chicago Tuesday during the UHL dispersal draft in Detroit. David Franke and Komets President Michael Franke made the selections for the Komets.

``We have no negative thoughts at all on this,'' David Franke said. ``Greg has done a tremendous job for us.''

Puhalski won 271 games as Komets coach, second all-time in
franchise history to Ken Ullyot's 304. He has 359 wins in his UHL career,
including two years in Port Huron before he came to Fort Wayne.

Because he had a year remaining on his contract, the Komets are
expecting compensation from the Hounds. The former Richmond RiverDogs, the
Hounds have several players the Komets could have interest in, including
defenseman Dan Vandermeer or goaltender Mike D'Alessandro. David Franke said any compensation won't be announced until the UHL meetings.

Puhalski's wife Ali is an actress who worked in  Chicago a few years ago but moved home to Fort Wayne.
A move by Puhalski to Hoffman Estates would allow her to
resume her own career.


``I want to
thank the Frankes, especially David and Michael, for their support,'' Puhalski said. ``They've been
tremendous and my wife and I would like to thank the entire Fort Wayne community for
making us feel at home here.''

Puhalski said discussions began two weeks after the season and picked up momentum last week.  He starts June  16 as coach and director of operations.


Posted in: Komets


Wed, 06/07/2006 - 8:43am

Hit Somebody, was that you leading the parade down Parnell Ave?

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 8:45am

Actually that was me after helping Greg pack his stuff...BYE BYE!!!

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 8:46am

I think this will make some fans very happy and that explains the choice in Duhart.

Tony E
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 8:51am

Once again Komets management proves they have an organized plan.
You guys want to bash Puhalski, fine.
But stop for a second and remember that they DID win a cup and go to the finals under him. History will record him as one of the greatest coaches in Komets history.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 8:55am

Yes he did win us a cup but we were still yelling for him to be fired. This is the best news I've heard in a long time

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 8:58am

I think you're right Tony. I'm wondering how long this thing has been in action. The fact that the Frankes are stating that they want to go in a new direction, letting Frenchy go, and picking Duhart in the draft makes me think that this change with Puhalski has been in the works for a while.

If that is the case then are there any front runners for the Komets position?

Tony E
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 8:58am

He is going to go to Chicago and win games there just like he did here.
I wonder who you guys think should be brought in here to replace him?
Do you offer Troy the job? Go outside the organization? Hire Blake?

Tony E
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:01am

I have a name out of the Komets past that might be interesting but I don't know if he would have any interest. Ian Boyce. Busted his tail every shift and lead by example. Like I said, I don't know if he has any aspirations to go back to the world of hockey and the Komets probably want someone with experience.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:01am

Oh, make Blake an assistant Coach, he can be in charge of the defense. ;-)

I think Troy needs to be at least interviewed. I think he wants to get into a head coaching position, so the question is, does anyone think he's ready right now?

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:04am

Tony, I'm not sure he'd work right now. He pretty much lambasted the Frankes for allowing the Twister to do his antics(sp).

Might be something that could be smoothed over, but I think your right they would want someone with some experience.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:12am


Thanks be to whatever higher power created this miracle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:13am

I'd have to take a pay cut. And sleep more. But putting up with you guys is good training for dealing with spoiled athletes.

Kidding, just kidding.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:14am

Nah Nah Nah Nah
Nah Nah Nah Nah
Hey Hey Hey

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:17am

Boy, alot of people I talk to will be happy...

Wonder who is on the way in...

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:18am

Sleep, you don't need no stinkin sleep.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:21am

You would think the Komets would have a flood of resumes flying in. One name comes to mind, Todd Brost, the former coach of the Jackals, he's availible.

But anyways, I agree with people that Troy Neumeier should at least have a shot at the job.

It will be an interesting next 30 days.

Tony E
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:24am

Greg you are probably right. I have always thought he had the makeup to be a coach. I am sure the twister stuff could get worked out. It will be interesting to see if he comes tot he opening night "old timers" stuff this coming season.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:25am

Brost would be a good choice.

What Fletcher doing?...lol.

Tony E
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:26am

Brain cramp question of the day, who coached Richmond last year? Why didn't he go with the team?

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:27am

Tony-Kris Waltz and he singed with Elmira.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:28am

sorry that should be signed. I hate fast fingers.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:28am

Nichols started the season. Quit to "help" the team get settled in Chicago. Quit and went to Elmira to be GM. Chris Waltze finished season in RCH and is now going to Elmira as well.

Tony E
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:29am

Thanks Greg. That's right.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:30am

Try typing with giant JungleMonkey fingers!

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:35am

Good Luck to Coach P.

I think it was a good move for both sides.

But.....i never wanted coach P to end up facing us in the UHL if he left!

Tony E
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:36am

Thanks JM. That's right I forgot about that whole fiasco.
I wish they would maybe go in the direction of getting a coach out of Juniors.
I have a name for you. Former Komet goalie Peter Sidorkiewicz has been an assistant coach for the last 6 years for the Erie Otters. He is ready to get behind the bench himself.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:41am

YIPEE!!!!! I'm dancing a jig right here in my office. That's the best news that I could have ever heard. I know we won 1 cup under him, but HIT THE ROAD JACK!!!!!!! I agree to offer it to Neumie first. If he's not interested, then look elsewhere. Now, to those who kept telling us to shut up that they would never let Puhalski go. HA HA HA Sorry, had to gloat for a minute.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:45am

JM-I have enough trouble typing with a burger inone hand and a drink in the other.

Tony-If El Sid is as active on the bench as he was in the crease he'll be a pleasent change. Couldn't tell how many times I yelled at him to get back in the net. I also can't shake the image of him wailling on Rick Hayward in the head wiht his blocker during the Cincy series.

Tony E
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:50am

Sid would command respect and is full of energy. He communicates well, has a wealth of experience as a player both in the NHL and in other leagues and I think would be a good young fresh face in the UHL.

Tony E
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:51am

ilovehockey. Nobody said they would not let him go. It was said the Komets would not fire him and they didn't.