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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 - 12:41pm

Also, I'm sure it's been talked about in the blogs somewhere but Rockford also picked up Van Buskirk. Guess they won't be getting away from the 'rough and tough' hockey for a while!

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 12:43pm

thanks dnl. Thats one off the list. What about Danton Cole????

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 12:58pm

Cole took the job at Bowling Green. Wanted stability.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 1:21pm

WAIT !!!

I am happy Puhalski is gone. I said 6 years ago when they hired him I thought it was a mistake. (Please review ANY of my past postings.)


I will never again use sarcasm on a blog.

(Until the next time)

Komet Fan
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 2:01pm

See ya Chief!!!! Blake, I find it hilarious that Chief is gone after many ramblings of you praising the Chief and constantly telling anyone who would listen that we were stuck with Chief. Guess not, huh? As was stated by Chief and the Frankes, this has been in the works for awhile. Did you know what was going on? If not,why? I find it funny that the "beat writers" seem to know little else other than what the Frankes want them to know. Either that or the "beat writers" are holding out on the fans. I have said many times, if you want to know what is really happening, talk to the players or staff. Just don't publicly call a player out on the blogs like somebody did with Chaulker a few weeks back. Did anyone really believe that Chaulk was going to publicly state what was supposedly said in a grocery store so that the Frankes could read about it? Sure..... This is another time when Larry Schmidt plays Hallelujah after many penalty calls against the Komets when they finally get a power play. See ya Chief!!!!

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 2:17pm

I kind of wondered that too, Blake. Figured you would have seen this coming.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 2:17pm


Komets PA
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 2:24pm

No comment, except that Blake really needs to get the speeling of my last name right after 8 years. It's Schmitt. Glad there's so much to talk about. BTW, a few friends and I will be out at Frickers tonight watching the game and Blake, I will buy you a beer for all the flack you have to take on the blog. And if you don't show, I'll make sure the adult beverage gets a good home.

Komets PA
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 2:25pm

and yes, I know I wrote speeling

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 2:26pm

I can ask all the questions I want, but I can't make stuff up out of thin air. I have to have someone willing to go on the record to be able to publish. Unlike some of you, I refuse to print rumors. Unlike you, I have to put my name on it and my reputation in front of the public.

I find it hard to believe some of you think I might be holding out on you considering how much time I spend on here answering every question, even though I have several other responsibilities with the paper that take a ton of time as well.

At the end of the season I asked specifically about this and was told it was a dead issue. Something popped up in the last few weeks that rekindled it.

Next you'll be blaming Justin for having the gall to schedule his wedding for this week. He should have anticipated this stuff happening and skipped the wedding, right?

Some of you really need to look into getting a life. You make me look like a wild party animal, and that's scary.

Komets PA
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 2:31pm

How dare Justin have a dj other than me!!! You and I know how much he loves Asia (the group, not the country). Oh well, I really couldn't stomach watching him do the macarena or the hokey pokey anyways.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 2:37pm

Who's Justin?

Unlike you, Unlike you... and most of all... Unlike you!

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 3:05pm

Something else to consider, did you ever think that maybe the players are playing you or using you to stir stuff up, knowing it won't come back on them? I've heard them laughing in the locker room about the next day.

Sorry about the spelling Larry, and sorry I can't make it tonight. I'll be working as I was last night until 2 a.m. trying to get confirmation on this.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 3:14pm

Neither Blake nor Justin need my backup but c'mon .... Both do a fantastic job in providing us with info that we NEVER use to have on the Komets. Both are very profesional in making sure that they report honestly and not just rumors. What proof did they or ANYONE for that matter have a month or two back that Puhalski was going to leave? What next? Sometimes you got to take Blake and Justin for what they are-reporters and not for mind readers and psychics.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 3:20pm


Tim Hoke
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 3:45pm

lmao age 15......just last year!!

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 4:06pm

I think it will be interesting to see how many of his past or current players will follow Puhalski top Chicago.

That might tell a tale.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 4:14pm

Blake, maybe you can clarify this... the Frankes say they "expect" compensation. So its not a definite that we will get someone in return for Pulhalski??? If you have time let me know, I know you are busy.... Thanks for keeping us informed so far...

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 4:16pm

A dozen jock straps and a 5 gallon bucket of used pucks sounds like a fair trade to me!

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 4:20pm

There will absolutely be compensation. I'm guessing it's already been figured out, but they can't announce it yet until all the contracts are signed or something like that.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 4:23pm


Wed, 06/07/2006 - 4:32pm

Martinson got a new contract with Rockford...

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 5:18pm

Does anyone know if Dustin Virag still has a house in the Fort. I saw him today and was just wondering what he might be up to in the Fort. MAYBE he is coming back?...Doubt it

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 5:23pm

Dusty does have a house here and his fiance lives here. He usually came back whenever the Wings had a day off. Now he has a ring almost as big as hers.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 5:26pm

Dustin and his fiancee Kate had bought a home here in Fort Wayne before he got traded. I believe that she stayed here while he played for Kalamazoo.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 5:30pm

Wow, I guess I need to type faster...LOL! Hey, Blake, do you think that with all of the changes that have and will take place that Dusty would return? He is my wife's favorite player and she would love to have him back in Orange and Black.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 5:31pm

I think we should establish a "girls only" blog where you females can post and talk about how cute the players are (Garrett Summerfield to name one) and fawn over them there.

Leave the hard hockey analysis to the guys on this board.

Maybe you could apply for some sort of "Non-posting, observer" status so you could learn about the game, however.

Tony E
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 5:34pm

Wow....Bash Puhalski, Bash the Frankes, Bash Duhart, Bash

Silence Dogood
Wed, 06/07/2006 - 5:42pm

I see Skate is getting in touch with his womanly side. Good Show. Long live the First Amendment.

Wed, 06/07/2006 - 5:42pm

I am totally surprised that nobody mentioned John Torchetti for the coaching vacancy. In my opinion Torch is a pretty fine coach. He's demanding and expects a lot out of his boys. He's been in the NHL as recently as this season. From the sounds of it, he was out of work, sitting at home on the couch scouting games on TV. The Kings call him up and he fills in. Sure he didn't get them to the playoffs, but it's the Kings we're talking about. They were on a downward spiral when he took over with about 12 games to go. That's not much time to get to know the players and to teach a system. Obviously he didn't get hired for the full time position for the upcoming season, so maybe he's looking. If I were the Frankes, I would be beating down his door.