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Tailing the Komets

Roster updates

Fort Wayne signed former Komet center Kelly Miller for the weekend as an emergency player to fill in the roster. Miller played 50 games with the Komets in 2001-02 scoring 9 goals and 19 points, and then five scoreless games the next season. He played 52 games last year with Amarillo of the CHL, scoring 9 goals and 22 points.

Now he's an assistant coach of the Toledo IceDiggers of the North American Hockey League Junior A team where his brother Ken is the head coach. Miller was the stickboy of the ECHL's Toledo Storm when Greg Puhalski coached there earlier in his career. The two men were talking this week when Miller offered his services for the weekend, and he flew into Elmira today. Komets President Michael Franke said the Komets may call on Miller later on this season, as well.

The Komets also received some great news that the immigration papers for both Matt Hunter and Andrew Luciuk have been approved by the United States Immigration Service. Hunter should be in the lineup tonight, and Luciuk arrives in Fort Wayne tonight and may fly out to meet the team for Friday's game in Roanoke.

Also, the Komets have heard from forward Lance Galbraith and he'll be back in Fort Wayne by Sunday after missing a week to deal with a personal emergency.

Posted in: Komets


Wed, 12/07/2005 - 2:42pm

Glad to hear Lance will be back! Hope all is well with his family. I'll be glad to see him back in the orange and black, I hope that he stays around for awhile I love him as a player and I'm sure he'll come around and prove himself as soon as the team comes out of this slump I believe it has all the guys down right now. Welcome Kelly, Good luck guys on the road trip!

We gotta start winning!!!
Wed, 12/07/2005 - 5:27pm

I wish they could keep Miller for the rest of the year. The Miller, Hukalo, and Hunter line tonight has all ready paid off with a goal to Hunter, assists to the other 2 in the 2nd period. They were sticking it to the Jackals 3-0. Miller, I thought, was a good player. Good skater and hard nosed. Great penalty killer and can get behind the defense, probably easier now with no 2 line pass whistles. Lots of fighting in Elmira tonight so far. Anyone listening to the game on the web? There is a fan taunting Jorde everytime he comes on the ice. Is Elmira the Porn Capital of the East or something. Man, every commercial on their broadcast is advertising Adult Videos. Let's go Komets!!!

We gotta start winning!!!
Wed, 12/07/2005 - 5:38pm

Give Hunter another goal, a penalty shot goal!!! 5-1 Komets in the 2nd. Maybe this Eastern Swing will be the thing that gels this team. Go Komets!!!

Wed, 12/07/2005 - 5:39pm

I'm glad Galbraith will be back. He's really grown on me throughout this season!

You're right, it's a heck of a game in Elmira tonight! Jorde and Vanderbreggan are really chippy tonight. And Hunter with a penalty shot... that was the kicker of the period! These are the Komets I know and love! LOL

I'm actually watching the video broadcast through B2 Networks. It's nice, because they turn the commentators off during intermission, which means that there's no commercials (thank god). What a game so far!

We gotta start winning!!!
Wed, 12/07/2005 - 6:01pm

You Rebel Laurie. Don't let the Franke's find out who you are. Watching the B2 networks, They may try to trade you, too.

Wed, 12/07/2005 - 6:12pm

LOL Actually, my parents are really good friends with Dave, so it'd be kinda awkward if he knew, but it's not losing the Frankes any money, why would they care? Oh well. It's only $6 to watch fairly decent broadcasts, so it's good enough for me. LOL

Wed, 12/07/2005 - 7:32pm

I don't know about this one. I can't say that I remember Miller which in and of itself makes me nervous. Hearing that he is a guy who is an assistant coach on a team where his brother is the head coach doesn't help. Hopefully he'll add to the team. I truly don't want another Jason Selleke situation of a couple years ago. Welcome back Galbraith. We missed your fire! Hope all is well in Toronto.

Displaced Komet Fan
Thu, 12/08/2005 - 7:40am

Hi Blake,

You do a great job covering the Komets, expecially for people like me who grew up with the Komets and now live away from Fort Wayne.

I recently saw the "new" Coliseum a few weeks ago. It is amazing. Has or is Fort Wayne considering moving up to a higher-level league? Like the AHL? Just seems that the UHL is a little bush league for a franchise like Fort Wayne. Other teams have arenas that make McMillen Ice Center look like a palace. And our attendance figures are almost 3,000 above the next highest team.

Thu, 12/08/2005 - 4:30pm

Thanks Displaced Komet fan for the compliment. I appreciate it.

As for the AHL, I don't think that will happen any time soon. I think you'd have to raise ticket prices about $5 for most tickets and there's no way that would go over in FW. I know, people will scream that they are already $19, but they aren't. Those are almost all season ticket holders and they get the discount.

As an example of what Im talking about, Peoria jumped to the AHL this year and lost about 1,500 fans per game. As usual, Peoria is the abject lesson for all Midwest teams. What were they thinking going into the ECHL? They WANTED to pay more for travel?

I'd kind of like to see AHL-caliber again, but it just won't work here for a lot of reasons.

That's the short answer.

Thu, 12/08/2005 - 6:34pm

I know its a moot point because it won't happen but bringing in an AHL franchise might be a good thing now. Its a little different now as compared to when the Komets were IHL. Back then you had AHL and IHL to where the IHL was more of a retirement home to finish out your careers. The AHL being the only AAA of the NHL has more appeal.
You get to see more future stars abd prospects and a better product.

Each visiting team probably would have a handful of players worth catching a glimpse of.

I think the fan base would stay about the same but might suffer on game night walk ups if the prices went up too much. The bad thing for the Frankes would be they would lose "control". I remember when we had the Ducks and Panthers affiliation. What a disaster that was. No control on players and sometimes you got dumped with junk. The K's already draw what would be concidered in the top 10 for the AHL. We have a AHL capacity and close proximity to Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, and so on. Columbus would be great since they usually stink. You can see some good young talent year to year.
Man it would be nice to think a few years ago I can watch Jason Spezza on Friday and Sunday I can go watch Marc-Andre Fluery. For now...we're stuck watching the antics of Jim Duhart. Gotta love Jimmy.

Thu, 12/08/2005 - 8:09pm

I know everybody thinks the Komets make tons of money, but remember a few things. They get zero dollars out of anyone using the suites. No ticket sales, nothing, and that's a pretty big chunk of change.

Kalamazoo drawing 3,500 is about comparable to the Komet drawing 8,000 because the K-Wings get the parking, concessions, every dollar from every ticket, everything. True, the Komets don't have to pay rent, but they'd pay rent in a heartbeat if they could get those other sources of income.

They also get a lot of surcharges from the coliseum for various things such as press box phones, opposing radio phone, etc. The Komets also don't get the full price of each ticket because there's a coliseum charge on each of those as well. I know a couple of years where the Ks got blamed for raising ticket prices when it wasn't them at all.

If the Komets owned the building, then yes they'd be rolling in money. Also remember that it's a public building and it HAS to make money or we'll pay for it through our taxes.

I'm not saying pity them or they're losing money because they aren't. I'm just saying they have some expenses that a lot of teams in this league do not have.

The costs of running this business are expanding rapidly. Ask any parent how much sticks cost, or any boss how much workers compensation costs, and we all know how much insurance costs. Now imagine what it must cost for a hockey player. Yikes.

I really don't know how the other teams are doing it even with parking, concessions and such. Just imagine paying for new sticks for 5-7 goaltenders a year. A road trip like this is probably costing the Komets around $5,000 a day when you take in meal money, practice rink, bus, gas, hotels and everything. That might even be a little low since it doesn't count league fees and such.

When they were losing money in the IHL days, I could calculate to withing $100,000 how much money they were losing each year, and it was enormous, around $1 million per year for about four years. That would scare the crap out of me as an owner. I don't know how they didn't all lose their minds. Well, I do actually. Expansion money. And when that dried up, they were dead.

All right, I'm done preaching.
Just some things to be aware of.

Thu, 12/08/2005 - 8:11pm

I lied. One more thing.

If the economy keeps going the way it is, eventually the NHL will have to step in and reorganize all the minor leagues or they won't have anyplace to put their farm clubs. Then, and only then, they might make it worth it for Fort Wayne to join the AHL. That's probably coming sooner rather than later.

Hockey can't be this stupid forever, can it?

Fri, 12/09/2005 - 9:34am

I totally agree with that Blake. Some of the affiliations make absolutely no geographical sense to me. Its seems lately 2-4 teams change a year and I think the AHL is 2-4 teams short from having each NHL club with their own minor league team.
I would be curious to know if the K's management group has even been approached about it.

On a seperate issue....is there going to be another college game at the coliseum this year? I really enjoyed the Michigan/Notre Dame game last year.

Fri, 12/09/2005 - 12:45pm

No college game, and they haven't been approached because the NHL already knows the answer because of finances.

The coliseum is applying to host an NCAA Regional. That would be fun.