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Tailing the Komets

Status update

Nobody's talking officially or unofficially out of Muskegon, which kind of tells you something, doesn't it? It may be something, it may be nothing, but I would think if it was nothing someone would have said so by now.

Sorry, Alan, I was the one who got up on the wrong side of bed this morning. I should have just stayed there. I got upset because I HAVE been trying to track this down for more than a week with no luck. Believe me, lots of people are sick of getting voicemails from me. I can't print rumors or make statements without attribution. I think that you guys know me well enough to understand I try desperately hard to get things on the record, (as with Luke Stauffacher recently), but it's just not happening this time.

There are a ton of rumors going on right now, but it's like I told you guys two weeks ago, it's everybody in minor league hockey, not just the IHL, because it's the economy, stupid. I don't think anyone has any answers.

I think this summer everyone will look around, see who's still standing and then make a league out of that or maybe play inter-league schedules or form new leagues. Anything is possible at this point because no one knows the right answer. I think the economy in Michigan in particular, is holding the IHL hostage.

I don't think just jumping to the ECHL is the exact answer because I know that league is having some of the same problems. I don't think just going to the AHL is the answer because ditto and the ticket prices would have to go up. How does it make sense to go to a league with increased expenses right now? I think geography has to be a part of it, probably the main part. Maybe the most definititve statement I can make is I don't think there are enough cities out there that can support hockey in its current format, but maybe it all has to crash before it can be rebuilt.

Maybe the whole key right now is surviving until the dust settles and seeing who there is still to work with. This really reminds me of the Komets after International Harvester left in 1982. Sometimes you just have to hang on.

Posted in: Komets


Thu, 01/28/2010 - 6:51pm

Well Blake, if Muskegon's not it, then there's still got to be another Michigan market, because this all stemmed from a USHL official publicly stating that it was a Michigan market.

So honestly, unless someone can supply a different Michigan market turning to the USHL (Port Huron maybe is the only other one I could come up with?) and a convincing case, we kinda' have to assume it's Muskegon, regardless.

Thu, 01/28/2010 - 7:07pm

IMMHO, Economically we are living in historic times, only thing worse was the great depression.

Did I ever tell you the story of the Zen master and the little boy?

I'm sure there will be changes, we'll see.

And I am not going to blog anymore until Schebig apologizes to me!

Blake Sebring
Thu, 01/28/2010 - 7:32pm

Primis, I'm not saying that Muskegon is not it. All I'm saying is I don't know.

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 01/28/2010 - 7:53pm

I have talked to Blake about this alot lately, and we are officially in the same camp here.....I said it last night to him, if this rumor isn't true out of Muskegon, then why in the heck are they being so tight-lipped about it. If it is not true, wouldn't it just be simple enough to squash all this and just come out and say NO!!! I think the silence right now obviously means there is something to it. It may be that they are very close to this deal but not totally final, and they are not saying anything until they have a deal in place.

Here is my question....We have Frankes in town, why can't they shed light on this thing. It is a Franke that is the President of BOG's and where is Mr. Hextall in all of this PR? That is my beef in all of this. Once again negative crap is going on in this league and the leaders of the IHL are not communicating with us. This always happens. Then will they say in 2 months that they didn't see this coming and will act surprised?

This will be the end of the IHL. Doom and Gloom? Naysayer? Negative Nellie? Helpless Harry?



There is no way to sugar coat what is going down right now in the IHL. Do I have any control over it? No Am I mad about it? Not really. Will the Komets survive this? Yes. Will we be in a different situation with leagues next year? Most likely. Will the Frankes level with us fans before they ask us for another penny on out Season Ticket balances? That is the million dollar question in my book....

Before someone hates on me, please read what my opinion is before you do. Don't just take the same old approach of, "Well, if you want to dig into your pockets and buy your own team then...." or "Do we have to do this in the middle of the season?"

This is happening right now currently folks. It is a serious topic. Granted, this is just people on a blog talking and we don't have control over it. But this might be a good time for the Owners to look around and listen to the fan base as to where this team should go next year. Just a thought.

For the rest of the season, Lets Go Komets!!!

I can't wait to see Mitch tomorrow night. Hockey night is always my favorite night, I will be behind this team thru thick and thin no matter what.

The problem will be watching the Fury Jacks attendance go to zero the rest of the year with this impending news on the horizon.

Hit Somebody!!!.........Out...................

Adam Mapes
Thu, 01/28/2010 - 8:03pm

So Komet fans I think we all realize that if this is the end of the ihl, which league will the K's be in? I really hope we can make the jump to the ahl -time will tell!!!

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 01/28/2010 - 8:08pm

Don't hate on Adam for that either......his opinion is the A.

Thu, 01/28/2010 - 8:45pm

Blake, I don't want you to print rumors either. The mere fact that you have been working on this even before I posted this morning validates my thinking. The reason I suggested an interview with the Franke's was only because if somebody knows what is going on they surely do. You have left many voicemails and apparently no one will get back to you to verify or deny. Sometimes silence is deafening. Now, on another note Blake, a couple of regular bloggers have commented on my original post. Chuckitt posted that my "open, honest, and frank" comment was in some way an insult to your reporting style. Wendy called my comment "condescending". I thought my second post explained it but let me try again. I have re-read my original post and after reading it, I can see where someone might, just might, have a question about what I meant. Believe me, I can be pretty explicit when I want to be and I meant no personal insult to your reporting. I, as a season ticket holder, have a couple thousand dollars invested in all of this. Above in your story, you stated it may be the middle of summer before we learn if the IHL survives, the K's join another league, or everything falls apart and a new mid-west league is formed, or whether an inter-league schedule is created. Problem with all of that is the bulk of the season ticket money is due right in the middle of the summer also. These are tough times with hard decisions to be made. Money will soon be floating towards the Komets again and I think the fans of the IHL need to learn what condition there league is in. So many times in the off season last year we were told by the league ( e.g. the Gems and the Mallards situations ) we would learn by a league announcement in 7-10 days. We ended up waiting a lot of 7-10 day periods before any announcements were made. C'mon IHL, return Blakes' voicemails. Answer the questions so that your loyal fans can be kept abreast of the condition of the league. Blake, I would never, ever question your integrity as a reporter of the news. I would never, ever, be "condescending". I have posted this in an "honest, open and frank" manner. I hope you have received it that way.

Thu, 01/28/2010 - 8:51pm

Rockford, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Peoria, Fort Wayne.

How could anyone argue against that geographic footprint?

Perhaps all minor league organizations. should enter a draft, and NHL teams will draft 2 teams each.. a "AAA" affiliate and a "AA" affiliate.

That would take care of 60 teams. The remainder can have thier own independant "A" leagues (SPHL, AAHL, Federal).

This whole idea would never happen, it makes too much sense.

Thu, 01/28/2010 - 9:32pm

Good Stuff all of you bloggers. I should apologize to Burgee but I don't have any idea what I did wrong so I won't. Besides if I did he would come back and than we all would have to hear about redheads and Foo Foos. Enough of that already! I know one thing for sure. I have no crystal ball. I think I am screwed. I wish I did have one.

Thu, 01/28/2010 - 9:36pm

Hi everybody,

Been reading everything/everywhere I can about this.
Not that the NHL would do it the right way, but it would make sense if a true a farm system was created, like MLB has ... your 30 NHL teams have 1 AAA team and 1 AA team.

Wasn't it kinda/sorta that way back in the 60s and 70s with the AHL considered the AAA league, the Central, I and others the AA leagues and still others the A leagues?

JM, good suggestions. I would add a few more ... Toledo, Cincinnati, Hershey, Quad City, Kalamazoo. That way everybody has at least one close rival to play.

Then again, you're right. That makes too much sense.

Adam Mapes
Thu, 01/28/2010 - 9:51pm

As a komet fan, I just want the Franke's to tell us the truth!! Fort Wayne is a prime minor league hockey city and as fans you can't tell me that a nhl team wouldn't love to have an affiliate here.... Movin on up just like the Jeffersons!!LOL "MAYBE KALAMAZOO DIDN'T MAKE A BAD DECISION AFTER ALL"

Frozen Water
Thu, 01/28/2010 - 9:52pm

Burgee: Looks like Dschebig has laid down the gauntlet and drawn the line in the sand about apologizing. Will you hold up your end or will you break your silence and fill him in? We'll see... ;)

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 01/28/2010 - 10:00pm

I do have to say one thing, normally owners and league officials won't comment on whether or not the league is in trouble or not, and I am sure there is some late back-room talks going on to try and persuade the FuryJacks to not run away mad. So I do have to admit, anyone saying anything right now, really makes no sense, other than if Muskegon comes out and says, this is not true. Which to me means it is true. JMO

Thu, 01/28/2010 - 10:02pm

Primus, I can think of a few Michigan markets that could go USHL. The strongest indicator for Muskegon is their silence on the issue.

Off hand other possibilities include a Detroit suburb, Saginaw, Lancing, Grand Rapids (formerly in the USHL) Ann Arbor with a strong NCAA connection right there, and maybe even Battle Creek.

Thu, 01/28/2010 - 10:08pm

Alan- You've got the touch back. Do you have to get that published, or is it ok since it's just a blog book? hahaha You pose good questions and I wish those in power would listen to you and let us know what is going on.

Blake- It must've been something in the water today because I had one of those days too, but for different reasons. I was also impressed to see how you filled us all in on your reasoning for your response to Alan. In his defense, none of us have any idea about how much you've been hounding these people. Then again, there's no way we could because you obviously can't tell us about stories you're gathering information on until they are actually stories. It's a lose/lose situation I guess. Regardless, the incite into the situation was awesome and thank you for that.

This has just been a weird season from the get-go. This summer we were told "by the end of the week" I don't know how many times from lots of different people. Rumors about how strong the league had gotten and how stable everyone was with new leadership flew around, then those leaders would leave and be replaced by someone else. After that it was the whole thing in Dayton, now this. In addition, the Komets can't seem to get things figured out on the ice for some reason, although on paper they look incredibly talented. It's all really tiring. I have to agree with several of the bloggers on here that as a STH I want to know what's going on before I drop the cash for next year. My household has always chosen the Komets over spending that money on Colts season tickets. Maybe the trend will have to change if we can't be given the consideration enough to be let in on the state of things before the money is due. Time will tell, or as it's been stated above, "We'll see."

Thu, 01/28/2010 - 11:07pm

JM's footprint is a good one. I think you can add Quad Cities and Bloomington into that group as well. Quad Cities has had recent success both on ice and in attendance in the last 10 years. Bloomington has a great building, decent attendance especially considering no history of success and is in an area where there is still "money"

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 01/28/2010 - 11:15pm

JM was saying that we should move to the AHL. I don't think QC or Bloomy can do that. QC just left that mess last season. Bloomy can't get 2500 on a consistant basis let alone the 4000+ they need to have a success there.

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 01/28/2010 - 11:16pm

Anyone else see this???


Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 01/28/2010 - 11:56pm

JM could have added Toledo to that division of the AHL too.

Hit Somebody!!!
Fri, 01/29/2010 - 12:08am

SuperFan, Could the Frankes....ummmmm.....IHL step into Muskegon and make an Ownership Change there and take back their IHL LumberJacks franchise and keep the team going in LC Walker and throw the Patulskis out on their bums??? I mean, the IHL did it in Dayton....couldn't they do the same type of thing here???

Kinda sounds funny, but I could see it.

Adam Mapes
Fri, 01/29/2010 - 12:37am

Wow!!!! I do believe that is the final straw, maybe I'm wrong but I do wonder what the "FHL" will do now? C'mon fans we all know it's time for the KOMETS to be a primary farm team!!!!!

Fri, 01/29/2010 - 5:04am

Adam you are right, TIME HAS COME.

Fri, 01/29/2010 - 6:38am

I just said it kind of came off that way, Alan, not that you intended it that way, I'm sure. Don't worry. I'll let Blake and everyone else fight their own battles from now on.

Fri, 01/29/2010 - 7:17am

Frankes cant take over Muskegon as they have more than likely sold the management company of LC Walker Arena to the same buyer of their franchise. Why would the Frankes take over Muskegon since they are feeding money (and own )into Bloomington, Flint and Dayton. Muskegon is gone. Komets need to go the the A or E.

Fri, 01/29/2010 - 7:51am

If the IHL/Frankes tried to pull the franchise from an ownership group that was paying thier players, paying thier bills, and buying supplies for thier team just because thier trying to move leagues would be a PR nightmare that would be hard to recover from...IMO

I believe Ann Arbor has Team USA's under 18 team in the USHL, Saginaw had an OHL team or one really close, Grand Rapids has AHL hockey... Dont know about Lansing or Battle Creek, excpet that Battle Creek has or had an AAHL team and Lansing was one of those rumored teams that never got an UHL/IHL franchise for whatever reason...

Fri, 01/29/2010 - 7:55am

Anyone else see this? IMO It looks more intentional than big mac's hit, and I believe he wasn't suspended at all.


Fri, 01/29/2010 - 7:58am

Wow, blake has some tough wingers on his line, what allen said didnt seem bad at all and he got jumped.

The Komets are and always have been a first class organization, the fan support there is unreal now it is time to rise above this mess of a league and go the the A.H.L. or second pick the E.C.H.L.

Fri, 01/29/2010 - 9:51am

Blake, I got a response from the Lumberjacks that I forwarded to you... Check your email when you get the chance...

Fri, 01/29/2010 - 10:27am

To Blake: I think everyone is a little frustrated now about a number of things. Hopefully the league can get itself sorted out, the ecomomy will stabilize, and more jobs be created. To RunningKomet: Do you think I should get "royaties" for my "books". Thanks for your kind words. To Wendy: Good! To Fireball: Thanks!

Fri, 01/29/2010 - 11:09am

To Wendy: my last post was a little harsh. You post whatever opinions, feelings, thoughts, and views you see fit. I'm one who believes that everyone has the right to post whatever they feel as long as it isn't a personal attack or in bad taste. Sometimes the finger will be pointed toward me and I try to learn from the criticism by trying to put myself in the other's position and learn. I, in my heart, knew what my intent was, what context my thoughts and words were in, and I can assure you and everyone else that no one has more respect for Blake than I do. Sometimes emotion gets in the way of logic and for me to feel any other way would label me as a hypocrite.