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Tailing the Komets

Stewart traded

Danny Stewart's next game in Memorial Coliseum won't be Thursday, it will be Jan.8. The Komets traded the popular winger this morning to Danbury for defenseman Ryan Jorde, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound defenseman. Because of injuries, the Komets desperately need defensemen.

“We need defenseman, and you've got to give up a good player to get a good player,'' Komets coach Greg Puhalski said. “They were looking for a Danny Stewart-type of player, and we're getting a stay-at-home defenseman who has played the last couple of years in the American League with Rochester. We need some help on the blue line, and this is what we need to do right now.''

Jorde, who is expected to be in the lineup Thursday, has no points and 10 penalty minutes in six games to far this season and is minus-5 on the plus-minus rating. He's 23 years old.

“This isn't something we just thought about because of the weekend,'' Puhalski said. “We hate to lose a player with Danny's popularity with the fans. He's been a good player for us. It's a matter of situation and circumstance. We're 3-7-2, and that's not good. We felt something needed to be addressed and we did what we felt was right for the team.''

Stewart, 26, has two goals and 36 penalty minutes in 11 games this season and is minus-11. This was Stewart's third season with the Komets. He was Fort Wayne's Rookie of the Year in 2003-04 and the Mr. Hustle Award winner the past two seasons.

“It is part of the business and I understand that, but I didn't see it coming,'' Stewart said. “You play for a team for over two seasons and all of a sudden you are gone just like that. I was very upset when it happened. At the same time I'm excited to go to Danbury and get a fresh start.

“The team has obviously struggled a little bit, but part of that is a shortage of bodies. Three-games-in-three-nights is hard enough and then your'e playing with four defenseman and eight forwards.

"Obviously my stats weren't there, but that comes with team success, too. I didn't think I was playing bad. Maybe I could have done a little more. I don't think my performance had something to do with me being traded, I think it was the team fulfilling a need they had on defense.

At practice this morning, Several Komets said they were stunned by the move.

“I'm totally surprised, mostly that a guy like Stewie is a fan favorite and is probably our hardest worker on the team,'' defenseman Guy Dupuis said. “Things weren't going as expected so the general manager and the coach decided they had to make a move somehow and improve our team. Somebody had to go, and unfortunately it was him.''

Puhalski said he's just going day-to-day on deciding whether to make more moves.

“First of all, it's part of the business,'' defenseman Troy Neumeier said. “The second thing is it just tells the rest of the guys that nobody is secure around here.''

Posted in: Blogroll, Komets


Tue, 11/22/2005 - 11:04am

I think that's stupid getting rid of Danny. He's always gave and gave for this team, like many of the guys. It's sad to see a decent guy like that leave. I think Chief and the Frankes better be thinking about how the fans are going to react to this because I don't think its going to be real positive.

Why didn't they use their last vet spot for a defenseman instead of getting rid of Danny?

Tue, 11/22/2005 - 3:01pm

I definitely did NOT see this one coming. I didn't see any foreshadowing of Blake Stewart being released, either, and now Danny?!! Does Puhulski have something against guys with the last name of "Stewart?" (I'm kidding) I'm hoping this is the last time they trade any of our top players. I can't bear the thought of seeing Drouin, Goodwin, Virag, or Neumeier being traded. Stewie is bad enough!

Neumeier is right: nobody's safe from the ax. I would have much rather seen Dupuis traded than Stewart, and, from the fans I talked to this weekend, they definitely would agree.

Tue, 11/22/2005 - 5:48pm

I honestly think the Komets management doesnt consider the fans when they make moves to improve the on-ice product. I know I wouldnt worry about them, The fans in Fort Wayne will show up anyways.

"We Got No Powerplay or Defense"
Tue, 11/22/2005 - 9:45pm

Don't be too sure about that Mark. Winning team equals cheeks in the seats. Losing team, all bets are off. These aren't the Chicago Cubs out there. I haven't missed a game for 6 or 7 years until Sunday's game. I chose to stay home and watch the Colts because of my frustration with this Hockey Team so far. The more casual Fort Wayne fans out there will not watch a losing team. We have trouble filling the arena with a Championship Team. Have you been to a Playoff game in the past 4 years?

I hate to see Danny Stewart go, but if this defenseman makes a difference in the wins and losses, great. I just hope this isn't another poor calculation on judging talent by the Frankes. They brought no one into camp this season that was a proven player at this level. Dupuis is washed up. Galbraith can talk a good game. We stuck with alot of players from previous years who were good players, but nothing new that is all that impressive. The loss of Venedam has been the most glaring. No one mentions the loss of Tom Nelson from last year, he was a good player. Maybe the one exception who was brought in is Mark Smith. If you look what Kalamazoo has done with their roster the last couple of years, they just continue to improve. So does Muskegon and Rockford. The one thing we have going for us in the long run if we can get over this rough start, is that we don't have to worry about call-ups. Rockford and Muskegon will probably both lose a number of players to the AHL as Rockford is always a revolving door.

Wed, 11/23/2005 - 5:30am

I really do miss seeing Nelly. It was as soon as he went down, that's when our team lost the cup. It just wasn't the same without him being there playing. I'm very please with Mark. When I first saw him in the exhibitions, I was very excited because I knew he would help this team out. The boys are just in a funk right now. Hopefully they can get out of it here so that the Frankes don't have to trade anymore quality players.

Wed, 11/23/2005 - 7:37am

The real change that needs to be made will never will because the Frankes like a "yes-man" behind the bench. Brilliant move...getting rid of about the only spark of energy we had on the team for a bit of AHL experience, which isn't always what it's cracked up to be. This team's chemistry is severely lacking, and this probably won't help matters.

Wed, 11/23/2005 - 11:34am

I think the point missed why the playoff attendance is bad is because most of the games occur on week days not week ends. Plus you never know when until a couple days before. I'm going to miss Danny to and I think there were a couple of other players they could have given up. I would have settled for Galbraith because right know I don't see that he's worth it.