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Tailing the Komets

Talked to Dennis Hextall

I talked to him to preview the upcoming IHL meetings next week asked him about Muskegon.

``To my knowledge, and I can't verify this, there is a USHL team coming in and the Lumberjacks are also staying. I have not talked to the owners in the last couple of days. I don't have a confirmed answer to give you as I haven't heard from the ownership, but that's what I'm hearing on the street. To my knowledge the Muskegon team has done pretty well this year at the gate, and I think this is a very viable league to stay in.''

There will be more of our discussion in Wednesday's paper.

Posted in: Komets


Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:27pm

I believe Dennis Hextall to a honorable man. With a name like Dennis he just about has to be. I am willing to except his comments at face value as the truth. At least as he knows it to be. That is good enough for me. Ha has done a very good job of getting around the League and staying touch with owners. He sure has a whole lot more credibility and respect than Paully Picardy.

Frozen Water
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:31pm

Was that a Freudian slip on the word "except"?

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:41pm

Sooooo in this economy, they expect Muskegon to support 2 teams and both to be even remotely profitable???

Blake Sebring
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 2:06pm

Maybe. Muskegon's owners run the building and maybe they need the other team to fill the dates. They are doing the same thing now with an AAHL team. Maybe that team won't be there.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 2:08pm

Frozen Water--Would you believe a spelling error. You got my point. I can tell.

Frozen Water
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 2:16pm

Yes, I would, hence the comment. You make a lot of them, just this one seemed to fit in perfectly for a Freudian slip, which made it humorous. I'm sorry if the joke was lost on you, it was just clever how you'd written it. You write good things, just need to slow down a bit because sometimes it is hard to understand what you're saying when you get excited. It wasn't a slam on your lack of spelling and grammar knowledge when you get typing too quickly, it was simply and observation. A thousand apologies.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 3:21pm

Frozen Water--You do not need to apologize. I more than anyone know my short comings. It's all George W's fault. I dish it out I must take it. The worst part is I do not drink Foo Foo's.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 3:23pm

Why are we hearing this through the Fort Wayne media and not from Musky's owners? Why hasn't Hextall even spoken to Musky's owners yet? They should get on the record ASAP and clear the air if the Jacks really are coming back in the IHL next year. Rumors like this can be very damaging to a franchise...

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 5:48pm


It is nothing new that we have get news form other media outlets ouside of Muskegon for news information regarding the team here. Although much, much better than the past, articles and or blogs ae very few and far between compared to most of the other outlets covering teams across the leauge.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 5:56pm

Dennis: My policy is that it is rude to assume someone is a liar when you've only just met them. Unless they are a used car salesman, because I don't even think they're human.

Regarding Muskegon: So... It's not the end of the world as we know it? :D

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 6:01pm

What I've been "hearing on the street" is the following..

Schrocky is the real deal... 3rd on the team in goals.

Blake called this in training camp. Well done, Superfan. :-)

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 6:03pm

The commish's statement reminds me of a Kid Rock quote.. "I was born at night, but not last night baby.."

Or the classic, "Don't pee on my leg and tell me its raining".

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 6:23pm

It sounds like the Lumberjacks will not be in the LC Walker next year from what has been said. The West Michigan Blizzard should remain in the LC Walker next year. Also who in there right mind thinks Flint will be back. You have to be crazy as we all know the K-Wings buy out agreement has kept them a float this year,

Hit Somebody!!!
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 6:55pm

To me, Flint could be fixable. Brendan Savage has done a great job at PR there this season, even though it isn't his job, they have had some decent crowds when the word gets out.....that being said, the part that is encouraging in Flint to me is this.....The Arena is finally sitting there for easy pickings as the Good Doctor that used to own it, is in default of the mortgage, and the company that has taken over the building financially has put money into the building (heating system that works) and most likely will be looking to deal Perani to someone who wants to keep Hockey in that arena. This might be perfect timing to actually grow the hockey again in that area with a fresh start.

First they need to can Peter South. He has to go. He is in the way of progress there.

I am skepticle of Muskegon having 2 teams, one in the IHL and one in the USHL. I can't see it working. They have trouble supporting the IHL team fully...how in the heck do you run 2 teams up the citizen's backsides there???

I don't get it.

Nice job Super Fan getting the Commish to talk. You da Man.

Blake Sebring
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 7:09pm

Hit, they have two teams there NOW with the AAHL team. The USHL team should be even cheaper than that.

Hit Somebody!!!
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 7:26pm

But the USHL draws more fans on average than the IHL does.....I think, right? The USHL is a direct competitor of the IHL right now looking to put teams in place of IHL, CHL, or ECHL teams. The AAHL is a joke. How well is that team drawing in Muskegon? I don't think the USHL is wanting to go into Musky to attract 200 or 300 fans....and what I am saying is, I think that crowd there is an either or. I doubt you would see 3500 at a FuryJack game and 3500 at a USHL game. It will be lopsided one way or the other, and that would be failure for either league on the low-end.

Frozen Water
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 7:32pm

Dschebig: Believe me, I am the owner of a stack of shortcomings you could never compare to or comprehend. If having typos when you're really into something is your main one, I think you've got absolutely nothing to worry about my friend.

In other news, tell me if I'm reading the above wrong, but Hextall did not say the situation with Muskegon ISN'T happening did he? I am not nearly as informed as the vast majority of the rest of you, but that's how I read it. I do like reading everyone's take on this though. I also agree with the statements from one of the other topics on here that some have made about feeling as if we should be able to know before purchasing our season tickets for next season (or not, depending on the case).

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 7:57pm

Frozen Water--I have never know Dennis Hextall to "Bob & Weave" I am pretty sure he answered Blake with what he honestly knows at that moment.
I don't fully understand all of these lower leagues other than that have very low pay-rolls. The JR. teams are young guys who are playing for basicly room and board. I think it would be possible to field both teams in Muskegon. The lower leagues would just have to draw a few people to pay for travel. A few sponsors pick up some of the exspenses. I could even work in the Fort. They would have to play at McMillan but it could be done. Schedules could only conflict on a few dates with the Komets to work. High School Hockey is really what I think everyone is taking about only maybe a step up. I know I have just left myself wide open here. I fully admit I may know nothing of what I speak. So Let me have it. If I can handle a "Redhead" in my box I can take anything.

Hit Somebody!!!
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 8:02pm

You just said a mouthful DS. Yikes.

Blake Sebring
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 8:13pm

Dennis, how did it go with a redhead in the box? Wendy, any comment?

Hit Somebody!!!
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 8:16pm

The story coming from sources that broke this story is that Hextall is feeding everyone a line of crap and that it is more likely that the USHL and the LumberJacks will be in Muskegon next season.....meaning they are the samething. Muskegon LumberJacks in the USHL. No IHL. Straight from multiple people who say they talked to the owners. It is just a rumor I know. But Hextall did say that:

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 8:24pm

Blake--Wendy will be in the box this Wednesday. There should be a headset and a seat for her. There might be a story for you out this. One way or the other it will be interesting.

Tue, 02/02/2010 - 12:48am

I get a headset, too? Cool. I don't have to wear a suit, do I? You guys don't, and I'm off duty. Here's a pre-comment comment for you: Bring it on.

Tue, 02/02/2010 - 8:31pm

Here's an article from Bloomingtons Pantagraph that quotes Dennis Hextall about 1/2 thru the article about the Musky situation. No mention from Hextall about 2 teams in Musky next year...


Frozen Water
Tue, 02/02/2010 - 9:47pm

JR: Looks like he has a different story for everyone he talks to. He told Blake he hadn't heard anything, now he's heard they are looking into the USHL. Hope it all works out, no matter what he does/doesn't know.

Tue, 02/02/2010 - 10:16pm

Some pretty serious stuff going on here. C'mon lets get real about things. The league may be at a crossroads and here we are wasting time and space over something so insignificant as who is sitting with Dschebig and whether or not she wears a "suit" or has a headset. I don't care where Wendy sits during the game. I am hoping that next year you, Wendy, and I, have a league that is fairly recognizable to the IHL of today. Some unimportant things have gotten way out of whack.

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 02/02/2010 - 10:20pm

So there!!!

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 02/02/2010 - 10:28pm


This is far different than what Hextall said to Blake.....why has his story changed?

"I know they are looking at options," Hextall said in an interview via cell phone. "At this point, Muskegon is in our league, and until someone says they're moving, they're with us."

League meetings are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Detroit.

"If they are leaning (toward the USHL), I hope we can sway them back to where they are," Hextall said. "We don't need another Kalamazoo."

Sounds like this thing is done. Muskegon is gone, and the league better have a good back-up plan, or teams in this league better have decisions in place as to what they do next....move into new leagues or fold their team. Seems simple to me. I can't see the IHL surviving this one. Doom and Gloom. Negative Nellie. Whatever crap you want to call me, but it would take some serious miracles to save this league now. Miracles in the form of real hockey towns with real arenas, real fans, real interest, and real ownership.

I smell a either the Komets in a different league, or something new coming down the pike all together. Fragments of leagues joining together??? We'll have to see.

Tue, 02/02/2010 - 10:48pm

We'll see.

I may or may not sit by Schebig on the bus.

The instability of minor league hockey as a whole is a given, I've accepted it, I wish everyone else could so we wouldn't have to have this discussion all year long all the time. Dead horse beating alert, dead horse beating alert.

I know one thing, the guardians of komet hockey will have hockey in fort wayne next year and whatever it turns out to be I will put my money on fort wayne being in the top 5 of all minor league hockey in attendance.

Why-because the 6 of us in my family all go for different reasons and not a one of us cares what league it is.

The real problem would be if Icy we're to leave.

Frozen Water
Tue, 02/02/2010 - 11:04pm

Hit: True, I guess he didn't say anything different. Just sounds like a bit of run around, but I could be reading it wrong.

Alan: While we can't agree on football, we think along very similar lines on hockey...