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Tailing the Komets

Talked to Tim Taylor

The Muskegon GM and representative to the IHL Board of Governors.

``It is an industry problem,'' Taylor said. ``For years I have hoped that eveyrone could put the egos asside and sit down as an industry and find a solution that makes it work because it's a borken business model right now. Fort Wayne needs to be commended, not reprimanded. It's good for them and good for their fans that they have been able to maintain what they have.

``This isn't the fans' fault. They have done everything they can to support us. The injustry is broken and needs to be fixed. We were just weren't in the position to sit and wait and see what might have been.''

As for the IHL meetings:

``They had a pretty rigorous agenda, and I hope they can implement what they are talking about,'' Taylor said. ``If a league can succeed, it's going to be the IHL with some changes. They have some good ideas. There were just too many unknowns for us to wait.''

Taylor said the announcement came now because it was the best thing for the IHL, the Muskegon fans and the Lumberjack players who will need to find new employment next season.

``They need a collective discussion with all the minor pro teams starting at the AHL level and NHL level,'' Taylor said. ``I believe in the baseball feeder systems, and I think hockey would be suitable to do such a thing. Years ago there was talk of aligning teams (at different levels) 30-30-30. I hope for the game's sake that could become a reality. I hope the game doesn't suffer due to the business issues, but dollars aren't where they used to be. I think the industry as a whole is going to have some major, major changes coming this offseason.''

Posted in: Komets


Tue, 02/09/2010 - 9:29pm

Great job again, Blake.... Taylor has always been a straight shooter when you can wrestle him down for an interview...

Any thoughts about getting Lechenski for an interview, he may just be the wild card needed to get the IHL on track. A no nonsense kind of owner...

Thanks again for the leg work Blake...

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 9:31pm


Not sure what to make of this.

Someone help me.

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 9:38pm

I think he's basically hinting on a more regionalized minor league hockey landscape... People have always been asking why the NHL doesnt step in and formalize some type of minors system (like baseball)... The 30-30-30 idea... 30 AAA/30 AA/30 A teams all lined up and affliliated with an NHL team...

Blake Sebring
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 9:42pm

I can tell you exactly why: The NHL loves it when minor league teams fight over the affiliations and drive up the prices they pay for them. The NHL doesn't care about the minors other than that.

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 9:44pm

Score 1 Sebring

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 9:51pm

So they're driving up the cost of the franchises they are now starting to buy up??? Yep, sounds like NHL logic....

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 10:11pm

So is Musky just getting out of Minor Hockey to sit on the sidelines with a wait and see approach to things to see how all of this shakes out....and then if it looks right, they come back to "AA" hockey sometime soon?

Or are they sold on this USHL....or I should say, they are willing to experiment with it to see how it goes until the Minors reorganize?

How long could a regional sytem take to actually come together, work out the teams, levels, and so on? This could take forever, right?

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 10:27pm

There will never be a system in the NHL or NFL that is like MLB. Its too far along and would take too much money.

Didn't isiah thomas try to do something like this with the CBA?

I won't comment on the D league since we have a team in town because I can't say anything that would be a positive and yes I have been to some games.

Come to think of it why can't other minor league teams mirror the success of the Komets, could it be Ego, hey I can do it better on my own, my way! Do they all think if you throw a team on the ice they will come?

Why does Hit tip JR so well at hooters, I think these are questions we'll never know.

Until then I will be making orange foo foo's and taking blue and white pills, Tanning in 60 some odd days! Right here in good old indianatucky.

I think Schebig should do the national anthem before 1 game

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 11:01pm

Just thinking out loud here people.....

So the new fix for the IHL is to usher in Evansville next season.....before they have a new arena built......and add 1000 or so seats to their very small ice rink, I didn't say arena.....to get it to over 2000 seats and let that team limp around with no guarantees of the IHL going into the "new" arena that might someday be built in Evansville that at this moment is not built.....

So we bring in another Dayton....or worse, we have Flint, and Port Huron that draws flies...I mean they draw 1700 or so a game, Flint out-draws them this season. And you have Bloomington that has a problem with the arena they are in. And Quad City who makes me nervous with their out-clause in their IHL contract and comments over the past year from their owner that doesn't always make IHL fans sure if he is sure this is the league he wants to be in.

And I hear Chicago being thrown around again, and I hear some say there is no-way that will happen.

This league might as well bring in all the AAHL teams left and make them IHL members too. What is the difference here fellas?

This is a better plan than ECHL or AHL currently?

It must make more money to prop-up teams to play than it does to join a league that youu don't?

Is this what Michael means when he says good things are coming out of all of this? Losing Muskegon doesn't really hurt that bad??? Really?

Wed, 02/10/2010 - 12:06am


Wed, 02/10/2010 - 1:10am


The premise for the IHL was a smaller, mid-west footprint league, controlled expenses (ie no union for pay and signing/cutting flexability) and a firm salary cap, and rule modifications to bring back "old time hockey" with a more forgiving attitude towards fights, and financially solvent owners who could absorb a slow start and maybe a bad season now and then.

Obviously they blew the last one. As much as I dislike euro-hockey (hey, I'm still upset with Al Gore for inventing the shoot out) I think they need to rethink some of the rules so they can attract younger players.

As Tim said, "

Wed, 02/10/2010 - 1:41am

Steve, I understood what Blake was saying; but the latest trend has NHL team buying up franchises and putting them in the AHL in cities close to home... A couple off the top of my head are Anaheim, who bougtht the ECHL Bakersfeild franchise and will move them to the AHL, Carolina is buying the Albany franchise and moving them to Charlotte, St Louis owns the Riverman and they just renewed thier lease in Peoria... I would have to do some research beyond those...

Wed, 02/10/2010 - 5:38am

Albany & Bakersfield were in fact "fire" sales. They are going were they can control the buildings and everything that comes with it. The NHL teams want their players closer to the parent club. That can not happen in the Fort. The Coliseum is a "Fat Cat" taxpayer supported private club with Randy Brown at the head of it. JR--Build that arena and they will come! Please sell Foo Foo's! Jr. Sorry not very good humor but you get my drift.

Wed, 02/10/2010 - 7:46am

How were they fire sales Dennis??? Albany is in the last year of thier agreement with Carolina and they werent going to re-up because the Hurricanes wanted their affiliate closer to them, so they just bought out the Albany owner and is moving the franchise to Charlotte for next season.. The Bakersfeild owner sold to the Ducks then turned around and is buying or has bought the Las Vegas ECHL franchise..... Where's the fire sale?

The "build an arena and buy a team" is just a flat out ridiculous statement made by those who have run out of excuses...

Wed, 02/10/2010 - 8:24am

Randy Brown is now at fault? How? Because he doesn't charge the team rent if they get 5000 people thru the door? How unfair of him.

Wed, 02/10/2010 - 8:41am

JR, I think there are another one or two in western Canada and possibly Washington state but I'm not sure it's the NHL teams buying them. I was under the impression they are finding new owners.

Wed, 02/10/2010 - 10:21am

I think everyone needs to take a step back and look at the big picture. I do think the IHL is falling apart, you really do not have to be a genius to see this. They have some good ideas, but it isn't going to work. I think had their ideas been utilized 15 years ago, the league would have never eventually folded and it would be a strong league by now. However you have a new league (which the new IHL is) trying to make it in a bad economic time. Should the Komets jump to another league - given their success in attendance and fan support; that would be an ideal idea. However, sometimes the ideal just isn't possible at the time. In a way you have to commend the Frankes for wanting to make things work... it would be easy to just quit and move on. That compliment being stated, there also comes a time when you need to face reality and move on.

On a side note, I am down in Indy and have been to a few junior games. They are fun, but it is NIGHT & DAY different than watching a Komets game. Not necessarily worse, but just different. I think any hockey fans would enjoy watching new players trying to improve and make their way into the hockey world. Which is what makes the USHL fun down in Indy. I think Muskegon fans will enjoy seeing this, despite obviously a lower level of playing ability. But you also have a lot more heart being shown.

I'm pretty much rambling at this point, but just wanted to get a few thoughts out. Its hard to see the same comments made by the same people time and time again. However, thats what makes a blog fun... most of the time.

Wed, 02/10/2010 - 10:24am

I forgot to mention this in my above post, but Blake I respectfully disagree with your statement about the NHL not caring about the minor hockey leagues.

Wed, 02/10/2010 - 10:46am


Wed, 02/10/2010 - 3:17pm

Yeah steve, I know the new OK City AHL franchise will be individually owned and they are getting the Oilers franchise which they are pulling out of Springfeild, MA; but I know some are just buying franchises because they are tired of revolving owners...

Wed, 02/10/2010 - 5:08pm

Oklahoma City has supported hockey at lower levels in the past. It is a pretty good sports town. But another case of the AHL spreading itself further west is a head scratcher.

Wed, 02/10/2010 - 6:00pm

I know the oilers said in the release that they wanted an AHL franchise closer than the east coast where they had thier affiliate in Springfeild... The spreading out west, IMO, is due to the fact that teams like Anahiem want thier affiliates closer... Bakersfeild is alot closer and makes alot more sense for call-ups...

Its amazing that OK City was pulling in 6400 fans avg when they folded for losses getting too high, sounds like it may have been a management problem...