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Tailing the Komets

Talking with Jorde

Just for you, Hit Somebody! I tried to ask Ryan Jorde all the questions of yours that I could remember.

Blake Sebring: What's the fighting etiquette out there?

Ryan Jorde: I think that's just the fights I've had where I've beat on some guys pretty good and my reputation from the “A'' and stuff. I don't think too many guys want to mess with me. Actually it works in my favor anyways because then they don't run around and I can actually worry about playing then.

BS: How often do you ask a guy to go?

RJ: It depends on the situations. Most nights I have to stay on the ice, me and Neumie and Guy and Rob are on the ice quite a bit so Coach needs us on the ice as much as possible some nights. It all depends on the score. Tonight was a night where possibly if something could have happened it would have, but the only chance was at the end and that Stewart guy got kicked out of the game anyways.

BS: Wilcox was buzzing around.

RJ: He never even said a word to me. I was waiting for him to. I kind of gave him a little hook and he looked back at me and skated out of it. I thought as soon as he got on the ice with me he was going to start something, which would have been fine with me. I'm always up for a little tussle, even at 6-1. He didn't even say two words to me or look at me.

BS: How frustrating is it when you want to go and you can't get somebody to go with you?

RJ: I'll give you two cases, the two nights against Rockford. Big Snake won't go near me most nights. I've been trying for him all season. I beat him up pretty bad in junior, and he remembers it I think. And he got kicked out of the game in Rockford, and then sat out the game here. There are nights when I definitely want to have some fun, but I have no dance partner. That's been the case a lot this year. Then you just worry about playing good defense and helping the team win.

BS: You've been doing that. I think you are plus-12 for the month (March).

RJ: I think I'm plus-24 right now. Things have been going better for us. The last two years I've been injured and I haven't played a lot. It was taking me a while to get back in the swing of things. I think I'm definitely ready to help this team make a run in the playoffs.

BS: Some of the fans have been ripping on you because they want you to fight more. Do you want to fight more?

RJ: Oh, yeah. I'll fight every night, but there's either circumstances where no one will fight me, or the situation is not right. I can't fight in a 2-1 game. The five minutes I lose might be three shifts out there for Neumie and I. Otherwise there's no one who will fight me. The last game at home against Rockford there was nobody there. Stewart is a middleweight. Wilcox

Posted in: Komets


Mon, 04/03/2006 - 2:12pm

Jorde's contract with the Sabers is up I believe and that is why he was allowed to play a game or two with Grand Rapids.

Tony E
Mon, 04/03/2006 - 2:20pm

Ed, are you willing to pay $20 and up for a ticket to an AHL game? I think if you asked most folks in Fort Wayne the answer would be no.

Mon, 04/03/2006 - 2:30pm

We will see how good Perioa does with their AHL team. That town is similiar to the Fort and has been a lower level minor league town for years. Tony right now my upper arena ticket is $19.00 so a $1.00 differnece is no big deal

Mon, 04/03/2006 - 2:43pm

Blake it would be interesting if you could get Galbraith to do an interview on this topic from a forward's perspective. Thanks for doing this with Jorde and although we all have a difference in opinion on this subject we all have valid points I believe. Tony I read the link on the article on Big Snake and that is something that happen a couple of years ago and by the way he is performing on the ice maybe he has grown up some. He is only 21 yrs old.

Tony E
Mon, 04/03/2006 - 2:58pm

David I know and just as I believe age and experience have made Jim Duhart a better player/person I am think the same may happen with Robin.
I have friends up in Canada who are First
Nations and I know the struggles in life they endure. Some of them live in reserves where not every house has a toilet. The drug, drinking and suicide rates are sky high. I am sure some of this is the cause of his anger and aggression. If he can channel it as he matures, it will serve him well. The guy can certainly play but how hard is it as an opposing player to get him in the penalty box. Picture it, game 7 of the playoffs, tie game.... Big Snake has been a force all series. We don't want him on the ice late where he can hurt us...lets send out Jeff Worlton to GOAD (lol I got it) him into a fight so we can get him off the ice. Teams did that to Lance earlier this season.
I saw Big Snake play in the OHL with Owen Sound. He scored plenty but also put his team in penalty situations far too often. Lets see where he is when he is 25. He will either be playing at the AHL level or be out of hockey. I don't wish bad for him. I would rather see a guy with his talent have a long career whether it be for a team I like or not. Right now though I would not want him on my team. At this time he is Ron Artest in skates.

Tony E
Mon, 04/03/2006 - 3:04pm

Blake I would like to see that article as well. Lance has had to learn when to and when not to drop the gloves. Recently he has let his crushing hits do most of the talking.
You know what else, how about getting coach to share his thoughts. I know he doesn't open up easily but I would like to know what he tells his guys. Does he encourage or discourage fighting. When does he send a guy out with the express purpose of "sending a message".
David I know that some of the tickets are close to $20 but there are alot that are $8-$14. Do you think that 7000 folks would all be willing to pay $20? I don't think so but maybe I am wrong.
Not living there doesn't allow me to absorb the current economic sentiment around town.

Mon, 04/03/2006 - 4:30pm

David and Tony, as regards AHL pricing, many years ago I followed closely the Binghamton, NY AHL club (when they were the Dusters and then the Whalers). I checked the web and currently Binghamton Senators tickets are $15.50 along the side and $14.50 on the ends. This is in a building that holds under 5000 for hockey, in an area only a fraction of the size of Fort Wayne, and not one that is particularly affluent. I'm not saying that going to the AHL is a good idea. (I like the more limited region the UHL covers and enjoy the play.) But I think there are cost/price models that could work in our area if there was ownership interest in moving to AHL play.

Mon, 04/03/2006 - 4:35pm

What I meant to say Tony is not that Domber has a reputation as a fighter but that he has a reputation of holding his own during fights. LOL I think I have a reputation of not always typing what I actually mean to say..

Mon, 04/03/2006 - 5:12pm

As I posted before, FW will NEVER move to the AHL because Dave Franke, a Komets owner, would be out of a job. As long as things are going well in the UHL and they are drawing 7,500 per game, you won't see any major changes. On the ice or behind the bench.

Having an entertaining, aggressive, fighting team and winning hockey games are not mutually exclusive propositions.

ie, Rockford amd Danbury.

Tony E
Mon, 04/03/2006 - 5:13pm

I looked over ticket prices and it looks like more teams are offering cheaper seats. It didn't used to be that way but possibly after the lockout that has changed.
I know Justin Cohn talked to the Frankes and it is my understanding they feel that it is not an economic viability in Fort Wayne. Partially because of ticket prices and partially because of the extra operating expenses (travel, salaries etc). I love the AHL and the Komets certainly have the facilities and the front office to operate a succesful franchise. Whether the finances will work seems to be the question.

Mon, 04/03/2006 - 5:28pm

Yes because the bottom line is a lot better in the UHL than the AHL. They also do not want a NHL organization telling them how to run things. For an AHL team to come to Fort Wayne it would have to be without the Frankes in charge and I would not be willing to see that happen. If they raise ticket prices again next year then I think the K's will see attendance start to decline. They do not pay rent on the coliseum and that is a huge perk

Mon, 04/03/2006 - 5:41pm

ahl would be fun but i know the costs are pretty high. the biggest cost which a lot of people dont understand is the money the komets would have to pay their parent team for the priviledge of receiving their players. thats one cost we dont have now. so besides that and throw in the franchise fee the ks would have to pay and i think our $19 tickets would probably be around $25.

Mon, 04/03/2006 - 6:41pm

Those other teams also own their buildings so they get all the concessions and parking as well. Komets don't have that option. They don't even get the revenue from the tickets to their games used in the suites. Different circumstances. Don't forget there's also a surcharge on every FW ticket, too, from the coliseum.

I'm still not convinced any but the top two or three AHL teams are making money. The attendance numbers just don't make sense. Their travel budgets must be unreal, along with their player salaries/affiliation fees.

I tell you what, if I had money to invest (ha, ha), the last place I'd put it is in any hockey team and any level.

Mon, 04/03/2006 - 7:17pm

Blake how about doing this type of Q & A with Lance? Be interesting to get his perspective.

Hit Somebody!!!
Mon, 04/03/2006 - 8:29pm

This is neither here nor there so to speak....but backing up to an earlier comment about people wanting to run Lance out of town for him taking bad penalties earlier in the year, I think that is not the whole story. It was because he came in sold to the fans as a tough, energy type forward that could put the puck in between the pipes, and even he would admit earlier this year, he didn't live up to his hype. He started to play awesome after his LOA from the team. Before the injury, he was our only energy guy, willing to hit, fight, score, and do the dirty work in front of the net, and by the way, he was doing very well. So well, that I think he was carrying this team. We are a much better team with him. Much more fun to watch also. I think this is the point that guys like David, Chuckitt, and Skate is trying to make. We play so much better when Lance is out there doing his thing. It takes pressure off the other guys and allows everyone to play much more relaxed. He is a huge key to our playoff success. He is the type of player that puts "cheeks in the seats" in Fort Wayne.

Tony E
Tue, 04/04/2006 - 7:34am

I agree Hit. It just sounds sometimes like all folks want to see is fighting. I know Fort Wayne fans better than that. Remember the Russian Line? Those guys didn't fight (though Butsy didn't mind getting his elbows dirty) but people really enjoyed their high flying style. At that time, they were the ones putting people in the building more than the antics of Andy
Bezeau or whoever the goon at the time was. There are many ways to be entertained at a hockey game. Fighting/rough stuff is a part of it but should never be the focal point or the sole reason someone comes to watch a hockey game. It would be like someone who doesn't follow Nascar only turning it on to watch the crashes. Sure the wrecks are cool to see as long as nobody gets hurt but there is alot more to appreciate besides the smashed in cars. (of course just my opinion)

Tue, 04/04/2006 - 9:02am

Can we please put the Lance early in the season stuff to bed? I'll say this: If any of you knew the details, you'd cut him a ton of slack because we've all been there. That wasn't the true player he is. Everything we've seen since is, and I don't think anyone has any questions about that, do they?

And yes, he was taking a ton of dumb penalties early in the year! LOL.

Tue, 04/04/2006 - 9:09am

Tony we are not advocates of goon hockey, if I want to see that I will rent Slap Shot or try to pick up internet feeds of LNAH. We have lost a style of hockey that is has been apart of komet hockey for years. It was what made the jungle the jungle. I remember when Franke first took charge of the K's and one of his first promises was to keep hockey in the Fort and to bring a rough and entertaining team to the ice. He has stated that same slogan year after year and this year he feel short of that and then tried to blame "rule" changes, reduced roster size, and how the game has changed. Has hockey changed this year in the U, yes, and some would say too much, but just look at the box scores over the last several weeks between Muskegon, Kzoo and Rockford they have had some great games with the physical stuff. Rockford and Danbury have had some tilts. All we are saying when a game is in hand and it 6-1 and you have a guy like Stewart on the ice taking liberties we want someone to go pound him and not wait to be "challenged". I have come to really like Lindsay a guy who at first I thought was not very good. He has improved in his overall game and one big part of that change has been the chip he is carrying on his shoulder. He has mixed up lately more so than any Komet. I like that in a player he can play any style and is not afraid to give a good ole face wash. I would like Rumble more if he played a more physical game he has a great shot, is big and strong, but he goes unoticed because he lacks a phyiscal style. IMO we have too many of the same type of player and need more balance. I would take another Galbraith type of player and that is why I would have like to see Littlehjohn on our roster. But overall Hit, Skate, Chuckitt, and myself get it, may not accept it, but we get it. We will be at games with anticipation that just maybe something of entertaining value will happen. We want wins first and foremost period. And if on that rare occasion someone may drop the gloves we will be there with all the faithful shouting Kick his A...

Tue, 04/04/2006 - 9:19am

Blake we want the Q & A that you did with Jorde, but with Lance.. Can that happen. He has seen a lot of games from the stands it would be interesting to see what he observes and if he is taking numbers down.

Tue, 04/04/2006 - 9:30am

I tried calling him today but he's on the trip. I won't be able to get to it now until at least next week.

Tony E
Tue, 04/04/2006 - 2:01pm

I hear you David and I certainly respect your opinions (as well as everyone on here) and your passion for the Komets and hockey.

Blake I apologize if I was sounding critical of Lance. I think it was obvious he had something in his life going on that affected his play because as soon as he got back from his leave he was a different player. I am happy that it appears he got his personal and hockey situations turned in a positive direction.

Tue, 04/04/2006 - 2:10pm

He's a very happy camper here now.

Tony E
Tue, 04/04/2006 - 3:04pm

I hope so. He is the type of guy that folks wouldn't mind having stay around a few years and maybe settling down in Fort Wayne.

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 04/04/2006 - 4:42pm

Blake, I mean Dad (jokingly), just to clarify the Lance in the early season stuff, I don't think anyone was criticizing him or what he went through personally, I was just stating the obvious I thought. He started out poorly, after his break, he came out a totally different player. I think I even said that he is our most important player, maybe best overall player. That is coming from me, the guy that questioned his skill early on this year. Now I love him, not like that though. He is our entertainment factor, and does lots of great things out there. You could argue that he should be the MVP.

Good observations on Lindsay, David. He has stepped it up. He is putting it on the line out there every night. He takes the body, he has fought, he takes chances out there on offense also. He has played pretty darn good. I like his "no fear" style. Hope that doesn't get him waived like many others who have played like him.

Tue, 04/04/2006 - 4:57pm

Blake, You mean to tell me alllllllll those teams in the AHL are losing money. I don't think so. You make it sound like Ft. Wayne could barely make it in the AHL. Someone has fed you a line or two about the AHL.

Look at teams in the UHL. Half of them can barely make it on this little shoestring budget. The UHL for the most part is a mickey mouse league. If the truth be know we would do just fine in the AHL.

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 04/04/2006 - 5:15pm

The age-old question here still remains....would this fan base pay the ticket prices to support the AHL where players come and go like that of the Wizards situation, constantly. It would be very hard to follow a team that everytime you start enjoying a player or two, they move on. I don't think most current season ticket holders would be willing to pay double or so more each year. What would we really gain in Hockey for the money? I like where we are at for the most part. Would like to see the league mature some and develop more into a closer region of teams to increase rivalries and better travel. The AHL would be worse for both of those issues. I don't want to go back to the last couple of years in the IHL either. That wasn't a fun situation at all.

Wed, 04/05/2006 - 4:38am

Jorde comes off pretty cocky in his statements about other tough guys in the league. My question is, why didn't he stick up for his teamate when Dave Stewart has gone after Dom two games in a row.

Wed, 04/05/2006 - 11:52am

It's pretty easy to figure out in the AHL.

Manchester 0 310,389 36 8,622
W-B/Scranton 0 285,082 35 8,145
Manitoba 0 301,654 38 7,938
Chicago 0 278,018 36 7,723
Hershey 0 299,995 39 7,692
Rochester 0 254,107 36 7,059
Philadelphia 0 258,347 37 6,982
Providence 0 251,744 37 6,804
Grand Rapids 0 240,239 38 6,322
Houston 0 212,435 37 5,741
Syracuse 3,904 194,652 36 5,407
Iowa 0 191,908 37 5,187
Hartford 0 184,944 37 4,998
Milwaukee 0 194,325 39 4,983
Hamilton 0 182,452 37 4,931
Portland 0 177,120 37 4,787
Peoria 0 170,939 36 4,748
Toronto 0 158,927 36 4,415
San Antonio 0 155,535 36 4,320
Norfolk 0 151,843 36 4,218
Binghamton 0 149,656 37 4,045
Albany 0 151,703 38 3,992
Bridgeport 0 140,144 39 3,593
Lowell 0 132,606 37 3,584
Cleveland 0 128,514 37 3,473
Springfield 0 124,334 36 3,454
Omaha 0 119,797 38 3,153

League 3,904 5,401,409 998 5,412

Educated guess is that anything under 5,000 is losing money or scraping by. Say they average $10-$12 REVENUE per ticket. That's only at the most $1.5 million in revenue for the year on a $2.5-$3 million budget. I believe, not positive, but NHL affiliations cost between $800,000 and $1.2 million, plus they don't give you all the players anymore so you have to go out and sign 5-6 free agents. Office staffs are also larger, as is workers compensation (up to $300,000 in some places), insurance costs, travel costs (up to $250-$500,000), league fees (around $150,000), housing, etc. It's not that hard to figure it out. That doesn't even take into account any revenue for advertising or concessions or parking (The Komets don't get concessions or parking or suites). When Kalamazoo draws $4,500, it's equivalent to the Komets drawing 8,000 because the Wings get the concessions and parking.

Advertising revenue and souvenirs combined are big, but not that big.

Why do you think the AHL has either A) lost so many teams or B) moved so many teams over the past few years? Why isn't Cincinnati playing anymore? That was a good hockey town, or Salt Lake, or Las Vegas? Why are all the teams in the ECHL South dying?

It's not rocket science. I simply don't believe FW fans will pay $5 more per ticket to go to the AHL. I know a lot of you would, but not enough to make it financially feasible. I miss those days, too, but we've got to be realistic.

Wed, 04/05/2006 - 11:55am

I also don't believe the sole focus of the AHL is winning as much as it is developing NHL players, and I don't think that would ever go over here. FW fans demand to win. The first time the coach puts a rookie on the power play instead of a veteran because the NHL wants it that way, FW fans would scream bloody murder, not to mention losing your best players at playoff time because the NHL wants to expand its playoff roster.

I might be wrong, but I wouldn't be willing to risk any of my money on it.

Fri, 04/07/2006 - 11:17am

good article.....and smart play......you fight when it helps the game, not hurts it! jorde is a smart fighter.