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Tailing the Komets

Today's story

There's been a debate going all spring about the validity of changing the United Hockey League name to the International Hockey League. The owners may have disbanded the UHL and started fresh with the IHL, though the fans see a different name but the same teams, coaches and players. 

Many fans believe the renamng is an insult to the former IHL which folded in 2001 (the Komets left in 1999) and tarnishes those players' accomplishments. No matter what the name, they say, this new league will never equal what the IHL was and what it stood for.


There are some people who know something about hockey who disagree with that. On Thursday The News-Sentinel contacted all  the on-ice Komets -- nine  players and one coach -- who have had their jerseys retired for their reaction. Instead of being insulted, all 10 said they like the change and see the renaming as a sign of respect for what they did.


“It's almost like looking at the IHL as it went through its different eras,” said Colin Chin who retired in 1996. ``The league was a lot different back when Eddie (Long) and Lenny (Thornson) played versus the years in the 70s when there were more teams and it was a tougher brand of hockey. Then there's the era between then and when I came in  and then another when it became the NHL affiliates era. I think it's almost fitting to name it the IHL and the way I see it they are just starting a new era.''


Long, who retired in 1966, agrees wholeheartedly.


“I think it's really good,” Mr. Komet said. “If it wasn't for the founding fathers of the league there wouldn't be hockey here, I think this is going to bring back some of the old rivalries amd that will stimulate things. I hope they have learned that more franchises are not the answer. I like this a lot.”



Posted in: Komets


Fri, 06/29/2007 - 7:16am

At its end, the UHL was quite a bit different from the IHL at its demise, especially in talent level. The IHL was considered Class AAA minor league hockey and the UHL Class AA.

Fri, 06/29/2007 - 7:59am

I know it won't but this should settle a lot of the arguements about how the IHL should do and why the Frankes shouldn't move to the AHL. THese people KNOW hockey. We need to listen to them and respect their opinion.

Fri, 06/29/2007 - 9:19am

i posted once before that this was an opportunity to honor those from the past and keep their names and legacies alive and what shouted down by some know it alls. this article just proves what i was trying to get accross. just stop complaining about things that you have no idea about and lets go for the high road and try to get this thing off the ground and be successful. if it works then, what a great model for the rest of minor hockey it will be!

Fri, 06/29/2007 - 9:20am

I have to admit I was suprised they were all as positive as they were, and I was totally shocked they wanted to use the records. I thought for sure they'd be completely opposed to that, but they were the ones who brought it up.

The great thing about having all this tradition is that these guys are never short of opinions. They are a lot of fun to talk to and work with every time.

Tony E
Fri, 06/29/2007 - 9:21am

I think Eddie Long said it all.

Fri, 06/29/2007 - 10:21am

This is great, I hope this puts to rest all the crap being said out the New IHL and gives it some credibility. I am sick and tired of all the negativity. Maybe that hack Peoria reporter should read this and mind his own business about our AA league and leave the hockey reporting to Blake.

Junior (chaulker07)
Fri, 06/29/2007 - 11:21am

Great reporting Blakes!!!

The negativity gets me down and it's always good to people pick it up with the people that mattered most in the IHL!!

Fri, 06/29/2007 - 2:45pm

Well -- there -- you -- go.
Great information.

Fri, 06/29/2007 - 3:25pm

Brad? David? Rochester Charlie? Calling any and all Nabobs. Comments welcome.

Fri, 06/29/2007 - 4:37pm


Excellent article. Having been there, the former players know what they're talking about. I was'nt sure how some of them would feel about the possibility of putting back into competition the old silverware and the old historical records.

However, if they are in favor of it, then I would hope that their wishes will be taken into account when a decision regarding that is made.

Do you have an idea of when such a decision might be made?

Also, I'm of the opinion that the majority, if not all of those old records from the original IHL era will never be broken.

Fri, 06/29/2007 - 4:37pm

I greatly enjoyed today's article Blake. It makes sense; and now I'm convinced we should also bring back the old record book and trophies. This *is* the IHL, and we should all just think of it that way.

Hit Somebody!!!
Fri, 06/29/2007 - 5:03pm

Great Article. Can we sign Fletcher to a contract?

I think these guys are on to something. I think opening night ought to be about the great tradition of the IHL and they should go all out to promote that. Use these old-timers.....I mean young timers.....to be spokesmen for the IHL and sell the thing. Anytime Fletcher, Chin, Irons, Boyce, etc. do anything to promote hockey in this town...people surely listen and take notice. Let's leave the UHL in the dust and go for a new chapter of the IHL. This is sounding good. They are really on to something and it ought to be fun to watch this thing blossum into a league that everyone is excited about. I say good for the Frankes and the rest of the league. Keep up the good work.

Sign some players please!

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Fri, 06/29/2007 - 6:01pm

[...] Today’s story There

Charlie I
Fri, 06/29/2007 - 8:30pm

Boyce won't come back because of twister's mouth.

Fri, 06/29/2007 - 9:00pm

Sounds like a fair trade. Boyce comes back and Twister sits down!

Hit Somebody!!!
Fri, 06/29/2007 - 10:49pm

There have been times where I think the old lard arse is going to fall over....he just keeps going and going and going....My favorite moment of the Twister was this past season when he went into the rafters to sit 2 rows beneath a couple of 12 year olds making out.....it was hillarious. They were playing tongue hockey and the twister was all smiles. Priceless.

Sat, 06/30/2007 - 4:47am

That's probably as close to it as he ever gets.

Tim Hoke
Sat, 06/30/2007 - 10:17am

Wow was i ever glad to read the comments from the former Komet greats! They all know what they are talking about and to ignore them would make any negative people pure idiots. Lets get this new IHL going and form and new great league. Now hopefully I wont have to listen to anymore uninformed bullcrap from Pat White on WOWO!!! Go Komets and Go IHL!!!

Jerad Shaw
Sat, 06/30/2007 - 1:14pm

The Twister is the most loyal fan that the Komets have. He is the one thing that still remains from the glory days of Komet hockey. To take cheap shots are him is just like most of the people on this board. As much time, effort, and money that he has put into the Komets, he can say and do anything he wants. He is definately much better to see then the "Cotton Eye Joe" guy at the Fusion games. WOW

Sat, 06/30/2007 - 1:21pm

No, Jerad he can't say and do anything he wants. Komets fans are supposed to behave with class.

Sat, 06/30/2007 - 3:21pm

3You rang Skate?? So the IHL is excepted by the "old" timers blah blah blah...It still will not compare to that league at all because in the later days of the IHL that was as close to AAA hockey FW had..I will stand by my opinion that the IHL is and will not be considered by the Hockey World as a AA league. If you want to compare it to anything maybe the senior leagues in Quebec. Congrats to the Frankes and the rest of the owners for keeping hockey going in the Midwest, but if this league can not sustain the current members and add 4 to 6 more teams the chances of this league surviving are minimal. If that occurs then the Frankes will be at a crossroads look to join another league or look to sell the club because of the cost. I will give credit to them for trying to create something new with a different approach and by midyear the hated rivals of old will be established. While I have taken a "negative" slant on this issue it is time to look forward to the upcoming season, though I did not renew my season tickets, I will attend some games to see what type of hockey that will be played. I hope for the old days of the IHL when the games could at any moment explode into 5 man battle royal. So please sign some players.

Charlie I
Sat, 06/30/2007 - 5:03pm

I sure wasn't takeing a shot at twister. I was just stating a pure fact of why Boyce will never return to the coliseum for Hockey. If you remeber boyce sent an editorial into the paper about this. If he isn't coming back it must have been bad.

Charlie I
Sat, 06/30/2007 - 5:11pm


Sunday July 1st starts a new tourney. Congrats to Iceman on winning June (do you blog?). I am going to start prizes for the monthly winners when the hockey season starts as I feel I can get more people during the season then in the summer. So right now it will still be bragging rights. If anyone needs a daily reminder to play send me an email at itt79@hotmail.com and put in the subject line Trivia and I will send a email reminder everyday.

Thanks to everyone that has played. I hope it has been a diffrent alternitive after reading the blog.

Tony E
Sat, 06/30/2007 - 5:28pm

I hope Boyce would not stay away because of one person but who knows what the circumstances were.
David I do not fondly remember the last couple of years of the IHL. There may have been "names" but what I saw was a bunch of overpaid lazy veterans coasting back and forth. Sure the Russian line was great but can anyone tell me why the opposition allowed them to ballet dance up and down the ice? Where was Jock Collander or one of the other villains to knock one of them through the boards? The answer is most of those players stopped caring the last 2 seasons. I don't want to see that hockey again.

Sat, 06/30/2007 - 5:42pm

the glory days of komet hockey? i didnt see him in the early 60s. most loyal fan? can say what he wants? didnt know there were rules like that. if thats true then i can say whatever i want and when i want casue other than skate i dont remember any of you from the glory days!! who cares what the rest of hockey thinks of the ihl? nobody was lining up to help the league., so who cares??? all iknow is im a ft wayne komet fan and i can go anywhere in the us and canada with a komet hat on and someone will acknowledge the komets. thats all that matters besides some cheap entertainment and fun!!

Sat, 06/30/2007 - 8:45pm

Why didn't we get more of the Rockford players that were available. Who did the picking in this draft anyway? I personaly don't think they did a good job of picking players. Here comes a long season. We didn't pick well. I fell sorry for Al Sims and what he has to work with.

The other thing is I wish the Frankies would stop living in the past and just move on with things. Changing the name of the league isn't going to change anything in the long run.

Sat, 06/30/2007 - 9:07pm

you really dont know how good they did in the draft cause you dont know any of the inside particulars. they already made a lot of changes along with the name, so i guess you havent been paying attention?? how can anybody be so negative when you dont even know how things will shape up? they go t one of the better d men in the league along with some young good goal scorers. the rockford guys probably have all committed to follow martinson or stay for a chance with rockfords new team. the frankes and sime talked to lots of agents so im sure they had a good idea who was and who wasnt worth a pick.

Tony E
Sat, 06/30/2007 - 9:18pm

Who are the Frankies?

Tony E
Sat, 06/30/2007 - 9:19pm

chuckitt and you thought it was bad when I brought up the Cubs ;-)

Tony E
Sat, 06/30/2007 - 9:39pm

I have done some research and have found The Frankies! And if they made the picks for the Komets, maybe there IS a problem