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Tailing the Komets

Update from camp

The guys are getting dressed to go out on the ice but here are a few updates:

* Travis Whitehead has signed a 25-game pro tryout contract with Norfolk and is off the Komets' roster for now.

* Vince Taratino is signing with the team, but he'll be going on injured reserve.

* Gary Graham is now a full-time assistant coach.

* The Komets have added local product Greg Leffler, a forward, and defenseman Zach Gieszler to the training camp roster. Gieszler is a friend of Brad MacMillan.

Posted in: Komets


Mon, 10/05/2009 - 12:06pm

Gary Graham has earned his spot as a fulltime assistant coach. I graduated from High School with him...Congrats Gary..

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 12:57pm

Make no mistake about it. With Hodgman gone, O'Connor gone, Curradeau gone, Hukalo hurt, and now Whitehead not coming this team desparately needs more offense. Syrocyznski will help but they are way short now. Please, before everyone jumps on me, think about it. Who have they signed that has shown in the past that they are scorers? Most are very young kids and that is fine, but they now need to get an experienced sniper. Preferably two. They have reduced themselves to two scoring lines instead of the three that they enjoyed last year. Also at the time I'm posting this I haven't heard the extent of Varone's rib injury. I thought that Whitehead was going to be the rookie surprise this year. It's time to look at those training camp cuts from the AHL and get a forward or two in here. The goaltending appears sound, the defense appears sound, but now this roster that appeared so loaded two weeks ago seems light on scoring with Huk hurt, Varone being a questionmark, and Whitehead not coming. I don't think I'm wrong on this but would certainly appreciate reasons why some may disagree.

Blake Sebring
Mon, 10/05/2009 - 1:08pm

Oh, baloney. Look around the league and take a long look at the rosters. There's not that much out there right now. Maybe they'll all bring some players in, but each team looks like it has maybe five or six really solid players and everything else is fill-in. I think the league is a lot weaker right now than it was at the end of last season. Maybe that will change in the next two weeks, but right now I'd say the Komets should be expected to win by a substantial margin. Look at last year's end-of-season rosters and then look at what they have signed now. There's a major amount of goals missing on every team, and Komets are two or three players better than anyone else on defense. Right now Komets are maybe 45 goals better than everyone else in the league.

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 1:26pm

Honestly Blake, you are the first person I have heard say that the league is weaker than last year... I think teams are being smarter with the way they put thier teams together with very strong goalies being brought into the league. We're also seeing quite a few more signings of players who have been playing in Europe for the past few seasons and those are names that are for the most part unknown to most in this league. Everything is on paper at this point; but, IMO, I see a stronger league from top to bottom and it looks to be a good year of hockey coming up for the IHL..

Blake Sebring
Mon, 10/05/2009 - 1:35pm

Just go through the rosters and compare them to last year and see if you can find where the goals are going to come from. I went through each roster player by player and I don't see it yet. Granted, QC and Flint just signed a bunch of players in the last two days, but I think the league has a lot of skill to replace. Everybody has a very solid first line and first defensive pairing, but try to figure out who has a very solid second line or second pairing. I'm not finding them yet. Goldtending looks very good, though.

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 1:35pm

Baloney? You can speak plainer than that, Blake. LOL. Well, I asked for it and I got it. I'm interested in your comment about the league being weaker than at the end of last year. Common sense would tell us that with all the AA teams that have folded during the year that the existing franchises would get better-not worse because the supply of players would be greater for less teams. However, putting that aside, the fact still exists that this roster of forwards has taken a hit. As a fan I can't fall back on the belief that other teams are worse- the situation is what the situation is. With Whitehead not reporting and knowing Huk is out for a while and Varone being a questionmark there are holes that need to be filled. I agree that the defense is sound but you can never relax and sit on your laurels.

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 1:37pm

I would believe that we all need to leave that up to the coach. I am sure I make a great "Arm Chair" coach. I know Alan is also. My problem is since I don't get paid to do it I almost always get it wrong. I do know one thing for sure Al Sims is really very good at it. I am willing to set back at let the "Professionals" do what they get paid to do. It will not take long to see just how well they are doing it. One practice does not a team make.

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 1:43pm

Blake, one more thing. I hope the hell I am wrong because if I am wrong then the K's have put together one great team. You don't know me personally, but if you did, you would know that I have no problem admitting when I am wrong about something. In fact, I would be the first to admit it. This is my opinion, that's all it is. I like to base my opinions on common sense and facts. Not emotion. Just wanted to say that.

Blake Sebring
Mon, 10/05/2009 - 1:50pm

None of us had a clue last year at this time about O'Connor or Varone or that Leo was a possibility. Or that Curadeau would be back. I'm guessing you could look back every year at this time and we've probably always said that they need more scoring or toughness or whatever. We just have to wait and see who steps up.

Blake Sebring
Mon, 10/05/2009 - 1:59pm

I have no probem with that, Alan. We always need to put things in context. Lord knows I've eaten enough crow on here. I also thing Syro is going to score at least 40 and Saidachev 30-35. Plus, you know Al will always find at least two diamonds in the rough.

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 2:06pm

God, I wish I could write it like Blake! I meant no offense Alan. Your comments are really very good and always sound like they come with a lot of common sense. My only point was to let the team unfold and see what falls out. It is way, way to earlly to tell who has what or how they will blend as a team.

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 2:06pm

I didn't mean to get everyone's blood pressure up. I put in another small post but it didn't get put on the blog. Am I in the blog (penalty) box now? Dshebig, you are correct. Al Sims will make the decisions but that kind of makes my point, too. I mean he's the one who signed Whitehead to come here, Varone and Hukalo to return here and now those plans have been put askew. So...let's see what happens. Today we couldn't bring in a guy like Thomas as we did last year. He was a veteran and we have already signed our limit.

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 2:24pm

Alan--If Burgee is not setting there neither are you. My BP is 132/64 no rise there. All the things you talk about still become Al's problems. It might be why he has no hair! I can believe what he saw in Whitehead others saw. Those things happen. We will be very solid everywhere.

Hit Somebody!!!
Mon, 10/05/2009 - 4:10pm

No Panic from me. I think the Komets will have plenty of talent and scoring.

The league as a whole is 10x more talented than the past 3 years and I would say more talented than any of the last 10 years....UHL/IHL. I am just going by what I have seen signed league-wide. This will be more competition and more physical play...and the goaltending will be out of this world.


Mon, 10/05/2009 - 4:51pm

Actually, I'm not even counting veterans until they are hatched. And no, at this point I'm not concerned. Let's see what the players in camp league-wide can do first, because you never know until skates hit the ice.

Blake Sebring
Mon, 10/05/2009 - 5:42pm

Oh, crap -- It must be worse than I ever dreamed. Hit Somebody is telling me to relax for once. Look out for the lightning strikes! I sure picked the wrong time to quit drinking Red Bull.

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 6:19pm

canadian club works for me!

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 6:21pm

I don't know what the heck I've been doing while this all amassed, but I feel like I've failed you all. I mean, in reading this all at once, there's been a good argument going on this one and I haven't jumped in to add some more fuel to any of the flames. I feel shame. This is what I get for working at work.

I do remember one time telling Alan to "chill", kind of the more modern version of saying his "blood pressure was up" and then he wrote a book explaining his rights to post on here (which he has and I agree with). Just funny how it was re-worded.

Alan - Very valid statements all around, and I do agree with you (which I find myself doing way more than I want to admit) that I also hope to Hell you are wrong. I've done the same thing (look at this post), so I'm not trying to throw stones. I'll wait for the next chapter on how you have a right to write books :)

Blake - Other than your strong language, I completely agree with everything you've written concerning the Komets' roster. I also think we're loaded and think it will be fun watching people try to get a similar talent level on their rosters and secondly, try to take what is ours. I hope we get a chance to chant "WE WANT 10!!" several times this year. I know close games are fun, but who doesn't love a good old-fashioned blowout from time to time??

Anyhow, this has been an awesome topic on all sides and fun to read. Good comments from all. In other news, I picked up my season tickets today and in my excitement, jumped into the boards on my way out. Turns out I was daydreaming and I must apologize to everyone for jumping through and breaking the large outer window at the Komets home office.

Blueline Baby
Mon, 10/05/2009 - 6:44pm

Wendy: I am watching the bird nests in my trees more carefully now...I would like for a couple players to hatch in my front yard. I even have the extra room in my house for them. :)

And Blake: Was that an "Airplane" reference? I'd like to thank you for telling us about the training camp stuff as it happens! I love to be up on all this stuff.

I had a feeling that Whitehead was not gonna be here, and I think I posted that a couple pages ago, but oh well. We will be fine. Defensemen can score too, like isn't Warner supposed to be an offensive defenseman? So he could be a great guy for us this season. I'd look to him for some help. And wasn't PC Drouin (ok, not defense, just naming another player) one of the highest scoring players in the entire IHL last season? He should be fine again this season....that arm healed just fine. No speed off that slapshot that I've noticed.

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 11:20pm

BLB: Just don't keep them caged in your garage, ay? ;)

Tue, 10/06/2009 - 6:02am

Good Morning - I have read all the posts a couple of times and decided to add my 2 cents. I think Alan is correct. I am also a little concerned with the possibilty of having key players, Huk, Varone, not playing right away. I would have liked to have seen this new guy, but I'm glad that he is with Norfolk. Will Sims do a good job...absolutely. He hasn't let us down yet, and I don't see him doing anything but making the Komets a better team. Will my blood pressure rise due to this? Not at the moment, but, if the Komets struggle at all during any game, it does go up. Does Alan write books on the blog...NO. I've read many books in my time, and I wish they were as short as what Alan writes and as logical as he writes on this post...undergrad and grad school would have been much better for me. Oh, and speaking of blood pressure, I work in a high school, the children are here, and I can feel the blood pressure rising...but there is HOCKEY tomorrow...thank goodness. Have a great day everyone!

Tue, 10/06/2009 - 6:24am

Andrea: I taught high school for awhile and as a fellow survivor, I have to send you a salute. After evaluating what I could do, what I wanted to do, and talking to about every teacher with a decent amount of experience, I made the move up and out. I knew the blood pressure thing you're talking about and wasn't going to deal with that, plus the migraines for the rest of my life and not get paid for it. There are MANY fantastic young people out there who will do many great things in the future that we'll all be proud of, they are just very few and far between. Now I love my job, get paid pretty well, and am enjoying life more. I EVEN HAVE LONGER SUMMERS!! But, all that being said, I do admire you for everything you do. I have no idea which high school you're at, but I'm sure it's tough regardless.

Tue, 10/06/2009 - 6:58am

Thank you RunningKomet. I just started a new job at another high school yesterday. I'm pretty happy so far, but I really miss my students and the staff at the high school I was at. At least I am still coaching for them so I will be able to see some people throughout the year. I have many people who tell me to go into another area or job, but I love teaching. You are 100% correct when you say that there are many fantastic young people who will make us all proud. I wish society would recognize this fact. I'm glad that things are going well for since leaving teaching. It can be a tough decision to move schools or leave the profession, but as I told my students last Friday on my last day with them, you have to sometimes take a leap of faith. Have a great day.

Tue, 10/06/2009 - 8:04am

I hear you loud and clear. I'm still teaching, just no longer at that level. I actually have students who WANT to be in the classroom now. Talk about a 100% improvement!

Tue, 10/06/2009 - 8:14am

I have no worries, your all whacked. Championtrip is in the bag!

Schebig, i don't want to press the goal horn, i want to press the scoreboard horn, you know, right as the ref gets ready to drop the puck, then make him skate over to the scorers table, then ask him if they want gatorade or pepsi in their dressing room, just something stupid to irritate them.

Tue, 10/06/2009 - 9:02am

You guys are the best!!! I just had a chance to "catch up" on my reading and, oh my, what a great collection of comments. You know, one of the things that I enjoy most about this particular blog is the variety of people and opinions by those who regularly blog here. (Special note to RunningKomet- I will try to express myself without writing a "book". LOL) No one is absolutely right and no one is absolutely wrong. We're just Komet fans who sometimes see things from different directions. I also think it is neat that Blake takes an active roll here. So, without getting too "wordy", I will just say "GO KOMETS". ( I still think we need two more snipers though.)

Tue, 10/06/2009 - 9:10am

You know I was just ringing your bell, Alan. I learn a ton from what you write. I don't necessarily always agree, but that's what makes all of this fun. I agree though, Go Komets! It'll be fun to focus our agressions on the other teams and fans starting Wednesday. It's been fun going back and forth with each other, but I'm ready to talk smack about the other teams.

Tue, 10/06/2009 - 9:55am

Burgee--I am not going to let you anywhere near the referee. I can also assure you they don't drink either one of those beverages. They prefer something a little stronger. They have been known to bring their own from Canada because it has a higher alcohol content. I can tell you they share it also and it is really very good ice cold. You get none of that either. Just think it all starts tomorrow night. GO KOMETS!

Mike in Toronto
Tue, 10/06/2009 - 9:56am

The folks in Fort Wayne sure need their hockey.... quickly. 27 or so posts and they haven't played a game yet. Looking forward to getting down to a game or three myself. Love you guys and girls.
Go Komets Go.

Tue, 10/06/2009 - 10:57am

Mike- All these posts help our leader Blake make a living. He gets a candy bar for each 100 posts. Besides we are all nuts. We are into tennis, dog biscuits, football, baseball, dogs and suntan lotions. We have one blogger who drinks it alongs with his meds. We are hoping they let him out to attend the games. Speaking of games tomorrow @ 7:30 be there. Sorry, I forget fishing at the Posey Dam. You might enjoy watching our Komets more than the Maple Leaf's after the game they played against Washington the other night.