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Tailing the Komets

Worlton traded

Needing to make a roster move to get down to the United Hockey League maximum before this weekend's games, the Fort Wayne Komets traded enforcer and UHL Komets penalty minute record holder Jeff Worlton on Wednesday to Roanoke for future considerations.

The Komets will be able to pick a player from a list provided by Roanoke before the UHL trade deadline of March 14

“It was a tough decision,'' Komets General Manager David Franke said. “We just haven't been able to find the ice time lately for Jeff, and Roanoke expressed a strong interest in him. With the change of the rules, there just isn't that much fighting that's going on in the league anymore. There's a premium on skating ability and all-around play. We just couldn't get the ice time to Jeff that we know he would have liked.

“He did everything for us that we asked him to. He never complained about his ice time or lack of ice time. We just felt it was time to make the change.''

Worlton, 26, was in his 5th pro year and 2nd season with the Komets. Last year the right winger posted 2 goals and 4 points in 68 games while establishing a new Fort Wayne UHL record of 372 penalty minutes. This season Worlton appeared in 20 games registering no points and 83 penalty minutes with the Komets.

In mid-December, Worlton was placed on a team suspension to make room on the roster for other players and he wasn't activated until Jan. 1. Since then, he's seen very limited ice time.

Worlton was upset with the trade. He talked with Komets coach Greg Puhalski two weeks ago, and Puhalski said at the time he felt Worlton would remain with the Komets.

“I hadn't been playing a lot and I never said anything negative,'' Worlton said. “I never complained about ice time. You can ask anybody. I was a cheerleader on the bench, and I did my job. I was fine doing what I was doing, but they said they don't have any room for me. I'm still a little stunned by all of this.''

Puhalski said he appreciated what Worlton had done for the Komets, but it was time to look in a different direction.

Posted in: Komets


Wed, 01/11/2006 - 1:21pm

so this means that we will get nothing for him.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 1:28pm

Exactly, the Komets never get anything when it says "future considerations."

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 1:31pm

there has been a couple of times that i can think of. sorry to see him go. he will have fun with a real coach.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 1:38pm

This is really stupid on our part. He was traded for one reason Coach P. We are now a team that can be run at, pushed around, and have nobody to take care of someone. It is now time for Jorde to step up to the plate and take on the enforce role. K's games will now be even more boring without Worlton around. It least you knew when he hit the ice that he was going to do something...Franke is an idoit!!! They days of having the Fletcher's, Kaminiski's and Beezer's are over in the Fort for one simple reason..Franke...What a joke.."He may be the dumbest person on the face of the earth"

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 1:39pm

They never let him skate anyways. Maybe he will get more ice time there!

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 1:49pm

It will be interesting to see what happens on March 3rd when Roanoke Valley plays us here at the Coliseum....Get your tickets early!

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 2:00pm


Wed, 01/11/2006 - 2:02pm

worlton wasnt dressing that much this year any way and he hasnt been fighting either. i dont blame them for trading him.

......and why does everyone want to blame the coach.........i dont get it

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 2:02pm

worlton wasnt dressing that much this year any way and he hasnt been fighting either. i dont blame them for trading him.

......and why does everyone want to blame the coach.........i dont get it

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 2:03pm

worlton wasnt dressing that much this year any way and he hasnt been fighting either. i dont blame them for trading him.

......and why does everyone want to blame the coach.........i dont get it

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 2:04pm

Offseason they always want to get bigger.... Season starts and they start to get smaller....Worlton always worked hard when he got ice time and that was all the fans really ask for besides showing some heart and soul out there.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 2:19pm

Probably a necessary move from a roster standpoint and probably fair to let the guy get a chance to actually play a regular shift somewhere instead of being a scratch just about every night here.
We just lost one player, while skill limited, was one person who you could see gave 110% every night, every shift. He had to to survive as long as he did.
We just lost probably the only player on the roster who sole responsibility was to change momentum, excite the crowd, or inspire his teammates.
Without debating to death how good a fighter he is or isn't - our bare knuckles factor just got flushed down the toilet.
And finally, we just lost another fan favorite. There are decent portions of the walkup crowd and people who are not die hard attendees who actually could care less about the Komets winning or losing but do come to see Worlton, or to be more specific....to be entertained with a scrap. I am not saying it will hurt gate receipts but its safe to say the chances of seeing one now are reduced significantly.

To be quite honest he wasn't going to fetch much in return. I think we all know that. He'll be missed regardless.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 2:25pm

Would just like to address one comment made about fighting being down in the uhl. If you look at the box scores of other games in the league you will find that in most games you still see 1 to 2 fights per game on most nights. Fighting is down at most KOMET home games cause our "tough guys" rarely see the ice. I wish they would'nt try to candy coat the situation when they know that a good amount of people may be upset with a trade...

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 2:52pm

Another fan favorite gone. Like him or not, you knew what you were going to get with him. The only leauge that fighting is "down" in is the NHL. I worl to hard and the prices are to high to go and watch a no hitting, no fighting game. Not everyone will agree but he will be missed. Who now will step up? Frankie and coach said he did everything ect ect then they trade him, and the Frankies were ticked off about Mark Smith leaving. Where is the loyalty????

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 3:04pm

they might get a couple of used sticks and a puck bag for worly.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 3:18pm

Check the numbers I just posted JR. I thought it might just be here, too, but it's definitely not.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 3:33pm

Mr. Bruce, being a fighter is the most UNSELFISH position a player has. Fighter bodys (hands,face) are sacrificed every night for the team and fans. Your comment is just plain dumb. Give the guy a break.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 3:44pm

Fighting majors may be down: but that hasnt stopped most other teams in the uhl from stocking 1, 2, and even 3 "tough guys" on their rosters. These guys even get significant playing time. I forsee alot of ice bags on the K's bench now that our one legitimate "tough guy" is no longer there. Maybe the player to be named later can be Roanoke's ice machine, cause the trainers are gonna need all the ice they can get.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 4:01pm

Just when you think that the trades are over! It is really a shame to see Worly go. I'll never forgot all the times I heard people in sections 201/203 starting a chant of, "RELEASE THE MONSTER! WE WANT WORLY!" during the playoffs last season.

Good luck, Jeff!!

So with Jeff being traded, does that mean Summerfield is here to stay (at least for the time being)?

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 4:08pm

If Roanoke expressed that much interest in him how come we basically gave him away???

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 4:22pm

Maybe we can get the Roanoke zamboni driver in return. That way we'd have someone who can resurface the ice without leaving cresent moon-shaped patches in half-a-dozen places.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 4:39pm

I was surprised that Worlton even returned this year after the way he was treated last year. He worked his fanny off all year and then come playoff time when the team had some injuries, they brought guys in from Juniors (Wiggins and another guy), other UHL teams (Spence) even the Fort Wayne fire Department supplied guys that played in front of Worlton last year -- Bertram and Lewis. As far as I'm concerned, that's simply insulting treatment.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 4:57pm


I'm with you: http://sneary.net/blog/2006/01/11/the-beginning-of-the-end-of-hockey-fights/

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 7:39pm

A team that coach can finally enjoy. A big bunch of sissy's. I said it 2 months ago that we might as well get rid of Worlton because he wasn't getting any ice time and when he did get a chance, it never was the right chance. The best use this year was the Rockford game here when he started the game trying to fight, I think it was Tibbetts?, and he got 7 minutes of penalties that we killed off and ended up winning the game. Probably the best game of the year. And the crowd was fired up the whole game. Now you can hear a pin drop in there. Welcome to the Jungle Komet Fans. Hope everyone enjoys watching are top line players take cheap shots the rest of the year and no one will be there to stick up for them. I'm sure that muscle man super-star Jorde will turn into an enforcer now right? Don't hold your breath. Galbraith maybe? Doubt it! He's too busy flapping his gums. We should of signed Massie and made him the part-time Enforcer. I got a feeling that maybe he didn't want to come back here like many other "burnt by the Chief" players. If things don't improve, do we finally start thinking about maybe the coach and his style is the problem?

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 8:08pm

massie would have been a good addition

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 9:02pm

Did I like watching Worlton WHEN WHEN WHEN he played? Sure. Is this loss really going to hurt? Probably not. Why? I don't have the numbers in front of me but he hasn't played in many games and I bet his on the ice were less than penalty minutes. The days of the one dimensional goon are over. People bring up Fletcher. I was lucky enough that the 2 1/2 years I spent living in Fort Wayne were when he played. He could do more than fight when he wanted to. He was an average skater who had a good awareness of the game when it came to things like backchecking and positioning. The comparison to Bezeau is more accurate. The only time you sent Andy on the ice was to stir up trouble. Worlton is the same type of player.
In todays game, there is no place for that anymore. Think about it, how many teams in the league have a true "goon" who can't do anything else. Quad City for example. Big Snake is their fighter and yet he is also a pretty good goal scorer (I can't believe I am saying anything nice about him). Most teams have PLAYERS WHO CAN FIGHT, not fighters who can't play.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 9:18pm

TONY E, can you say rockford!

Tony E
Wed, 01/11/2006 - 10:32pm

Lol. Yeah and as soon as I hit the submit button I realized I typed Quad City instead of Rockford. Rockford actually has a couple of guys besides Big Snake who play the rough as well as the puck.

Thu, 01/12/2006 - 5:07am

Tony you are right, and my question all along is why we can not attract those types of players here? We have the best place to play in the league. A great town with a rich tradition, but for some reason we can not attract those types of players. Fort Wayne Fans want to see a tough hockey team, a place that intimidates an opponent and right now we do not have that at all!!!

Thu, 01/12/2006 - 7:36am

Euro hockey has been in the makings for years ever since "Chef" took to the post behind the bench. It's the same story every year with this guy. Each year there are a few 3-4 fighters on the roster or invited to camp and once the year ends there is maybe 1 left standing. I am not blaming Franke for trading him if his coach is refusing to play him. Maybe we can change out the fireball on our sweaters for a giant snowflake. Those pajamas that Adirondack wears would be cute!