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Tailing the Komets

Monday's column


Primeval Forest Primate (Formerly JM)
Mon, 03/11/2013 - 8:02am

Everyone has their opinion, but I think it's realitively clear that the talent just isn't there for the Komets. Defensively, they have a bunch of rookies that aren't on the same level as the rest of the league. The best defenseman of late was moved up to play forward on Saturday. 

As a fan I can deal with having young players that aren't as talented. What really bothers me is when there is an obvious lack of effort. Guys coasting when they get down 2 goals is inexcusable. The guys coasting aren't the rookies either. It's guys that have been brought back in to Fort Wayne to help turn the team around. A lack of effort reflects directly on coaching. If you can't motivate your players to get up, be physical, and come out gunning down the opponent when your post-season life is at stake, then you've lost the team. 

I'm pretty sure it's clear that Henley wasn't the problem. 

It's just a lost year, some hard choices need to be made in the offseason. I can't see a reason to return a lot of players from this team. I think Marino, Rizk, Wheeler, and Dunbar have earned a shot at returning. Give Gates a go at training camp. All of the vets are damaged goods at this point. Chaulk has been a great player here, but the injuries are taking their toll. I think the CHL to ECHL transition was steeper than most people thought it would be. The Frankes will need to decide if they want to be affiliated or go it alone. Our best offensive threats and goaltenders this season were affiliated players. The "core" of non-affiliated players have generally underperformed with the exception of Mario. Will Sims make it to next season? The Frankes have shown him loyalty, but Al seems a bit frustrated with something this season. I wonder how much say he has in personel issues. I think they'd have to find an expierence ECHL coach (Steve Martinson) if they were going to replace Sims. I know everyone is convinced that Chaulk should be and has been promised he will be the next coach, I'm not convinced that's a great idea. 

I think the general enviroment of Komet games has become stale, win or lose. There is far less entertainment then just a few years ago. Ticket prices keep going up, and thus people's expectations also seem to increase. For a family of 4 to drop $100 at a game and see little effort, it's pretty disappointing. I don't blame people for booing when the effort stinks. Lose a 6-4 game and play hard....completely different situation. 

Lots of decisions coming in the off-season. I'm not sure I'd want to be in David Franke's shoes. 

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:15am

I'd have to say I agree with just about everything JM said. I do want to add that I think Smith played with alot of heart and played pretty hard, he was the emotional player when no one else has been! I also think that Schrock would be a different player under a different coach, he has the speed, skill and the heart and think that he would thrive under a different system.

The thing with Henley is that, he asked to be traded, he wanted to be on a winning team. In my eyes hes a quitter. There was no loyalty and to come in and act the way he did on Friday just showed it even more. Yes, yes I know, everyone wants to be on a winning team...I get that! But look how gracious Ratchuk was..his tweets prove that he is a classy player and talked about how he loved the atmosphere at the coliseum. Just my opinion!

I also agree with the lack of anything during the games. The intimidation is gone, the rowdy fans are gone...the frankes have taken away alot of the chants and alot of the old time hockey fun during the games. I have been to alot of the other venues this season..Orlando, Reading, Wheeling, Kzoo, Toledo to name a few...Reading is just horrible. The fan base is very dedicated to their team, they are loud the entire game, if there is a bad call, the refs hear about it for along time after the play has resumed....every fans gets on their feet after a goal and the place erupts. It was acutally kind of nice to see...now on the other hand, they are also very nasty to visiting fans..especially if the game is not going in their favor. Kzoo is another place that get the fans into the game from beginning to end. All that being said, what happened to our Jungle? I want it back!

I'm a cubs fan also so I know you can't win them all and I always have hope in my mind that they snap out of the funk they are in...but I have accepted that you can't win them all but I can still believe in miracles! :)

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:45am

Blake's column, JM's comment, and Janice's comment touched some of the frustrations I share. I don't necessarily agree on everything (e.g.  Shrock for example).  I'm going to wait until the end of the season to express myself fully.  There are so many things to comment on that I've had to take notes.  This is the most frustrating season since 73-74, so prepare for a book.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:47am

Most of what was said above is old re-hashed news....as will be these following statements....Smith is the true on ice leader of this team....heart and soul is given by him ever night: need a scorer and assist player and that is Marino...Schrock will be back...home town boy and a real draw...Chaulk needs to leave to coach and maybe come back....loved Henley and trades like that happen all the time behind the scenes...cudos to Henley for asking....maybe there were other problems

True fans do not boo there team....there is no call for it, no matter what the play....really guys!  


Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:49am

One other thing, it would be nice if folks (and you know who you are) could express themselves in a more concise manner rather than having to write a book.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 10:41am

Janice asked what happened to the jungle.  I'd say that that it now has officially become a petting zoo.  No scary animals left to frighten anyone or cause any excitement.  It is, also, no fun.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 12:25pm

All good comments. Here are my thoughts:
1) bring in a new coach - Sims is a good coach but its time for a change. I would give Sims some front office duties.
2) you can't bring back Schrock as a vet in this league. I don't care about the 15 fans he brings into the building. He wouldn't even be on this team if he wasn't from FW.
3) if Chaulk is healthy, bring him back for one more year. The guy can still play and is a much better player and leader than Schrock.
4) re-sign Rizk, Marino, Giosa, and possibly Smith and maybe Auger.
5) make it a rule to not sign any guy under 5'9 not named Marino.
6) rebuild the defense. I wouldn't bring back anyone but maybe offer Gates and Wheeler a training camp spot.
7) absolutely have to have a more physical team next year.

Primeval Forest Primate (Formerly JM)
Mon, 03/11/2013 - 12:38pm

I keep reading posts about Schrock coming back.... They all mention him being from Fort Wayne. Based on his play this season, is there any other reason to use 1 of 4 vet spots on him? The physical/aggitation side of his game doesn't exist anymore. He isn't scoring goals. Outside of being from Fort Wayne I see no reason that justifies him being one of our vets next year.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 12:53pm

Schrock = $$$$

My choices - Smith (C), Marino, Auger, Rizk, Bouch, Charlie, no affiliations, Firman a tryout, Graham as coach and Henley as assistant coach.

hack hockey fan
Mon, 03/11/2013 - 2:50pm

I was wondering if any of all these genius fans who are writing on here can help me out????

The question I am looking for help with  centers with last weekends team that played like they belonged in the AHL, (and in my opinion could probably beat some of the bottom AHL teams) Is how many players on the Florida roster have AHL experiance? And how many players that played for the Komets last weekend have AHL experiance>>???????????

This is the reason why Florida looked so good. They have AHL players not CHL

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 3:02pm

All things considered, the fat lady aint sung yet. Miracles do happen in sports. the 69 Mets, 1980 Olympic team, 2012 Norfolk Admirals, 2013 Komets?  ..

     the only thing thats missing for success from this team is 6 home wins. Instead of 10-17-2 home record they would be 16-11-2. Im sure we all know of at least 5-6 games they should have won.( the Wheeling game, including them on the road) Couple that with a wonderful road record and we would actually be in contention for  home ice advantage in the 1st round. 6 games...  6 games...6 lousy games. 12 miserable points. Of course im not Mr Obvious here... 

   IMO some observations

1. the NHL strike created some very strong ECHL teams early in the season thru January. Especially those with two affiliates. 

2. Injuries with the Komets took their toll. The nagging, never healing type. Playing hurt is one thing, playing injured is another. I dont know about you but I was really looking forward to watching Auger play this year. He would have made an impact no doubt. 

3. Poor fall signings on defense. Quite honestly I think other then Schaus and Hegerty the others  have been huge  disapointments.  I find that strange with coach Sims knowledge and eye for talent.  He has helped bring in some great ones. Not this year.

 The speed, size and skill level of defensemen from the other teams coming in has inpressed me about this league.  Look at the production of the defensemen on the top 5-6 teams in each conference then look up the the production of the Komets defensemen. 

 4. Goaltending. Its better in this league then the CHL. Im convinced. Michael Houser for Cincinnati was the OHL MVP. The guy is tough and consistant in the nets. Impact player. 

5. I think more then anything else, this team never found an identity.

with all that said, I know and we have all seen the resiliancy of this organization to bounce back. Their success proves that. Im looking at this year as the same as the K's  first in the CHL . Kinda reminds me of the 94-95 season also.  This year is not done and crazy things can happen  but already looking forward to next year.  With no NHL strike , I think  Komet fans will get a better taste of the ECHL.           

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 3:06pm

Personally I believe the best 4 vets would be as following: kaleigh he brings the fighing, passion and hustle. Marino brings the extra speed and goal scorer as we have seen. Milam as he is just a goal scoring defensman with a tremendous amount of talent. And bring in a tough big d man for another vet. Another note, is it possible to get Artem back? He can compete in this league! Vaskivou as well!

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 4:59pm

Well, I'll throw my $.02 in...(I'm trying to condense my post as much as possible to no P.O. anyone to reading too much...)


I think the number one player that needs to be back is Rizk. He is a player you build a whole team around! I wish we bring back Chaulk (either wearing the C or behind the bench), Smith, and Rizk. (Auger  if healthy).


I might be the only one who thinks this, but I don't think Marino is the best fit in the locker room. He is a great hockey player and I do not want to take anything away from him with his skills, but there has to be something said about the many times he takes a hit and no one gets his back. Maybe I am  reading into this, maybe not. I am sure there will be someone who knocks the team and say they don't satnd up for anyone, but there have been plenty of times Smith or Firman have gotten in the face of someone, even if Smith had to stand on his tip-toes to do it!

Andy Sherman
Mon, 03/11/2013 - 5:11pm

Clifford, can I ask a genuine question?  When has Schrok consistently brought the hustle, passion, fighting, points and hitting this season like he has in the past?  Am I missing something?  That is all but gone.  I haven't missed a home game since the second and third game of the season and expect for the Elmira game I have barely noticed him.  I wish he was doing what we were so used to seeing...but to use a vet spot on a third line or 10th forward (or whatever he is) is probably not prudent.  The team just simply cannot waste vet spots on fan favorites like they have in the past.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 7:19pm

See everybody Andy Sherman is always right. So why waste time posting stuff on here and saying how you feel or what you think about the komets because he always has a better answer and thinks he knows what the komets are going do more then the komets do ..

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 7:37pm

Schrock should have been cut instead of Thorne. Also need a new coach. Bring back Smith,Marino, and Auger.Also bring back Chaulk if he is health.I also think an affiliation is a must.

Andy Sherman
Mon, 03/11/2013 - 8:49pm

Thanks for contributing to the discussion Anthony

Andy Sherman
Mon, 03/11/2013 - 8:54pm

I have a question for you all...what PLAYERS will wanna come back here to play after a season this rough?  Let's be honest in that we aren't the big fish any more.  We aren't trying to compete for players w places like Muskegon and Flint and Dayton.  Now we are going up against teams from Florida, Cali, and everywhere in between, many with top notch owbership as well.  

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 8:58pm

No problem man !!! I don't have no problem calling you out when you think have the answer for everything

Andy Sherman
Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:08pm


looks like a signing

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:16pm

Shrock is a fan favorite and always will be. When they announce his name everyone gets loud. He is one of our fast skaters and he is not the only one doing very poor. He never gives up in my opinion. I cannot call what they will do but i think bringing in Artem would be great. Could you imagine a line with Artem and Marino? Speed and scoring to the max.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:29pm

Would that be the "oompa lommpa line?"

I think that would be going in the wrong direction...we need bigger stronger, not smaller easier to be pushed off the puck.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:35pm

Haha it could be! I understand bigger stronger but we can have maybe 3 or 4 small guys right? If so which guys would you want?

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 10:07pm

I've said it before.....shrock is not an echl player. It has been proven this season........chaulk as coach...rizk comes back.....that's it. Get another affiliate and bring Mahfouz to camp

Ron Heathman
Mon, 03/11/2013 - 11:22pm

Some comments concerning Schrock.  I'm not sure how big the blinders that some of you are wearing, but since when is a 180 lb player suppose to be our enforcer. He has fought all season when others didn't. He has taken on players 8 inches taller and 60 lbs heavier and has faired well. In fact he has fought more than anybody on the team so why not name blast some of the other players including Chaulk ?  This team has had a problem all year with stupid penaltys and you guys blasted these players all season and because Schrock has been more cautious about stupid penalties so now he not being an aggressive player ?  Give me a break ! There is nobody on this team that digs any harder in the corners and along the boards. Yes ther are a few players that dig just as hard but nobody any harder ! 

Some of you act as if Schrock was the only guy that didn't score goals on this team. NEWS FLASH !!!!! He was not signed on as a goal scorer but a special team guy and a defensive line player of which he has done well !  As far as cutting Thorne over Schrock is concerned, it was at the time we were getting some quality wingers from Norfork and Thorne most diffinately was not doing anything on the scoring end and  physical end to keep his job other than lose every scrap he was involved in.(which were few ) He was the obvious one to have to go.

Looks like The Omni Source fight reel on the scoreboard  stopped showing this years fights highlights because most of all the fights were ....GUESS WHO ?  The 180lb enforcer. The only guy on the team that will at least step up. Maggio did while he was here and Smitty has on occasion. So come on some of you name blasters ...start naming about 15 other players who haven't stepped up once !!!  

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 11:48pm

Andy,That player actually signed with Orlando. Look at the ECHL transaction page for March 9th.

Andy Sherman
Tue, 03/12/2013 - 1:34am

Thank You!  I wonder why he is listed as tranfered to FTW? :-/  Weird.  That site is usually spot on.  False alarm and my mistake!

Black and Orange
Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:45am

Are Ticket prices really going up to $35 a game next season??

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 8:19am

In response to Ron's comments about Schrock. The biggest things are this:
1) He hasn't played his role very well this year at all. He tries to fight Henley when the score is 3-1 at the start of the 3rd period and ends up taking a stupid penalty. Why wouldn't you try that after your goes down 1-0 early in the game and the K's need a spark or at the beginning of the game to set the tone?
2) He also hasn't hit or agitated at all. Plus name me one time he has stood up for a teammate this season. He wears the "A". That shows a lack of leadership.
3) There is just no way you can waste a vet spot on a guy that will put up roughly 15-20 points in this league unless he is a shut down defenseman. Schrock isn't that. He is a 10th forward who probably wouldn't be in the line up if Brittian was here and Dunbar was healthy.

Ron Heathman
Tue, 03/12/2013 - 11:02am

I find it amazing J C that you try and make a point about Schrock trying to fight Henley and getting a penalty. Who else was trying to do anything ??????????  It didn't cost Ftw the game or a goal and you try make it sound as if this was a mistake that only a AAA player would make and was horrible. Wrong ! Why don't you bring up the point that Chaulk since his return has made 3 game losing mistakes... not Schrock. These were horrible mistakes by a very good player. Also, are you saying that every Veteran in the ECHL is a high scoring machine ? Wrong. We have 15 players on the Komet roster that have negative plus minus with Bret Smith leading the way. We lost 2 games to Florida this weekend because of give aways by our defense that just plain took the wind out of the sails. Shause had 4 in 2 games. None of these lost games had anything to do with Schrock. We brought certain players on board this year to score and for what ever reason it didn't happen. Does this mean that these players are not ECHL caliber either ??  No it doesn't ! For what ever reason on ice chemistry has been a problem and probably each one of these guys that have not produced would have produced on other teams. Its something that happens in sports. Thats why some teams make it to post season and some do not. The Komets mgmt tried to to correct problems with Milam, Syro, Beuregard. They are geniuses if it works but total bums if it doesn't. Because Sims has his first bad season now he is bad bad coach and can't coach at this level. Wrong! Because Schrock doesn't have 15 goals he's a bad player ? Wrong. He has been on the checking line all year (59 gms) and his stats are in line with everybody elses plus minus on this team ! It"s amazing how we want to micro critique when our team is losing and grasping at every little illogical thing as a reason why we are losing...like Schrock isn't aggitating enough. Just plain poppycock !! Every player on this team has a certain role to play and we have a lot a players who have not played their roles as well as others. Schrock has played his role as a fighter, penalty killer, defensive player and high intensity player to a higher degree than most of the other players on this team. I know, i know ,he is a bum cuz he doesn't have 15 goals. Neither does hardly anybody else !