Should they be an affiliate or go independent?
Blake, nice job again covering the K's this year.
What the K's need are some toughness and guys willing to put it all on the line every game for the "Komets" name. This will be difficult with affiliated players coming and going but need to find those types of players somewhow. Need more speed, consistent scoring, much better defense and improved special teams. As far as this years players, in my opinion, only the following should be considered for next year
Rizk (good defense - put on top line, could score 25-30 goals)
Smith & Marino (usually smallest guys on ice, but gave played hard every shift and mixed it up with bigger players - plus Marino was top 5 in league scroing on a team that struggled to score consistently)
Chaulk (if healthy, give him another year before he becomes the next coach)
Auger (if healthly, would improved scoring and PP)
Would also love to Syro back. Hard to find a guys his size who can potentially score 20 -25 goals. With a full summer of conditioning to get in shape could be great addition next year. I liked the energy Gagnon showed and he should get a look next year as well. A full season of Schaus would be great also.
I love Schrock, but don't know if he fits this team in the ECHL.
A lot will depend on affiliation, but definitely need more toughness next year.
That's my take.
What do you think, Blake?
I feel we need 2 affiliates. This sport is talent-driven just like any other. We need AHL prospective talent to compete with these other teams. Juggling affiliates is a way of life in the ECHL. Take Jeff Deslauriers and Schaus out of the picture for the last 3 weeks, and that's what this team would look like as an independent. Grim at best. Even if we don't have an affiliation, the AHL teams can call up our players at will. How's that going to play out if all we are able to do is scan the waiver wire for other teams discards, or try to find someone from a smaller league to fill the roster. I don't even want to think about that scenario.