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Tailing the Komets

Komets lose top scorers to the AHL


Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/03/2015 - 1:22pm

The good thing is, even if this is a long-term situation, Norfolk is six spots out of playoff position.

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 2:01pm

someone eluded before that the komets get something in return when a non affiliate calls up a guy but i say they dont get anythng.  whats the straight skinny superfan?

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/03/2015 - 2:13pm

They are supposed to pay $500 per player, which is a pittance, but many times the teams do not pay. They'll say,  but we bought the player some sticks we're sending back, or something like that. It's a joke. The ECHL serves at the pleasure of the AHL, and that's all there is to it.

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 2:26pm

Well, I guess the Komets could move to one of the other AA leagues.  Oh, wait...

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 3:17pm

Well, the NHL trade deadline was yesterday and I wondered how it might affect Fort Wayne.

We have a day where we have a little good news (Clarke) and then the other shoe drops and we lose our top two goal scorers.  Looking up the stats for Utah ( the Norfolk ECHL affiliate) and I see where they have two forwards, Michael Pelech with 25 goals and Mattieu Aubin with 21 goals, and they don't look like they're injured or anything.  So instead of rewarding their own "family" members, they raid ours.

I've said it before (though it is hard to get used to) but we'll just have to see who is here on Friday.

Two things.  Norfolk fans will find out how much "fun" it is in the ECHL next year.  Also the only way for this stuff not to happen in Fort Wayne is to move up to the AHL.  Not going to happen, I know.  The dream is 30 teams in the NHL, AHL, and ECHL.

Take 2/3 of a line away?  They better play.

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/03/2015 - 3:22pm

Maybe someday the ECHL will stand up for ECHL fans. Oops, the AHL hasn't given them permission.

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 3:55pm

So..as always my question is. .who plays now? Clarke & Harrison?

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 3:57pm

Best way to handle this league is do what I am thinking of doing. STAY HOME This league is just no fun.

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 4:11pm

Fort Wayne is closer than Utah in a time of need..If these guys don't play tomorrow I'd expect them back by weekend.

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 4:51pm

 Why would anyone stay home when you have one of the best teams in the league to watch. Regarless of who is or who is not dressing that night. Its the front of the Jersey we root for. Not the back.

 Oh heck, we have had this argument too many times before..  No use beating a dead horse or OLD horse

  Besides, Once Eddie Long gets his hip healed, we can get him signed just in case...

Just My Thoughts
Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:25pm


Komets to the AHL. Here is what I think is going to happen. With Mr. Franke being dealing with an illnesses, they will sell the Komets. I bet and NHL team will buy the Komets and put them in the AHL. If I am a NHL team why would I not want a great fan base to help off-set my cost of owning an AHL team? The deal will not go smooth at first because the Franke’s will want a fair price but they will want to be keep on as consultants. NHL team will say no thanks but eventually the deal will get worked out. Let’s face it the Franke’s have been a good thing for the Komets.  They have been rewarded for their efforts and will get a nice payday on top of all that.  Now that you have read my rant take a look at this. Please be kind with your remarks I am the sensitive type.  Remember the article about the dressing rooms??

 [The goal was to provide the Komets the style and type of locker room that might help them recruit players and could serve them well in any league they could possibly play in. American Hockey League teams have unlimited rosters and would need extra space for practices.

"As crazy as this industry is, you just don't know what the landscape of hockey will be in the future in North American," Franke said. "I felt it was very important that the coliseum made this step. We could have gotten by with what we've. it's not like they are terrible, but this protects the coliseum for the future and the community for the future.

"As long as we own the team, we've always said we're not going to be in the AHL. We just don't see the financial validity of it, but the landscape may change down the road. Five years from now the NHL could own every AAA- and AA-team in minor league hockey."]


Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:32pm

That is unlikely to happen. Not saying it won't, just unlikely. Without a different lease, I really doubt an NHL team would buy the Komets for that purpose.

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:42pm

RG2 if you like this league then support it. I has beeen said many times that the ECHL is here for the AHL not for the ECHL fans. I keep coming bac with the hope of this league try to please the fans but my patients have  about ran out.

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:58pm

Just my thoughts. .very interesting opinion. ..could end up being like the Hershey Bears...not a bad idea. .I would support it...would be interesting 2 c NHL prospects only one step removed...Blake..could you explain your lease statement?

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 6:14pm

Yes, Blake, the ECHL exists at the pleasure of the AHL, and the AHL exists at the pleasure of the NHL.  So what?  The only reason we get to see players like Sydlowski and Embach is the possibility of what has actually happened in this case,that is that they get a sniff of playing at a higher level.  Without that possibility, those guys are in Scotland with Scott Fleming and Chris Auger (making way more $$) or are selling insurance or writing mortgages.


Tue, 03/03/2015 - 6:16pm

Zanderson..84..from post on Clarke comment..you left off LaCasse as well. ..

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/03/2015 - 6:23pm

Have no problem with that, RonFWA, except once in a while you'd like to see the ECHL, I don't know, actually respresent the people who are paying their salaries. Norfolk already has an ECHL affiliate, so why isn't it using them? Hasn't Fort Wayne been screwed over enough by Norfolk?

Why is is wrong to expect the ECHL to place its fans as the priority when they are paying good money for ECHL tickets? I have no problem with teams working with their affiliates, but why does it have to be only so one-sided? Why can't an ECHL team that calls up a non-affiliated player be obligated to send one back?

Why shouldn't the ECHL fans be the priority of this league? Have yet to hear a good reason why not.

Eventually, that's going to really hurt the ECHL when it can't find new owners. There are some owners who have only been here a short time who already want out because of it.


As for an NHL team someday buying the Komets, I think the NHL team won't want to once it gets to see the lease and the parameters. I think any prospective owner would be disappionted that they can't make more money for the attendance the Komets are drawing. And they can not under this lease.

As an example, I was told recently the Komets pay $17,000 each year for food on gamenights, and they have no other option but to pay that. They can't negotiate it or have any other option. That's a pretty good hunk of change, and they have to pay quite a few of those for the pleasure of having no rent.

I just think a new owner would think they are going to make quite a bit more than they actually are. I.E. The 1,000 tickets each night that are sold for the suites that the Komets get no part of.

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 6:30pm

Blake..thx 4 the clarification. .still would like an AHL franchise here..

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/03/2015 - 6:38pm

I understand. I've covered AAA hockey and it was distinctly different. I just don't think it would work here unless, unless an ownership group tried it that didn't mind losing money. There are a lot fewer of those out there today.

Now let the name-calling begin.

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 6:40pm

The way I see it...Coach Graham and every other coach in the ECHL has a serious morla dilemna...

Try and get your players to the AHL, as a recruiting tool to use in the future...


Scout other teams free agents...and recommend THEM to go up the ladder to your AHL affiliate.

I know what side we come down on...it appears that Lake Erie has pulled exactly ONE non-Komet up to their roster...ALL YEAR.

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 6:44pm

No name calling here. .bring on AAA...

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 7:18pm

I am on board with those wanting AAA hockey. Would be willing to pay 100 to 200 dollars more per year. As far as the lease its exactly why a new arena should have been put downtown. Randy Brown could keep his castle.

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 8:48pm

The only way a new arena being built would help the team is if the team built it and ran all aspects of it. Just ask the TinCaps!

Blake Sebring
Tue, 03/03/2015 - 8:50pm

City would have to build it in a similar fashion. Very unlikely. It would require all of the Legacy Funds and quite a bit more.

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 9:32am

Maybe everyone should read the blogs from AHL city newspapers and see that the exact same frustrations we have about players and the league not caring about fans IS THE EXACT SAME in the AHL!!!! PICK YOUR POISON

  the AHL serves the NHL master just like the ECHL serves the AHL. What it is, is what it is.     

Blake Sebring
Wed, 03/04/2015 - 9:44am

Exactly. We always, ALWAYS tend to think it's going to be better somewhere else, and it really never is. As many didnt' care for IHL2, that was a darn good league. You knew your players, the opponents' players and coaches and the goaltending was great for the most part. There were real rivalries and the level of competition was pretty good. The people who worked in that league behind the scenes were also exceptional. It's just too bad the Michigan economy tanked or they might have been able to hang on enough to get Indy and maybe one or two more teams and been able to weather the storm.

It'll probably get the chance to happen again sometime because it's all cyclical. Minor league hockey always shrinks back to geography when it has to.

That's also why I think the ECHL has to continue to get better and improve to serve its own fans. Whether everyone realizes it or not, there are finite possibilities for this sport and  you always have to look long-term. Always. As Ken Ullyot always said, you aren't competitors, you are partners.

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 10:36am

Blake, I really dont think a whole lot has changed in the past 40 years. I remember the disapointment in the 73-74 season of losing all those great players  from the 72-73 team that won the cup . They all moved up.  Thats the minor leagues. A former komet coach who I had the oportunity to play golf with once told me that players like Chinner and Chaulk are one in a thousand. We probably wont see players like that again. To find a player that will stay with one team for a significant length of time( many seasons)  and has exceptional skill, character and leadership and is willing to only make 25,000 a season( in the ECHL) is next to nill.    

 If both Colorado and Lake Erie fail to make the playoffs, Im pretty confident that they will both do whatever they can to help the Komets in the playoffs. They want to see their players succeed.  

 We all have our favorite players but as I have said before,  root for the front of the jersey, not the back.

Blake Sebring
Wed, 03/04/2015 - 10:53am

Understood, but hockey in Fort Wayne is at least equal parts about knowing the person with the name on the back. The die-hard fan gets the new system, but the casual fans who are so important to everything do not. All I hear from them is that they don't know who the players are. The people who come two or three times a year, the people you can maybe attract for an extra time or two, really want to be able to recognize at least someone on the ice, and, like Alan alwasy says, you don't know on Tuesday who is going to be there on Friday. At all. Check out the rosters month-to-month and sometimes week-to-week, and they could be 50 percent or more different. Even if there's a great game against one team, there's no follow-up the next time because both teams' rosters could be and usually are significantly different. There's no buzz anymore about upcoming games, and each game, each opponent is the exact same. It's becoming minor league baseball to the casual fan where it's an entertainment option, not something they feel an overpowering connection to. That's dangerous for the sport as a whole because hockey is not baseball, football or basketball. Not sure how that gets fixed, and it's not a good thing in the long run. Nobody except Hershey draws like they used to, nobody, and the rates are continuing to decline not get better. As prices continue to rise, the fans don't know who they are watching so now they hesitate and ask if it's worth it. You can only sell the name on the front of the jersey so much. That ceiling has been reached and it's starting to bounce back. It's one reason why the Komets HAVE to always put winning teams on the ice. That's really hard to do.


Wed, 03/04/2015 - 11:28am

Blake,  the Buzz left when we left the old IHL.  Its like the Old Andy Griffith Show. The old IHL was like the black and white version with Barney , Otis, Earnest T Etc. Characters galore.  When we left for the CoHL. it became the colorized version with Howard Spargue. Just not the same....   

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 11:54am

This has become very frustrating, hasn't it?

It's also very complicated.  Everyone wants to "see" their team succeed.  But from this fans' point of view, most rules are put in place to stifle the success of a franchise. 

If the coach and GM do a great job recruiting a team, it just gets picked over like a Thanksgiving Day turkey carcass.  A non-affiliated team can raid a roster at any time and at any point by a league that has no roster limitations.  The AHL needs to work within some segment of roster size rules (or at least some regulations).

Today, not long ago, I went to the standings of the AHL and clicked on the team name.  The rosters of each team will come up and whoever is not available will show an "X" by their name.  So as of this morning: Norfolk had 12 forwards (three left wings, 5 centers, and 4 right wingers).  This figure does NOT include Szydlowski or Embach.  They can't get by with 12 forwards??  (By the way, clicking on Utah, Norfolk's affiliate in the ECHL, you will find they have 13 forwards including Pelech and Aubin with 25 and 21 goals respectively). 

Checking on some other familiar names you will learn that Faille has played 19 games, scored 2 goals, had 3 assists and 19 shots on goal  He is a +/- 0f 0.  Leach has played 10 games, no goals, no assists and is a -5.  Meurs has 11 games with no goals, no assists and is a -2. I didn't even bother with Nagle as I think he may never come back.

But...of the six players mentioned, only Leach and Meurs are with their parent teams.  All the others have been called up to teams who have passed over their own affiliations.

Now please don't think that I'm suggesting any of these players not follow through on their opportunities.  To even think that way would be a sure recruitment suicide for your franchise.  But something must be done to insure that each ECHL team does not get "pushed" into roster purgatory.

Sebring and I don't agree on much...but I think we share the same feeling that the ECHL is not recognizing its own fans.  It's importance is resting with the NHL and AHL...and this long post isn't because the Komets are in the "bullseye" now.  Each ECHL team is in the same boat. 

When the boat tips over, its always the fans that lose.