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  • Local forward chosen for US under-18 team
    Karch Bachman, a forward from Wolcottville, was named Wednesday to the U.S. Under-18 Select team roster.
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Laura Gardner/The Journal Gazette
Fort Wayne's P.C. Drouin fights off a Quad City player Friday night.

Emergency goalie rule discomforting

Let me preface this all by saying: The following is not the Komets' fault; they are working within the rules.

But I'm really intrigued that they're allowed to use an emergency goaltender as they have since Nick Boucher injured his hand in mid-November.

What the Komets have done since then is play Tin Haun every game, with Tyler Sims serving as an emergency backup. An emergency backup does not count against the salary cap and can only be signed in increments of 72-hours. He can only enter a game if there are no other available goalies; in this case, should Haun be injured.

Again, this is all legal.

But is it in the spirit of the rule? The intent of an emergency goalie -- clear, given the three-day contracts -- is to make sure teams aren't left in the lurch should something drastic happen. It's intent, I believe, is to make sure a team doesn't have to go a weekend with only one goalie, or no goalies, in the event of injuries, personal problems, immigration issues, and so on.

What the Komets have done is cleverly found a way to trim some salary cap space for a month. And since they have a decent goalie willing to sit patiently on the bench, they have a security blanket sitting there.

The league has told me it has no problem with what the Komets are doing. But it just seems to not be in the spirit of the rule to this reporter.

It invites teams to skirt the salary cap and for goalies to feign injury, should their play falter and they need to get the emergency bakcup into a game. (Yes, I've seen that happen before.) What would stop a team from doing this all season, should they have a goalie willing and capable of the workload?

Food for thought.

  • Check out the rest of Laura Gardner's pictures from Friday's shootout loss to Quad City by clicking here.
  • The Flint Journal has a story on ex-Komet Jake Pence's latest efforts as a humanitarian in Flint: Click here to read it.
  • As for the bad: No more ushers at games in Flint.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at jcohn@jg.net.

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