Think the players aren't concerned about whether the IHL will survive?
"We're definitely very interested in what's going on," goaltender Nick Boucher said. "Guys livelihoods and their families, the (prospect) of having to uproot families, everyone's very cautious and concerned with the next season and what will happen in the next summer."
The IHL was reformed in 2007, as a Midwest-based league aimed to remain cost conscious as the economy was wreaking havoc on minor-league sports. While the Komets' attendance has risen each year, and Fort Wayne won every title, the IHL has faced tumultuous circumstances in many cities.
Bloomington and Dayton have seen changes in ownership. Kalamazoo left for the ECHL in 2009. Muskegon is leaving for the junior-level United States Hockey League this summer. Only six teams remain and if financially-strapped Flint cannot find new ownership, willing to share a building with an incoming junior team in the North American Hockey League, it seems the IHL will, again, fold.
Komets management has promised a team will skate next season, it's now a matter of which league, and it could be the IHL, ECHL, Central Hockey League or, though chances are minuscule, the higher-level American Hockey League. Team president Michael Franke has told the players they should know this month if the IHL will survive.
"Fans have got to remember that for a lot of these guys, it's how they put food on their tables for their kids," said Matt Syroczynski, the Playoff MVP. "If something comes up where there isn't a league or they're moving leagues and no one knows about it, it will hurt people's families. The quicker they figure things out, the better it will be for the players."
Today's episode of "We've got Game" -- that's Episode VII, if you're keeping score at home -- had some great stuff from Boucher and from Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau. Use the radio button on the right; Boucher is at about the 20-minute mark, and Boudreau at about the 35-minute mark.
Cathie Rowand has some great photos from today's end-of-season party and jersey auction. Click here to see them.
The jersey auction
The jersey auction raised $25,675 for charity. Here is how the stuff sold:
2 Guy Dupuis $1500.00
71 P.C. Drouin $1450.00
91 Colin Chaulk $1400.00
88 Justin Hodgman $1350.00
27 Matt Syroczynski $1300.00
17 Brad MacMillan $1250.00
24 Konstantin Shafranov $1200.00
35 Tim Haun $1150.00
79 Kaleigh Schrock $1150.00
33 Nick Boucher $1100.00
44 Leo Thomas $ 950.00
96 Justin Chwedoruk $ 900.00
21 David Hukalo $ 850.00
9 Brandon Warner $ 700.00
3 Danko Mironovic $ 650.00
17 Mitch Woods $ 650.00
20 Bobby Phillips $ 650.00
19 Keith Rodger $ 550.00
22 Kevin Bertram $ 500.00
29 Sean O'Connor $ 500.00
14 Frankie DeAngelis $ 450.00
Komets 2009-10 Scrapbook $2500.00
Broaster Boys Jerseys (5) $1575.00
Nick Boucher Bobble Head set $1100.00
Chaulk/Syroczynski poster $ 300.00