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Franke: 'A lot of variables'

As we anxiously await news from the IHL-Central Hockey League coalition, which hasn't told us things like length of schedule, conference alignment, roster rules, salary cap, and so on, Komets president Michael Franke asked for further patience.

"I'd like to think real soon we'll be able to announce something," he said. "There are just a lot of variables. When you get into situations like this, you're combining a lot of things, and there are a lot of things that need to be worked out."

Complicating matters, undoubtedly, is that the CHL is owned by a publicly traded company and that the CHL is negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with the players' association. (I'm told the IHL teams aren't involved much in that process, though they will have to, of course, sign on eventually.)

Franke said not to pay too much attention to an Indiana's News Center report that the CHL-IHL schedule could be 66 games, and that there could be an unequal number of home to road games.

"I don't know if that's the way it's going to be," Franke said. "In all honesty, anybody saying anything right now, they just don't know. There are a lot of variables."

Franke hopes the schedule will be released by July 15.

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