So, has it set in yet? Did I completely ruin your day with the early morning news that Colin Chaulk is leaving?
I will continue to have coverage on this throughout the day, and make sure you buy the newspaper Saturday because we'll have some good stuff.
Here's what Chaulk's longtime teammate and linemate, P.C. Drouin, had to say about Chaulk's departure:
"Obviously, he's a really good player, a No. 1 centerman, a great playmaker, competitor and he's feisty," Drouin said. "He has a lot of attributes that you don't see in very many players. He's also a really good leader off the ice. What else can I say? Personally, one of my good friends. It's going to be hard to see him go and not play with him anymore. I'll miss him on an off the ice."
I have covered a lot of great players in Fort Wayne in my 12 seasons on the beat. Chaulk was, quite simply, the best. Not only because of what he did on the ice, which was play both ends with tenacity, but because of the way he seemed to get the best out of his teammates.
Has he rubbed some players the wrong way? Absolutely. And in his second stint with the Komets, he showed a lot more maturity and it was great to see that. He learned what buttons to push and when.
He really might be the best player at this level of hockey, if you consider his point production, the way he plays defensively, and his leadership. Don't believe me? Go ask some coaches.
"This speaks to his consistency: He didn't really have many bad games," Drouin said. "He showed up almost every game he played."
By the way, Drouin said he has not yet made any decisions about returning. He is in negotiations with the Komets because he "ideally would like to be here," but he is also looking around.
Another player told me today that the loss of Chaulk could dissuade several other key players from returning, since they viewed him as the most important piece on the team.
I would like to know, what are your favorite Chaulk moments? Any plays that particularly stand out?