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Playoffs?! You talkin' about playoffs?!

Yes, we are.

The Central Hockey League has released its regular season and playoff format, the former not much of a surprise at all, the second frankly a head-scratcher.

The season will run 66 games, splitting the difference between the 70-game IHL season and the 62-game CHL season. A fairly logical turn of events.

The postseason is anything but: The CHL playoffs will begin the week of March 28, and 16 of the 18 teams will qualify for the postseason.

Yes, you heard right. They'll play 66 games to eliminate two teams.

Chips' two-word critique: Totally ridiculous.

Komets president Michael Franke, offered this explanation:

“The thought process is the way the economy is going right now, it probably would make sense if all the teams coming into those last six weeks of the season had an opportunity to make the playoffs,” he said. “There are so many other things people can do right now, and if teams are way out of it in late January, are they gonna continue to come to the games? “No. 2, we looked at it from the perspective that we believe the league is going to grow the next two or three years, and be more than 18 teams. So why not institute a 16-team format now, rather than switch it around every year?”

There you have it.

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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