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Ice Chips

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  • Recap, video from K's victory
      Komets captain Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock has scored twice, after netting only five goals all of last season.
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Unfair situation for rest of CHL

I'm going to expound on this situation at length in the coming weeks, but I would like to touch on it a bit now.

This season, the Komets will play 36 games at Memorial Coliseum and 30 on the road.

Why? It's part of an agreement worked out between the Komets and the Evansville Icemen, who were looking for a way to make some more money in their inaugural season playing at 1,500-seat Swonder Arena.

The Icemen will get three games at the Coliseum -- against the Komets -- in which it will technically be a home game for Evansville.

An agreement was worked out in which an undisclosed amount of the ticket sales will go to Evansville. The Coliseum will retain its usual share -- all of the parking and concessions.

I understand why the Icemen are doing this. They want the money and they're not going to get it playing in a McMillen-sized arena.

But that doesn't mean I agree with it. You are trying to grow a fan base -- and convince the local politicians that you deserve the lease in the new arena in 2011-12 -- and you ship some games out of town? Were I a season-ticket holder in Evansville, I'd be peeved.

"Does it create an imbalance? I don't know," Komets president Michael Franke said. "Some people would say so. But the three games we're doing are basically Evansville home games, even though they don't appear that way on the schedule. ... We do get the home-ice advantage in a sense, but it was a financial consideration that we wanted to bring to the Evansville people to show our good faith in regard to them coming into the league. We thought it was very, very important.

"I guess your question (of fairness) is better asked to the other CHL teams, but we don't have any problems with this."

With that, Franke chuckled, because of course he knows having 36 home games, when 16 teams have 33 and Evansville has 30, does create an imbalance -- in terms of having the crowd (the largest in the CHL, by the way) and not having the travel.

General manager David Franke admitted as much.

"It probably does give us an advantage," he said, "but it was something we needed to do for the Evansville franchise as they start this year in their small building before moving into their new building next year."

Let me stop him right there and remind everyone that no determination has been made on what league will get to use the new building next year. It could be the ECHL or the United States Hockey League, or the CHL.

"Everybody in the league understands this is something positive for (the Icemen), helps their cash flow. Hopefully, we'll have big crowds and they'll get the lion's share of the gate," David Franke said. "Everybody felt OK with it, and if they're OK, we're OK."

It should be noted, the Komets are still playing two fewer games than last season at the Coliseum, but they're hoping to make the playoffs and recoup that money.

Since 16 of 18 teams make the playoffs, I'm sure that will happen.

  • I neglected to post this earlier today.
  • Speaking of cutting costs, Rio Grande Valley is doing so by not having a full complement of players in camp. Weird.
  • Tuesday's edition of "We've got Game," hosted by Justin Cohn and Ben Smith, will feature an extensive training camp preview. Join us for interviews with Guy Dupuis and David Franke. We'll also delve into a lot of NFL and pop-culture topics. Listen live 4 to 5 p.m. -- use the radio button on the top right of this post -- or listen to the replay whenever it's convenient.

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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