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Analyzing the analysis of Komets in CHL

Hopefully, by now, you have seen this morning's story on the Komets' future in the CHL.

Click here to read it.

My phone and e-mail queues have been blowing up all day with people saying they have information to the contrary.

Of course, they refer me to other blogs which have unnamed people talking and nothing but speculation.

Or, one particularly passionate informant tells me that he "knows" members of the IHL are trying to reform, possibly with cities such as Flint and Battle Creek, Mich., home of the All-American Hockey League's Revolution and its 369 fans per game, as part of the IHL3.

This is exactly why my story today was important. I had to get Komets president Michael Franke on the record about this stuff. If it ends up being untrue, then we can point to that later.

However, what do we all expect the Komets to be doing? Nothing? They should have no plan in place should teams in the CHL fold or move? If teams across the Midwest suddenly want to get together in the same league, giving Fort Wayne more than one rival within five hours, don't they have to look at it?

The Komets are always doing things behind the scenes for their own benefit. Any team that doesn't isn't wise. And with the IHL framework still in place within the CHL, clearly they have the ability to go independent again if they want.

However, I cannot believe the Komets would be naive enough to think that after a season or two of giving us a better league like the CHL, with more skilled players and better ties to the NHL, that they would go back to an IHL model and think fans would be content -- unless that league has at least 10 teams, all of which are in the Midwest.

At the end of the day, if the Komets could somehow pull off a league that looks roughly like this -- Fort Wayne, Dayton, Cincinnati, Toledo, Flint, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Indianapolis, Evansville, Wheeling -- they it would be awesome. If not, then let's hope Franke was speaking the truth and the CHL is around to stay for awhile.

  • By the way, Colorado assistant coach Greg Pankewicz has been suspended 14 games and fined an undisclosed amount of money for taking his clothes off and throwing them on the ice. Click here to see it. As someone who officiates, I have to say, I can't fathom the conversation. Players and coaches are always making threats, like, "Oh, yeah, if you don't make that call, then I'll (blank)." What on earth could Pankewicz have said? "Do that again and I'm pulling my clothes off. I'm going all 'Full Monty' on you. I'm not kidding. Kids are going to run screaming from this building."

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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