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Ice Chips

  • CHL vs. ECHL lawsuit makes for interesting reading
    If you are interested in this sort of thing, here is a lawsuit that was filed against the ECHL by the CHL, in which it is alleged the ECHL tried to "poach" the Rapid City Rush and Allen Americans.
  • Ex-Komet becomes a coach
    Former Komets player Kevin Kaminski has been hired to coach the Portland Junior Pirates.
  • Mesiner signs with CHL team
    Goaltender Ben Meisner, who played last season for the Komets, has signed to play with Allen of the CHL this season.

Meet the CHL's teams

With the Komets' 60th training camp opening Monday, I thought I'd give you a primer on all the CHL's teams.

Enjoy ...

Allen Americans

Arena: Allen Event Center (6,200)

Coach: Dwight Mullins, 3rd season

Last season: 47-16-3, reached Berry Conference Finals

Key returning players: F Colton Yellow Horn, F Bruce Graham, F Jarret Lukin

Key additions: F Jason Deitsch, C Jason Dixon, RW Spencer Edwards

NHL affiliation: Colorado


Arizona Sundogs

Arena: Tim's Toyota Center (4,810)

Coach: Marco Pietroniro, 7th season

Last season: 25-31-10, reached Berry Conference Quarterfinals

Key returning players: F Craig MacDonald, F Kyle Hood, F Luke Erickson

Key additions: F Damen Rycroft, F Nick Sirota, F Jeff Martens

NHL affiliation: Phoenix


Bloomington Blaze

Arena: U.S. Cellular Coliseum (6,200)

Coach: Paul Gardner, 1st season

Last season: 37-22-7, reached Turner Conference Quarterfinals*

Key returning players: F Jon Booras, F Jason Dale, G Marco Emond

Key additions: C Mike Zbriger, D Ryan Palmer, D Doug Krantz

NHL affiliation: None


* As former franchise, the PrairieThunder

Dayton Gems

Arena: Hara Arena (5,500)

Coach: Brian Gratz, 2nd season

Last season: 32-29-5, reached Turner Conference Quarterfinals

Key returning players: D Greg Labenski, F Brandon Naurato, F Damien Surma

Key additions: G Bryan Hogan, F Nick Fanto, D James Sanford

NHL affiliation: None


Evansville IceMen

Arena: Ford Center (8,800)

Coach: Rich Kromm, 2nd season

Last season: 21-32-13, missed playoffs

Key returning players: F Brian Bicek, C Nick Lindberg, D Jordan Little

Key additions: C Todd Robinson, RW Sean O'Connor, D Philippe Plante

NHL affiliation: None


Fort Wayne Komets

Arena: Memorial Coliseum (10,480)

Coach: Al Sims, 9th season

Last season: 31-27-8, reached Turner Conference semifinals

Key returning players: C Colin Chaulk, D Frankie DeAngelis, G Nick Boucher

Key additions: F Brett Smith, RW Jesse Bennefield, D Jamie Milam

NHL affiliation: None


Laredo Bucks

Arena: Laredo Energy Arena (6,500)

Coach: Serge Dube, 1st season

Last season: 24-34-8, missed playoffs

Key returning players: G Torrie Jung, F Justin Styffe, D David Inman

Key additions: LF Todd Griffith, C Kelly Miller, F Mark Nebus

NHL affiliation: None


Missouri Mavericks

Arena: Independence Events Center (5,800)

Coach: Scott Hillman, 3rd season

Last season: 37-23-6, reached Turner Conference Semifinals

Key returning players: F Ryan Jardine, D Steven Later, F Carlyle Lewis

Key additions: F Sebastien Thinel, F Ed McGrane, F Kris Hogg

NHL affiliation: None


Quad City Mallards

Arena: iwireless Center (9,000)

Coach: David Bell, 1st season

Last season: 34-31-1, reached Turner Conference Quarterfinals

Key returning players: LW Obi Aduba, C Eric Giosa, RW Brandon Marinoa

Key additions: RW John Snowden, RW Justin Chwedoruk, G Brad Fogal

NHL affiliation: None


Rapid City Rush

Arena: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center (5,119)

Coach: Joe Ferras, 4th season

Last season: 40-22-4, reached Turner Conference Finals

Key returning players: F Les Reaney, F Konrad Reeder, F Scott Wray

Key additions: F Mike Vaskivuo, C Jeff Kryzakos, D Joe Grimaldi

NHL affiliation: None


Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

Arena: State Farm Arena (5,400)

Coach: Terry Ruskowski, 1st season

Last season: 25-35-6, reached Berry Conference Quarterfinals

Key returning players: F Tomas Klempa, F Aaron Lee, F Dan Gendur

Key additions: RW Zac Pearson, D Tim Billingsley, D Ryan Jorde

NHL affiliation: Florida Panthers


Texas Brahmas

Arena: NYTEX Sports Centre (2,400)

Coach: Dan Wildfong, 5th season

Last season: 34-27-5, reached Berry Conference Quarterfinals

Key returning players: F Chad Woollard, F Alex Curran, D Jim Burichin

Key additions: C Brendon Hodge, F Phil Fox, G Steve Silverthorn

NHL affiliation: None


Tulsa Oilers

Arena: BOK Center (17,096)

Coach: Bruce Ramsay, 3rd season

Last season: 35-25-6, reached Berry Conference Semifinals

Key returning players: G Ian Keserich, D Derek Eastman, D Luke Lucyk

Key additions: F Patrick Levesque, D Gio Flamminio, F Mike Ullrich

NHL affiliation: None


Wichita Thunder

Arena: INTRUST Bank Arena (13,400)

Coach: Kevin McClelland, 2nd season

Last season: 34-26-6, reached Berry Conference Quarterfinals

Key returning players: F Matt Robinson, D Andrew Martens, F Aaron Davis

Key additions: D Craig Cescon, G Adam Russo, RW Alex Bourret

NHL affiliation: None


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