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Graham: 'My focus is on Missouri'

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- I asked Komets assistant coach Gary Graham whether he was in the mix for the job in Bloomington, Ill.

"My focus is on Missouri," he wrote in a text message, declining to speak about any job opportunities until after the playoffs.

The Blaze is down to four candidates, including two still in playoffs: Click here.

Graham was a candidate for the Bloomington job last year.

My gut feeling? He is probably on the Blaze's radar and, frankly, should be. He knows the league. And if the Komets bolt to the ECHL, he'd be able to bring some of the Komets to Bloomington, since some of the players won't fit into the ECHL demographics.

Komets president Michael Franke said he wasn't aware of Graham being a candidate for the Bloomington job. But he also said he wouldn't expect a team to ask permission to speak to an assistant coach in this situation.

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