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Ice Chips

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K's open to affiliation

Most teams in the ECHL have affiliations with NHL teams. The Komets are open to the conversation but are willing to go it alone, maintaining control over their own roster.

The team that would seem the best fit would be Columbus, which lost its AA-level affiliate when the Chicago Express folded. However, there's a little distrust there since the affiliation the Komets had with the Blue Jackets in 2010-11 provided about nothing.

Detroit and Chicago share an affiliation with Toledo. The Komets have a relationship with the Red Wings that dates back to the original IHL, so that might be a possibility at some point, but I bet we don't see an affiliation right away.

"From a player's perspective, if there's an affiliation put into place, the players have to be mindful of that," Komets captain Colin Chaulk said. "If you're a goalie with six or seven years experience, and you're not the No. 1 and sign with the Komets, they might get someone sent down through an affiliation agreement, and maybe it's not a smart place for you to go. If you're a tweener, a guy that's the eighth or ninth forward and can't find a steady line or role, you might get pushed out. The Komets could sign a six-player affiliation agreement ... and you never know. Players have to be mindful of that. The coach may want you, but he can be handcuffed by the big club."

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