Is it coincidence that Hughes is now injured soon after the alleged "disagreements" with Coach Graham? I wonder.
I also wonder why King hasn't been shipped back to Dallas, Szydlowski back to Buffalo, and Mangan released in an effort to upgrade the roster. I guess since the Ks won their last game that all problems have been solved.
Posted by indy ks fan (153 posts) at 7:00 pm Wednesday
Is Graham's good close friend Gratz what this team needs right now in an assistant coach???
Posted by JR . (795 posts) at 7:08 pm Wednesday
dont think gratz is what we need at all! if we are going to sign a asst why wouldnt we have hired chaulk seriously? was it that big a thing to hire graham and have him do it alone? would chaulk have been to disappointed or offended that he didnt get head coach?? King needs traded! Mangan needs to be let go for better skill or grit/defense!
Posted by HockeyKnowHow (146 posts) at 10:14 pm Wednesday
Very interesting about Hughes....
Posted by 5MinuteMajor (164 posts) at 10:50 pm Wednesday
Gotta feeling there is a lot more to the Hughes story....
Who here would be shocked to see him traded?
Call Elmira, they give good players away.
Posted by HitSomebody!!! (1661 posts) at 11:58 pm Wednesday
December 02. 2013 7:35PM
Eminian: Circus was in town on Saturday
DAVE EMINIAN DAVE EMINIAN
It was an eyesore. A disgrace.
That's the best way to describe the final two periods of the Peoria Rivermen 5-1 victory over the Bloomington Thunder on Saturday.
And now the Southern Professional Hockey League has a mess to clean up, a reputation to establish in its two newest markets.
Is this a goon league, or a rising player development league?
Both were on display Saturday, the Rivermen, a fast, skilled team playing the game with integrity and structure. Bloomington, like the proverbial neighbor with a rusting car on blocks in his front yard, cruising around the ice begging, forcing confrontations.
I love physical play. Hard checks, high-motors, a spontaneous fight here and there. No problem.
But what we saw in Bloomington felt scripted and meaningless. Sucker punches, crosschecks, seven fights, six players ejected, 180 penalty minutes.
Bloomington head coach Brian Gratz moved to the partition between the benches late in the third period and tried to get at Peoria head coach Jean-Guy Trudel.
Not long after that, Bloomington defenseman Kory Helowka fired a puck at Trudel on the Rivermen bench, the bullet smashing off the glass behind the coach.
I saw it in person, and watched it on video again today.
Sick. It could have disfigured someone. Could have killed someone. And it could leave an indelible mark on the SPHL.
As head coach Gratz, whether or not he ordered the Helowka shot or anything else that happened in the game, is responsible for the actions his players take. All of them.
I don't know what the league will do. I know what I would do. Gratz deserves a suspension here. Helowka? We don't need to see him again. Not in this league. He represents a credibility test for the league.
The Thunder are frustrated with Peoria. They were built and tasked to fight and put on a rough-and-tumble show. Maybe that's what flies as hockey in that market, I don't know.
The Rivermen are built like an ECHL team, speed and skill. Play hockey. That's what the SPHL says it wants to be.
Bloomington has been on tilt since the season opener, when the Rivermen came in and beat them and turned down several invitations to fight.
The Thunder quit playing Saturday and dictated a gong show instead.
It obscured a natural hat trick from Rivermen center Nick Prockow. It buried a really fine outing from Rivermen rookie goaltender Eric Levine. Another terrific high-shot performance from Parker Stanfield.
Things the league should want us to be writing about today.
Instead, the Thunder absorbed a 5-1 loss, made a mess of the game, then skated to center ice and raised their sticks afterward. And their fans cheered.
TALK NET: Bloomington head coach Brian Gratz, after a penalty-filled 5-1 loss to the Rivermen on Saturday:
"We had just an abysmal second (period), taking awful penalties. People can say what they want about the officials, but the penalties he called were penalties. They get three power play goals in the second coming off a slashing, a slashing, a hooking, a holding ※ lazy penalties. Peoria, they capitalize on mistakes. ... It's just constant self-inflicted issues we keep running into, whether it's penalties or poor turnovers. Our PK was great (in a 4-3 loss to Peoria on Friday). Then we come into tonight and there's no continuation. Something has to be addressed; it will be addressed personnel-wise."
— Rivermen center Nick Prockow, who notched a natural hat trick while weathering the storm in a penalty-filled contest Saturday at Bloomington:
"It's a building rivalry, a battle every time we get out there. We know we have to come to play when we face those guys."
RIVER READINGS: The Rivermen have launched a Holiday Gift Pack for $96. It includes vouchers for 6 lower bowl end section seats to any game, plus an autographed puck from the Rivermen player of your choice. They are available at the box office through Jan. 6. ... The Rivermen have added a Puck Night giveaway to their Dec. 20 Central Illinois Strong Night home game against Bloomington. UnityPoint Health-Methodist has signed on to underwrite it, and the first 1,500 spectators in attendance will get a Rivermen puck. ... The Rivermen are 9 of 30 on the power play in four games against Bloomington, and have out-scored the Thunder 21-11 in the series. The Thunder have piled up 190 penalty minutes to Peoria's 115 in those games. ... In the two games at Bloomington, Peoria has won both times, 5-1, and has earned 20 power plays (5 goals) while the Thunder were boxed for 146 penalty minutes to Peoria's 83. ... Peoria's power play is 2 of 31 on the road against all other teams not named Bloomington. ... Former AHL Rivermen goaltender Paul Karpowich will make his SPHL debut with Peoria this weekend, when Huntsville visits for two games. ... Extra special: Rivermen center Nick Prockow leads the SPHL in power play goals (5) and is tied for the league in shorthanded goals (2). ... Rivermen rookie goaltender Eric Levine improved his numbers to 3.19 goals-against and .897 saves rate with the two-game sweep over Bloomington.
Dave Eminian covers the Rivermen for the Journal Star. Reach him at 686-3206 or email@example.com. Check out his sports blog, Cleve's World, at pjstar.com and follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.
Posted by Joe Charles (49 posts) at 7:24 am Thursday
Dave Eminian tries his best to matter. Pretending to be some kind of elitist in Peoria. You'd think being the self-proclaimed "stud reporter" he is, that he'd be aware that yes, the SPHL is a goon league. Peoria is in a joke of a league and you have to report on it. The irony cracks me up.
Gratz as Assistant Coach? Why stop there? Let's get every other mediocre coach from the SPHL born in Fort Wayne and really fire this GONG SHOW up... What a joke. So sad that a historic hockey market like Fort Wayne has become this kind of mess.
I guess when you speak up on this team and let it be known that the coach doesn't cut the mustard you end up on the IR and then get traded. Bobby Hughes has been busting his rear end lately. Playing great. I'm not buying the injury.
Posted by JungleMonkey (513 posts) at 8:11 am Thursday
I don't have much insight on the alleged Hughes thing but remember, he did play Saturday. So if whatever happened Friday was a thing, I don't think he would have been out there that night. Oh and in the future, please just use a short quote or link to another newspaper. I wouldn't like it if someone stole my whole story that way, so I'm sure Dave "I call everything Single A unless I'm covering it" Eminian would want you to use the link instead.
Posted by Justin Cohn (1283 posts) at 10:17 am Thursday
I absolutely "hate" this Hughes injury announcement. The timing just smells "fishy" to me.
Why is all this undercurrent going on? I hope I'm wrong, but I've learned to trust my instincts. Right now my instincts tell me Hughes is as good as gone...and no ass't coach named Gratz is going to solve anything except his own unemployment.
This team isn't that many players away from getting somewhere special, but with all this crap (that just never seems to stop), the only destination they're heading for is more frustration. Don't trade Hughes.
Posted by Alan (791 posts) at 11:43 am Thursday
I do sometimes let myself wonder what a Sims/Chaulk combo at the helm of this team would be capable of. The talent is on par. Al would have the defensemen playing far better. Colin was one guy that might actually be able to teach heart and never say die. Oh well, we've got Gary and we'll learn to be content with .500.
Posted by JungleMonkey (513 posts) at 2:08 pm Thursday
After watching this video http://youtu.be/DFyTxPpQflk, it makes no sense that Al Sims, or at the very least Colin Chaulk, is not coaching the Komets. WTF was David Franke thinking when he fired Al and let Colin go to Kzoo? Is it any wonder that things are falling apart in Komets land? Oh well, I gots me a real sweet Komets hat when I was in the Fort last week.
Posted by Charlie Arnold (675 posts) at 6:25 pm Thursday
I think the atmosphere around the Komets stinks.You have an Echl rookie coach calling out his best player, their Capt is traded ( which I agreed with)now another battle with a top line player. As if all of this isn't enough, now Brian Gratz appears on the scene.WOW!! This guy acts like a clown in B Ton and will surely be suspended by the Sphl. Now he comes crawling to the Komets looking for a job. Just what we need!!!!!! Let's just hope that Hughes is not gone.Its apparent that this coach has trouble communicating with his players and this needs fixed.I know that it would be nice to just read about the Komets playing good hockey and not all this other crap!!!!!
Posted by FWMUEL (63 posts) at 7:00 pm Thursday
trading hughes would be a disaster he is a great veteran player. DONT TRADE HUGHES!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by HockeyKnowHow (146 posts) at 8:26 pm Friday