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Ice Chips

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K's not for sale

I was contacted over the weekend by someone alleging the Komets were weeks away from being sold and even that the new owners have their new coach. (This coach, by the way, coaches a Midget Major AAA team, which I really find hard to believe.)

Just in case this particular rumor gets some legs, or if it's true, I thought I would ask Komets president Michael Franke about it.

He said it's false.

"The Komets aren't for sale," he said, adding that the team's majority owner, Stephen Franke, hasn't been at Memorial Coliseum recently meeting with any new owners.

"I'm planning on having a job in the coming months."

In the course of all this, though, a topic came up: Would a junior team playing at the Coliseum get any interest from fans?

Full disclosure here, there is a junior team in town: The Federals.

Like most things that happen at the Lutheran Health SportsCenter, it isn't marketed very well, so no one knows about it.

But whenever I hear rumors about the Komets getting bought, and they pop up every so often, they are usually attached to the idea of there being a junior team brought to town with them.

Personally, I don't think there's enough demand for fans to see a team in, say, the North American Hockey League, along with the Komets.

As for the Komets, I really don't see the Frankes selling the team anytime soon. I don't pretend to know their personal finances, but I don't see Michael or David Franke, or Scott Sproat, in any rush to retire. And you aren't going to get a fortune for an ECHL franchise.

Stranger things have happened, though. With the way teams in minor-league hockey get sold, fold, pop up, etc., nothing would surprise me.

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