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The Journal Gazette

Friday, May 10, 2019 9:20 pm

Still waiting on K's coaching decision

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Komets still have not decided if they will retain Gary Graham as head coach.

“There’s still nothing to report there but I do think shortly we’ll come to a decision,” general manager David Franke said tonight. “Gary is still under contract for another season, and all of that information is known, and we’ll make sure we get the final information to everybody in a short period of time.”

Graham, who has made the playoffs in all six seasons as coach, took the Komets to Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs before losing to the Toledo Walleye this year.

“We’re just telling our coaching staff to get some rest. We’re still wrapping things up here and we told them to just get some rest and relax because when we get ready to get at this again, it’ll be full bore,” Franke said.

Graham, also reached tonight, said he hasn’t heard anything new.

Graham has a 251-130-51 record in the regular season, plus a 40-33 playoff record with victories in 7 of 13 series and two trips to conference finals.

While I’m on record as saying the Komets should bring Graham back, the longer this goes on the more I believe they are making a change. Not that there’s a rush — the conference finals begin tonight — if they had full confidence then the Komets would have already endorsed Graham. They have talked to the players during exit interviews, so I don’t think there’s new information to be found.

It could be they are talking to, and gauging, potential replacements, but I don’t know you can get a full picture of your options until the job is open and you see who throws their hats in the ring. There are so many names in minor-league hockey, you just never know who will surface.

All of that being said, time heals wounds and the Komets may just be waiting so they don’t make rash decisions. One of the big reasons I thought they should bring Graham back was, in my opinion, there is little guarantee they’ll be upgrading at coach — save for landing Jim Anderson, who I’ve heard is gunning for NHL assistant jobs and doesn’t have much interest; or getting Aaron Schneekloth, who led the Colorado Eagles to the 2017 and 2018 ECHL titles and was an American Hockey League assistant this season.

Making a coaching change just to make a change can be counter-productive to me, unless you know you’re upgrading.

jcohn@jg.net