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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 12:00 am

Talking Graham-to-Indy rumors

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The single biggest question I've gotten about Gary Graham for the past several weeks has been this: Will he end up with the Indy Fuel?

Now that Graham has been let go as coach of the Komets, of course those rumors intensified today.

I can't say much on this whole situation because it would divulge my sources. But I can tell you the following: The Fuel did some due diligence on Graham. I then heard he was out of the mix and its NHL affiliate, the Chicago Blackhawks, was going to present the Fuel an approved list of candidates. The Fuel made a point of stating in a Thursday press release that it was happy to have the Blackhawks involved. Now where it gets interesting is that multiple sources told me today that the Fuel offered the job to someone with head-coaching experience at this level and were turned down. I have no idea if the Blackhawks indeed signed off on Graham, but I have to wonder if he again would be on the Fuel's list regardless.

I will say that both the Fuel and Wichita Thunder would be foolish if they don't take a good, long look at Graham, who made the playoffs all six seasons with the Komets. Aside from the obvious, that Graham would be a big upgrade for the Fuel over its previous coach, Bernie John, consider this: Having Graham coaching Indy would sell a lot of tickets in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne and add life to a rivalry that sorely needs some.

Where do I really think Graham lands next season? As an assistant in the American Hockey League. If nothing else, he's a video hound and could make a strong case for being brought on as a video coordinator. 

jcohn@jg.net