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The Journal Gazette

  • Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette Al Sims and Colin Chaulk, who won four championships together as coach and player with the Komets, will have numbers retired in their honor later this season. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017 12:28 pm

Chaulk, Sims ceremonies finalized by Komets

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

The Komets have finalized their plans to retire jersey numbers in honor of former captain Colin Chaulk and championship coach Al Sims, who also played for Fort Wayne.

Chaulk’s No. 91 will be retired Feb. 18 before the Komets play the Brampton Beast, the team Chaulk now coaches. The No. 504 – in honor of how many wins Sims had behind the bench – will go to the Memorial Coliseum rafters in his honor March 25 before a game against the Cincinnati Cyclones, for whom his son, Jordan, plays.

They will be the 17th and 18th people to have numbers retired by the 65-year-old Komets. Fourteen of them, including Sims, have played for the team.

Chaulk and Sims won four championships together.

Chaulk played 687 games for the Komets between 2002 and 2013, guiding them to five championships in the United, International and Central Hockey Leagues. Five times, he was selected MVP by his teammates and he’s generally regarded as the greatest leader in franchise history.

He totaled 217 goals and 786 points with the Komets, including 33 goals and 102 points in 99 playoff games. In franchise history, he ranks third in regular-season points with (684), second in playoff points and first in number of playoff games played.

"Since Colin's last Komet game played, no one else has ever worn his No. 91 jersey," general manager David Franke said. "Colin was the face of the franchise during his time in Fort Wayne. He was a great player, great leader and great champion."

Sims, a former player in the NHL (he was Bobby Orr’s defense partner with the Boston Bruins), finished his playing career with the Komets in 1988-89. He was the head coach of the Komets from 1989 to 1993, when they won the IHL’s championship.

He went on to three seasons as an assistant coach in the NHL with Anaheim and one season as a head coach with San Jose, with which he was 27-47-8.

He returned to coach the Komets from 2007 to 2013, winning three straight titles in the IHL and one in the CHL.

His record with the Komets was 504-288-74, including 67-38 in the postseason. He is the franchise’s leader in games coached and victories.

"Al is the most accomplished coach in Komet history,” Franke said. “His number of wins and five championships say it all. He is like one of our family and like a brother to myself, (president Michael Franke and majority owner Steve Franke). This will be a great night for Al, his family and all Komet fans."

The Komets, who won 1-0 at Elmira, New York, on Wednesday night, play against at league-worst Elmira on Friday and at Reading, Pennsylvania, on Saturday night. It’s possible that defenseman Cody Sol and goalie Pat Nagle who have been out with knee and ankle injuries, respectively, could be activated for those games.

Goalie Garrett Bartus had 28 saves for the shutout Wednesday and Mason Baptista had the lone goal, making it four straight games in which he’s scored.

jcohn@jg.net