When the Fort Wayne Komets said they were going to get back to old-time hockey in the new International Hockey League, I guess they meant it.
Today, they signed Konstantin Shafranov, the former NHL player who was the Rookie of the Year in the old IHL with the Komets ... in 1996.
Shafranov is 38.
So let's get this straight. The Komets have the coach from 1989 to 1993, Al Sims, back. They have a defenseman, Guy Dupuis, who was here in 1991-92. Another defenseman, Kevin Bertram, was fighting fires the last couple years. What's next? Oh yeah, you know Pokey Reddick is on general manager David Franke's speed dial.
I'm kidding. Maybe.
But in all seriousness, the signing of Shafranov should be a good one. He's always had great skills; he just better have his head in the game. He was kind of all over the place in 1999-2000, when he was last here, yet he still had 1.5 points per game. To the Komets' credit, they're not promising he'll be a top-line player. They'd better not be; he hasn't played more than 51 regular-season games since his last stint with the Komets. But I won't argue about a guy who has played in the NHL, World Championships and the Olympics until he shows up at the rink walking with a cane, and Franke insisted he won't be doing that.
Besides, Dupuis is 37 and he ruled last season.
Meanwhile, former Komets coach Greg Puhalski didn't get the job in Kalamazoo. That went to Brian Curran, the former Quad City Mallards coach. Either way, you're getting boring hockey, so I would have gone with the coach who had a better record, but what do I know.
Check out Wednesday's editions of The Journal Gazette for more on the signing of Shafranov.
-- By Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette