Justin A. Cohn

About Ice Chips

  • 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 jcohn@jg.net.

Komets Korner

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April 22, 2008



First news is good news...

Hit Somebody!!!

Blows the old 8-10 teams that the Frankes were promising out of the water. What the heck is going on here? I thought this was going to be a league that was financially sound due to strong owners and less travel. If the Komets are the only team turning a profit, I would think this league is in a deep pile of poo. This means next year is critical. If teams don't start putting butts in the seats, then this league is done. What happened to all the possible teams that wanted in this coming year? Evansville? Louisville? Dayton? Indy? Even the rumor of teams from the ECHL and CHL bolting to join up...what happened?

This looks really, really bad. I would think the return of the same 6 shows those same 6 teams and their fans that this league is in trouble. Just my opinion. Most fans went along with a 6 team league with the thought that more teams would be added next year...now 5 out of 6 teams failed, and are limping back to the league for one more go? YIKES.

Who is in the Battle Royale Friday night? Anyone know for sure?

Justin Cohn

Not necessarily. This just means the current 7 teams have committed for next season. It doesn't rule out other teams, necessarily. I think the most there could be for next season would be eight. I still think Youngstown is a strong possibility.

Amazed Komet Fan

The big surprise is the Hounds talking to the Sears Centre. Never thought that would happen.

My brother-in-law lives in Elgin and knows the owner, they were having trouble financing the Santa's Village site, the Chicago suburbs is not cheap land value. Banks were not to excited about the plan, which included bringing back rides, etc to the park.

7 teams for scheduling is also a problem, plus teams in a the newly revamped MAHL are showing up in the area, less cost to operate. Hard enough to find quality owners , now a new league is in the area.

Lisman took a chance with Bloomington, that could have cost the IHL 2 teams.

Plus, there was no race for the title, FW loved it, but it was bad for the league.

Let's hope the Hounds come on board, at least it is new team to play.

Amazed Komet Fan

The IHL will hold a 2008-09 Scheduling meeting on Tuesday, May 20th.

They better sign those other teams up soon, the above was in the league release. Hard to change dates...

Hit Somebody!!!

7? I misread this thing then...I thought it said 6 plus the chance Chicago works out an agreement with the Sears Center by May 9th? The chances of that look bad considering they pushed them out last year with raising the rent on them. Plus if you look at that arenas scheduling...it might be tough to fit a team in there. I looked at this years scheduling and they have just about every weekend night fulll of something during the IHL season. It will be interesting. But I still say, if there aren't 8-10 teams next year, alot of people in the all ready failing cities will continue to not attend games, and the attendance might actually end-up worse. Then what? You lose 3-4 teams the next season and you are left with 2-4 teams and still looking for more teams....sounds rocky at best.

I hope you are right though Justin. Hope there are a couple of teams we don't know about waiting in the wings to save this league. Port Huron, Flint, and Muskegon are on death-watch at this moment the way it looks.


I totally broke this before you Justin.


My dog "Missey" = chicago mascot on roids.


All this means their intentions are to come back for next year, it does not mean all will...Sure if you take it at face value all 6 teams will be in, but the IHL can not survive on a 6 team format for multiple years since only 1 team is turning a profit. And yes K's fans the K's can survive in another league if need be

Justin Cohn

Sorry Junior, I was playing hockey at the time, not reporting on it. lol.

Hat trick on Coliseum ice. Natural hat trick, I think.


once the playoffs are over this will be our summer long ice chips discussion.... hopefully other teams realize its not the ho-hum UHL and decide to join...one more year to get it right then lets bounce and get into a real league.


Sounds like you had more important things to do there Mr. Orr.

I was just trying to sound cool. Probably didn't work, ah well.

Hit Somebody!!!

I am starting to agree JW. I have been a bigtime supporter of what the IHL is about and what it is trying to become, but it is very important to attract new teams that can help add to the attraction of this league to each city it is in, or people will grow bored and stop going, except for us Komet fans who would watch just about anhy team play the Komets. We can survive no problem, but can Port Urine, FLint, and Musky? I am not sure about that at all.

John Wonderly

Hit Somebody!!!-You're a glass half empty kind of guy, aren't you?

Hit Somebody!!!

No, not at all. Things just don't look good. I am all for the efforts of the IHL. It just looks like they are fighting an up-hill battle. Do you see things being that encouraging? If so John, explain to me what is encouraging about the future of this league. I want it to succeed as much or more than most, but you have to look at this thing without the orange tinted glasses. 5 out of 6 teams are failing miserably. That looks bad. The Economy of 50% of the team's cities in this league have fallen on hard times. These teams must have those cities support to succeed. To attract other new teams in this league, you must be able to sell the fact that this league can be successful. After year one, things are very rocky. You have to admit that.

I hope they have a great plan that works at adding more viable teams to this league. I want this league to do well. I want the Komets to be in a good competitice league that can be successful.

Half-Empty....I think not....discussing the issue with open eyes...yes.


All you need to do is go back and read the history of the NHL. It was not blooming, booming, or born with 30 teams. It took awhile with its own set of struggles.
Its way too early to speculate about next year.


I say give every team a Sat. night game with the Komets once a month so they at least have 500-1000 fans in their buildings every Sat....hint: play the Komets get road fans in the seats to boost your economy. Give Flint/K-zoo/Muskegon/P Huron one more game each against each other and us one more against Bloomington and Chicago? Who Knows and who cares really til the playoffs run out. Who else is going Weds? There are three of us from Warsaw going including the musical chairs champion Conley.

Hit Somebody!!!

Ok, I hear that Scoops, but the topic is at the top of the page regarding the current status of the league, and the current facts of the league.

Does anyone think that things are rosy with 5 out of 6 teams not putting up good numbers in attendance and losing money? Does anyone think that the Economies in Flint, Port Huron, and Muskegon are able to support those teams any longer the way they might have in the past 10 years?

Lets compare Apples to Apples and not the NHL to the IHL. That is not a very good argument in my opinion. The NHL setup teams in Chicago, New York, Boston, Montreal, Detroit and Toronto. How do those cities compare with Flint, Port Huron, Fort Wayne, Bloomington, K-Zoo, and Muskegon?

It is early to speculate about next year. But it does make for good discussion. Does it not? Look at the blog headline and article that Justin prepared at the top of the page. Was he simply stirring the pot again? LOL

Amazed Komet Fan

One thing we all overlooked, that the meeting even had to be held to determine who was coming back.

Chicago is making one final and desperate attempt to play at the Sears Centre. Odds are probably not good at all.

Youngstown would have to jump thru some CHL "hoops" to get released due to how the league is set-up. Plus, they would be way out of the regional map of the IHL. You ever try to get to Youngstown from FW? Youngstown is better suited for the ECHL,but the cost to join is pretty steep.

I will give Pickard and company an "A" for effort, but I think they overestimated some of the factors in keeping the league viable. The Frankes have some choices to make for the long range future.

Justin Cohn

The meeting was scheduled long ago; a Board of Governors meeting. It's like an Oliver Stone pic in here.


right on hit. as much as we rag on the other teams, after hearing that we were the only team to make a profit made me feel bad because those 5 other teams stepped up when nobody else would. but we have to accept that as the reality of the situation we are above the other teams finance wise. so why not do something about it?

getting rid of the junk UHL was great but, just bringing back the old IHL name hasnt been enough yet. i hope the summer brings good news.

Amazed Komet Fan

Take the blinders off - there is trouble in the IHL. The facts show it, the attendance proves it. To many factors play into the problem. No changes in the refs who were hired shows that they over estimated the flood of talented refs wanting to work in the IHL.

The Muskegon reporter did his homework.

Maybe they even had owners fighting each other, just like teammates LOL

Komets PA

Hey, if anyone is interested, I got rid of one of my game worn Russian jerseys through Sport Spot on Ebay. It's a Slava Butsayev #25 game worn Red Army jersey and doesn't show a whole lot of wear. It is a heavy weight Athletic Knit jersey. Just trying to lighten up the closet a bit. Here is the link...

Also, I will try to get the lyrics to K-skate Boogie up here soon. It's something I worked up with an old copy that a good Komet fan let me borrow and I decided to update it since a few people had asked about it. It was recorded early in the morning hence the not so great vocals, but oh well. Hope you all got a kick out of it.

Hit Somebody!!!

No disrespect Justin, but where is anyone giving a conspiracy theory. There is no conspiracy in 5 out of 6 teams showing no profit, and some of those five are limping back...maybe...into the league next season. They "INTEND" to be back next season, that doesn't always mean they will be. Remember last year, Rockford and Quad City had reported their intentions of returning to the league, and then jumped ship. We just don't know what might happen over the summer. It is too early to speculate, but it does make for good discussion. I don't see any conspiracy in that. But maybe you know more than what we do on the situation and can't comment fully. But on the otherhand, you normally give all the news and don't hold back for anyone.


to those who asked...I'll be heading up tomorrow...leaving at 230pm


You can use numerous examples of different leagues, different sports, a business, or you own portfolio. My 2 pennies to the discussion is you start small with little or nothing and you make it something.
My own personal opinion is this league cannot live off of whatever momentum or success its had this year for a long period of time. Six teams is going to wear itself thin after awhile. I think this league was invisioned with the overall landscape of hockey becoming more and more regionalized to cut costs and attempt to make a dime. If this doesn't happen over the next 5 years or so then we may be in for something different.


i missed somethng! where was it reported that we were the only ones making a profit?? i cant believe the kwings didnt make money when the own their own arena. as far as the league goes, two new teams are needed but we can go another year with six if they get healthy and the schedule is done differently. take time and do it right.

Charlie Crawford

I was really wishing for 7-8 teams, and I still am. But if only 6 come back then so be it. As long as we have hockey, and as long as the product is a little bit better then the USHL. Yes I have been to many Indy Ice games, and I am not to impressed.

On another note, I am 99% sure that I am going to the game tomorrow in Muskegon. I was wondering what is the best way to get up there, or the quickest way? Thanks for your help!

One more thing, it was a shame to see the Caps, and Gabby not pull out game 7 tonight. Hopefully they can build on it for next year.

Sidney Crosby

The league had high hopes of Indy entering in 2008-09 - even taking Flint co-owner Kris Draper down to make a pitch. The Ice re-upping for another year at the Coliseum was a disappointment, but it's only one year.

Getting Indy into the IHL after next year would bring some excitement into the league that could attract other Midwest cities. I would think it would help Bloomington as well to get a geographic rival in place.

I agree, the economy is not helping the Michigan teams, but another year of 6-7 teams may buy the league some time to get other teams to supplement or replace the ailing teams.

Don't forget about Toledo, either.

Great conversation piece!!


Who all is playing some blogger musical chairs on Friday? I actually got in, and I didn't send my email until 4:30AM the next day. Just curious to see who is all gonna be playing. GO KOMETS!!!



kyle hunt

Will be B2ing tonight, Tom, I won't be there to keep you out of trouble, Conley will have to pick up my slack, would hate to see you shawed on Muskey's last home game of the season!


With this much uncertainty with who is and who isn't next year is starting to worry me. I for one am renewing next year but I hate to be a spoiler and say that there may be many who will not renew because the league is to unstable. Sure we will still have a big following but the population of fort Wayne is almost 5 times larger than most of the cities we play. At 4 dollars a gallon I will not travel as much. Just saying if there are the same 6 returning there might be 6 out of 6 not turning profit next year.


Okay, I am not a business man by any means. I only a general contractor.

I know Youngstown is geographically not logical, however, in my opinon, getting the cities of the state of Ohio needs to be a goal for the IHL. If the IHL could obtain Youngstown and with Dayton and Cincy struggling financially, they may, in the next year or two, make the decision to move to the IHL. At the same time, the USHL contract with Indy should be up (I can't rememeber if they signed a one or two year extension). If the IHL could get a Dayton, Cincy, Toledo, the rest would come. Therefore, Youngstown may be a step in the right direction for the future of the IHL.


I'm in the blogger musical chairs. I plan on taking Hoss out!!!! lol!


Since Chaulk is suspended for tonight's game the rule is the K's would have to skate a man short and not able to replace Chaulk in the line-up correct?


Is Saidschev on the playoff roster? Is so he should be able to play right? Or since there was a suspension we can't activate anyone.


I think you can use everyone on your active playoff roster, which I thought was everyone we kept plus the amatuers.


here is the solution:

Once next years schedule is available, get someone to sponser a road bus that follows the Komets on all the weekend games. I don't know about you but I would be willing to pay $15-$20 a weekend to, not drive, be able to go to a lot more away games, drink more at the game (for those that drink), and have MANY more komets fans at the games!!!

Then every team would have a significant jump in their attendance, food, and booze sales.

A big sponser for this would be great - -someone that wasn't out to make money on the bus trip, but just break even. Heck even Two ladies and a bus could sponser it.

All in all if something like this was advertised by the komets I think a LOT of people would jump on it. Think of how many die hard fans are at every game that aren't on this board. 5,000 season tickets. We must be able to fill a bus!

Then the fantastic Komets could be hoisted up on the IHL's shoulders and marched down main street in honor of saving the IHL!

Anyway, just my two cents


. . . Almost forgot.

We will be at the game tonight. What section is everyone sitting in to avoid the confrontations of Saturday. After the drama and my wife getting grabbed by a drunken Musky fan on her way out I'd rather not sit in the same section again.

Let me know, I hope to order tickets here in the next couple hours.


Hey Homco. I am just going to get tickets up there and see what mood I'm in to determine what section to sit in. I will and have never been one to be pushed around. I want to sit in 106 and support our players but I know it will be rough. I am going to take ear plugs so I don't have to hear them squawking at me. By the way can that bus swing by Warsaw to pick up the 20 diehards from K county?

Charlie Crawford

Hey Homco, I was planning on getting my tickets at the door in Muskegon as well. How many K's fans are going tonight? Anyone got a rough estimate? Also what is the best way to get up to Muskegon? Never been, and I am just curious which way everyone else drives up.


69 N
94 W
131 N
96 west

96 turns into US 31

Then it turns into shore blvd or something like that. The arena is on the right.

Mapquest it


Seaway drive is the road when you get to Muskegon...you will go by a Mejor store likely and 31 does indeed turn in 31 business there. Those are the correct directions. See everyone there...we have 3 and homoco has 3-4 so there will at least be 8-10 of us.


Homoco huh, thanks Tom, can't even spell my name.. . . . Geesh j/jk

Just me and the misses tonight.

See ya tonight!

Go Komets


I am sure the Warner clan will be there too. That's atleast another 4-6 people

Charlie Crawford

Thanks guys for the directions, I really appreciate it. Hopefully I will get to meet some of you tonight! GO KOMETS!


We should all make shirts with our names on it LOL. . . . Well I guess Conley already has that taken care of.


Heck yeah. Conley is Muskegon bound!


Headed up to Muskegon now... I guess we may give 106 another shot. I just don't want another altercation off ice!

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