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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July 22, 2008

Comments

mightbite

PS: keep getting beter Jason Baird.

Jerad Shaw

P.S. Keep getting better Jason Baird.

P. S. S. Keep getting better at euchre Jerad Shaw. Conley about hit me in the mouth 4 times last night!!!!!! We were still Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!

Hit Somebody!!!

HOSS....thanks for the laugh.

JR

Holy cow people..... This is the offseason, let them talk about what they want to talk about. There is no real hockey news to talk about right now, so who cares?? If you want to talk hockey come up with a topic and lets discuss..........

Hit Somebody!!!

Ok I joke again...

http://beerblog.genx40.com/

Have fun.

What does Louisville, Evansville, Columbus IN, and Indianapolis all have in common?

kjg

Im sorry did I miss something? Wayne Gretzky sign with us, Grant Fuhr back up goaltender.....Mark Messier,Bobby Hull, or Phil Esposito?


No new signings, everything either talked to death or fizzled. Unless theres anything new, isnt much to talk about.

Oh yeah....Andre Roy left the Lightening and signed with Calgary...THAT happened last week so OLD news. YAWNS!

Hit Somebody!!!

I think everyone is on serious hockey withdrawal. I know I am there. Isn't it October yet?

deuce

I just checked and had it re-checked, it's July.

Cat Eyes

I give, Hit...what do the 4 cities all have in common? Or were you asking us all?

Hit Somebody!!!

Everyone can answer.

Hit Somebody!!!

Here is a topic to ponder...who so far is winning the early signing wars in the IHL this off-season, obviously on paper?

http://www.furyhockey.com/team/roster.cfm plus add new signee's Gens and Boeser.

Hit Somebody!!!

PT Roster...

http://www.prairiethunderhockey.com/team/roster/

Hit Somebody!!!

Flint....

With the additions of Josef Fojtik and Kyle Deck to the line-up, the Generals roster now has a total of seven players. Kris Mallette, John DiPace, Justin DePretis, Greg Bullock and Steve Rymsha are the other that have been inked the contracts thus far.

Hit Somebody!!!

K-Zoo

http://www.wingsstadium.com/roster.htm

Hit Somebody!!!

BorderIceBeaconsHawks...

http://www.porthuronicehawks.com/roster.html

FiveMinuteMajor

Hey Hit- were those cities all places a certain other hockey writer said the IHL was gonna expand into for this season? :)

Hit Somebody!!!

Komets...

http://www.komets.com/roster.htm

Hit Somebody!!!

Those were all rumored IHL expansion possibilities.

Plus...they are all primarily basketball towns. With the exception of Indy being the home of the Colts...all are natural basketball towns with rich history and current stars in the High School, College, and Pro Ranks. People in those towns love basketball with a passion.

Can a "winter" sport like hockey make any kind of impact on any of those cities? That is the question mark on this whole thing of the Midwest Hockey League going after those markets.

If the MWHL sparks any sort of interest in those towns...could the IHL then move in and capitalize on those sparks?

Hit Somebody!!!

By the way, Port Huron's website is pretty cool looking. I like the bridge with the scary birds flying over.

Hit Somebody!!!

Everyone outside of Fort Wayne will say Flint and Muskegon are the teams to beat...but I think that Port Huron and the Komets are loaded. But when you look at the league signings overall, looks like teams are going to be improved overall, except for K-Zoo. They look weak so far...I know it is early on...but they have some catching up to do. Muskegon will be tough, and it is rumored that Flint has some big signings to announce this week.

Should continue to be very interesting. I love the Komet's chances again this year, as long as we add rookies and tweeners with the quality we had last year, and maybe 1 more scoring veteran...

Wendy

Hoss, not sure if you were talking to me since I wasn't making light of anything, but just to clarify... I was just pointing out that A)aiming for the dugout is no better in my book than aiming at the stands and B) the guy is either a *bleep* for hitting the woman or a no-talent *bleep* for not being able to hit the broadside of a dugout.

But please... I really hate baseball. So don't make me explain any further. :P

Honestly, I find it difficult to get into signing news and speculation. A few months ago, I looked back through the signing news last year. Nearly everyone who was signed this early didn't wind up on the final team. Maybe that was a fluke, but it just seems premature to assume anyone signed now will still be playing come the winter.

Hit Somebody!!!

Ok then...it is official. Thanks for summing that up Wendy.

Back to your normal schedule of general conversations on the party line known as Ice Chips. LOL

I ask again...is it October yet?

Cat Eyes

One thing to point out, Hit...Fort Wayne once had no hockey, either, and we took to the Komets with a vengeance! So you really never know...and Fort Wayne had the Zollner Pistons basketball team from 1941 - 1957, before we got the Komets in 1952, so wouldn't that qualify us as being a basketball town before we were a hockey town, too? So many other towns/cities are multiple sports towns as well...Detroit has the RedWings, the Pistons, the Lions, and the Tigers, just to name one area city with 4 sports that are very well-attended even when they are losing (mainly the Lions there...). So it's doable. But I know what you are saying...I'm just pointing out that maybe an introduction to hockey will swing them our way, and maybe they will love it as much as, or more than, basketball, and adopt it just like we did to our beloved Komets here in the Fort.

Hope you have a great weekend...great research there on all the signings!! I agree that we're doing well, and that we have a really good chance at greatness again this year...good core to start from already, so how can we not do well?? :)

Any further word on Saidachev? Need him and Warner to re-sign...that would be great!

mightbite

K-zoo will have a major signing this week-wed. or thur.=heard it on k-zoo radio station.

Hit Somebody!!!

I hear what you are saying Cat Eyes. You make good points.

I would also add, that it may be hard to pull people away in Louisville from U of L sports. It may be hard to pull people in Evansville away from U of E sports and High School basketball and football. Indy is so obvious as to what is going on there in the winter months, I won't list the hundreds of things there, and even Columbus area, you have HS sports and IU Basketball, even though this season in Hoops will be a rough one after the Sampson and Greenspan disasters to the program there.

I would love to see an expansion area open up for the IHL to tap into. Indy is the best bet because you still have a market there that remembers the original IHL and they still have a small following with the Juniors team there. I can see the Chicago Hounds owner pulling off something there real soon. I bet he is working on it as we speak for next year. Just a hunch.

Where does that leave expansion areas at? I think you have to somehow get towns that all ready have hockey to change to the IHL. Toledo, Dayton, Peoria, Rockford, Quad City, etc. Those would be ideal.

This year in the IHL is so very crucial as to the development of the league and for possible marketing to other areas for expansion. Make or break year.

Wendy

My dad was telling me that when Fort Wayne first got the Komets franchise, no one here (or at least very few) knew anything about hockey. He said they invited everyone to come see a free exhibition game... I think he said it was free... at the Coliseum to show them how hockey was played and what it was like. I guess it worked!

Hit Somebody!!!

50+ years ago and today are 2 different animals. We didn't have the Colts in Fort Wayne, or the Pacers, or Butler Basketball, or IU basketball nearby, or Purdue nearby. The economy sucks right now too. Gas prices are sky high. What level of hockey were the Komets 50 years ago. Was it pick-up style hockey back then? The options for the entertainment dollar are severely different than 50 years ago. More places to eat now, more movie theaters, concerts, malls, tv's, etc. etc.

I hear your argument Wendy, but it is hard to say that hockey will catch on in Columbus IN today because it did in Fort Wayne 50+ years ago. Times are severely different. Hockey is low on the food chain nationally, not to mention locally in that community. The NHL struggles nationally anymore. They are in a battle for viewership with NFL, NBA, NCAA sports, Nascar, etc.

I would love to see hockey catch on in Central to Southern Indiana, I grew-up there. I also know that those areas are basketball rich and football following these days. The influence of Michigan, Chicago, and Canada can reach down to Fort Wayne with Hockey, it doesn't rich down to Indy and below, it just doesn't.

Bob

Wendy, Cat Eyes and Hit Somebody,

All of you are making excellent points....It would help the game of hockey (at all levels) if the sport was televised on a major network like ABC or NBC. The current deal on Versus does not give the game enough exposure.

Even when ESPN carried the NHL, hockey had better exposure than what it gets now.

Plus, most cities that have say, hoops, hockey, baseball, etc. don't always give hockey as much local media coverage by the newspapers, radio and tv like we are lucky to have here in Fort Wayne.

It also would help if other cities had more knowledgeable fans. I still to hear casual fans that attend a game, gripe because they did not get to see a fight or a bloodbath on the ice. ---Of course, most of these folks arrive late, leave early and move 20 times during the game---

I think having better coverage and education of the sport will go a long ways towards attracting new fans and developing new markets, especially once the economy recovers.

We're the lucky ones....we get to watch our team play in a clean, updated arena that is safe and comfortable, great ownership group and outstanding local media coverage.

Wendy

HS, I do realize that things are different now. But I'd have to argue with your statement about hockey interest not extending beyond Indy. Tell that to those Cincinnati Cyclones fans I saw bragging on a message board about their attendance. By the way, their mayor made a statement speaking about the team in glowing terms and declared a "Cyclones Weekend" just because the team had made it to the finals. THEN he declared another "Cyclones Day" after they won. Pretty nice, huh?

True, hockey is a harder sell in warmer climates, but there are teams all over the place and each of them has diehard fans. Hockey is a great game! If you love the sport the way I think you do, then surely you believe that others would appreciate it, too, no matter where they live, if only they were properly exposed to it. And yes, that's where the real struggle is. Getting hockey the coverage it deserves.

Cat Eyes

Bob...thanks for the compliment! And I think YOU made a great point...yeah, if hockey got more national TV coverage, you are right, more viewership = more fans. I know I'm a little worried about this fall trying to watch my Sharks play, because I don't get the NHL package here at home, so I have to rely on Versus. Bummer.

However, I must point out...I was at a party last night in honor of someone who lives in North Carolina (south of the Mason-Dixon line, if I'm not mistaken), and he was saying how everyone there loves NASCAR and is trying to convert him (he used to live here). They have the Hurricanes and a couple other minor league hockey teams in the area he lives in (Winston-Salem, I think), and I asked him about attendance, remembering our discussion here. He said it's great! People there have taken to it, so I will hold hope that Louisville and Evansville and Columbus will do the same. I have family in Louisville, so I'll do my part by making them all go to a game next time I make it down,ok? :)

Bob

Or take them to see the Komets if they come here to visit....I remember the first time I invited my best friend to a game....he was'nt sure if he wanted to go, but did. After attending a few games he really started to enjoy it after learning the rules, etc.

Cat Eyes

Bob...I would, but they are lazy and never travel here...I always have to go to them!! Too bad, because they are really missing out on the zoo and Fort Wayne's sports. Oh well, their loss! When I go to Louisville, I see the Bats when I can, and now I'll definitely try to see the Chill.

That's how I got into hockey, too...my son started really loving it, and begged me to come with him and his dad to a game, so I grudgingly relented and went, and had way more fun than I thought I would! I used to go when I was younger, but had forgotten how much fun they were. So now "the goalie" and I are the addicts, and we go ourselves all the time. We're both really trying to learn all we can about the rules and stuff so we are less confused there. It's been fun!

Charlie in Rochester Hills, MI

I don't understand Savage's bashing of Fort Wayne. I spent 28 years in Fort Wayne and also have been in Flint MANY times, there is no comparison. Maybe Savage is po'd about the Navistar radio ad playing in this market, touting Fort Wayne's finer points. Or maybe it's that the Komets can get over 100 replies on the blog in July, Savage's blog did not even get replys when Tiger Woods was rumored to play in the Buick open, before bowing out. I don't think people even read his blog. Or maybe he's po'd because more people in Michigan know who the Komets are than who the Generals are. As for player signings, the K's already have signed perhaps the top IHL goalie, 2 of the best forwards, and the best d'man in the league. I would say the K's are ahead of the other teams so far. As for Calgary winning the cup, no way, the Red Wings will be the first team to win back to back cups since, oh yeah, the Red Wings of 97 and 98.

Cat Eyes

Charlie...thanks for the nice compliments and defense of Fort Wayne and the Komets...you sound like a fan, or just a nice dude. But the RedWings are going down next year...my Sharks are gonna chomp 'em...LOL!! Sorry, had to throw that one in there on ya!! And on you, mightbite...uh, let's see...my Sharks will drown your Flames?? That's the best I can do tonight!!

mightbite

Only player on sharks that mightbite like=Jody Shelley=so there-HA-HA

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