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 [email protected].

Komets Korner

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November 12, 2007



Nice subject for this Ice Chip, I love it. I agree with your list I think the top 3 are good and the bottom 3 are just awful.

I like the crazy little names some minor league teams come up with (mudhens,lugnuts,muckdogs,condors, hitmen)

But, some teams still seem to get it wrong by jerking the name over too much
(grrowl, anything with ice in front of it, mud bugs, winterhawks,salmon kings)

glad the komets have something original, catchy, and nice looking.

Jungle Monkey

Some of these names are just silly. Fury is horrible. The Flags was BY FAR the Worst in the UHL.


Justin, I thought Prairie Thunder was derived from the herds of buffalo(bison) on the prairie, thus the buffalo mascot/logo.

Illinois Bois

Two minutes in the sin bin for Justin Cohn!

"Which leaves me with the Bloomington Prairie Thunder...But it does have a decent origin, referring to the long railroad history in the area."

"Prairie Thunder" is the sound of a stampeding bison herd. It has nothing to do with a railroad. Notice the logo is a bison and not a train?


A lot of teams are using singular names for whatever reason. I still think THE WORST ones are the names of a lot of the soccer teams out there. (Columbus Crew, Manchester United, etc.)

I would like to know what you thought of the Indianapolis Ice name, especially with the logo of the mean looking polar bear standing up in the skyline of the city, looking like he was protecting the city.

To me, the names of the other teams are ok, but the PH IceHawk looks like he drank too much and is ready to fall out of the tree!


Remember the Roanoke Valley Vipers? I was never sure if Roanoke Valley was the name of the city, or if the team was the Valley Vipers? What's a Valley Viper?

Florida Everblades is kinda clever... :)


Nothing will ever beat the "Peoria PRANCERS" IMO.

Lee Davidson

If I am not mistaken, Kalamazoo was once owned by the Detroit Red Wings (IHL days?) thus the K-Wings...makes sense, in Michigan they love the Red Wings, keep the name don't change like PH has done in the past...best source for that would probably be the best person to ask would be Bob Chase...FW has problem with nicknames in the past and present Mad Ants, Freedom, Fusion, etc

The Fan

If you all remember a few years ago; Fort Wayne, Indiana was voted the dumbest city in America by Men’s Health Magazine. They even highlighted the fact that our local hockey team is called the Komets. "Yeah, that’s comets spelled with a “K”. I say Phooey! Yep, it's spelled right. KOMETS... It even looks like HOCKEY. GO KOMETS!!! It would'nt be right if it were a C.

It did always like the team name, Dayton "Bombers". My father is retired Air Force. The Evil Toledo "Gold Diggers". As a kid in the late 60's and early 70's I always thought it was the "Gold Diggers". I kinda like that better. I'm sure they have those there too.

The Fan

Ooops, I got ahead of myself wit the punch line "Goal Diggers". Hey, Justin. Have you heard any talk about the Komets having any interest in Justin Depretis? (MAHL-Indiana Ice Miners). There you go JW. Another one of them there "Ice" teams.


FMF- I think they got the name Roanoke Valley Vipers by saying the Roanoke Valley..I read somewhere that that region is in a valley...thus the name Roanoke Valley..how they got vipers is beyond me...GO KOMETS,

Justin Cohn

Sorry people, it's a reference to the trains that used to go through there and was nicknamed the Prairie Thunder. It was also a name of an exhibit on trains that was at the local museum shortly before the team was founded, and that's what prompted the person who submitted the name in their contest to do so. The buffalo was a nice sidenote to it all.


Well Justin what names are good all around in the minor leagues? You don't seem impressed with the IHL names...what names do you like?


Change of subject, if I may. I'm leaving for Florida and will be missing the induction of Terry McDougall in the Komets Hall of Fame this Saturday night. He was one of my all-time favorite K's, playing on my favorite line of all time with Robbie Laird and Al Dumba. Sure wish I could be there. He really deserves it...check the records and you'll know what I mean. Way to go, Dougie!


McDougall, Laird, and Dumba put up points like they were going out of style. Dougie's production was unmatched. Go to the record book and check it out.

Shaun Bill

I am waiting to hear back from Lefty (Prairie Thunder PR guy), but I think you are wrong. I am pretty sure it is the buffalo herd thing and not the train thing.

Shaun Bill

Justin Cohn

All you of little faith:

From the Bloomington Pantagraph, www.pantagraph.com, from Feb. 23, 2006:

"... the name for the downtown venue's hockey team was unveiled Wednesday.

Mike Matejka, a community activist, labor leader, city alderman and avid railroad historian, submitted the winning name in a contest sponsored by Central Illinois Arena Management and The Pantagraph.

"I'm excited," said Beau Bradle, director of sales and marketing for the Coliseum. "It ties to the community through the history of the railroad."

"Prairie Thunder" also was the name of a recent McLean County Museum of History exhibit on railroad history.

Matejka, who said the credit also goes to Pantagraph photojournalist Steve Smedley, said the name refers to the power of a train and the power of Central Illinois weather. ..."

There you go, folks.

morency fan

Why did this article even get started who cares wat the names are they play hockey isnt that good enough!
well i dont c the point y this guy wat ever his name i wrote this when we could have been talkin about hockey....u kno the sport and the team this thing was made for....
well i dont c the point in this
someone change the subject

Justin Cohn

You see, it's a blog, where the author -- me -- gets to write about things that pop into his mind or thinks others might find interesting. If you have a subject you'd rather talk about, type away ...

Hit Somebody!!!

Clear this one up for us all...

Is it the Pet's Mart?


Is it the Pet Smart?

That one always confuses me.

Justin Cohn

I believe PetSmart.

morency fan

oh well srry i thought it was sapose to be bout the games but i guess i was wrong srry...haha
so do u kno when henleys coming back i miss him!!


This a place where Justin can rant or write about whatever he wants, from there, its in our hands to discuss it. haha.

morency fan

yea i didnt kno that lol
so do u kno when henleys coming back?


Well, Justin, kudos to you and thanks for setting us all straight. Please pass the info on to Chaser since I have heard him tell the buffalo story umpteen times now.

Hit Somebody!!!

That would fall under the heading of...

That is my story and I am sticking to it....Bob Chase.

Shaun Bill

Mr. Cohn
You are right.



wings were a farm team of detroit when they started, dont know if they were owned by them or not. but they had the name and the colors. my favorite team name was the macon whooppee{sp]


Higher leagues have funny names too. Calgary/QC Flames I think is the worst. Better than heat but not quite tough enough to be fire I guess. I'm sure the name 'flamers' never goes away either. I feel bad for QC, 'Mallards' wasn't a half bad name.

Websters Dictionary

Dear Al Gore,

Stop this thing you called the internet! Users murder me daily!
The English Language.

Mr. Elbows

Wait a min...Winterhawks is a great name for a junior team...with a great logo.



Komets need to waive someone when Sessa comes back, who do you think it will be?

Marchant, Shafranov or maybe Warner or Reynolds? Dare I say Legault or Woods?

Tough decision with the team they have, glad it's not me making this decision.

Justin Cohn

First of all, Shaun Bill, can you elaborate on what you were told by the Prairie Thunder. Just out of curiosity, you skeptic.

And Bob Chase get something wrong? You don't say. ...


This Weekends predictions:

Komets win

Hit gets blasted for a post


T.P.- Sessa is on the 10 Day IR. In theory, he comes off and someone goes on, no one would have to be cut.


When Sessa comes back I would assume the K's would place another player on IR. However, if they did drop a player my guess would be Legault or Pence. Management isn't going to get rid of either Marchant & Shafranov this early in the year. Coach likes Reynolds and feels comfortable playing him in just about every situation. Warner has been solid and w/ him being a local kid I couldn't see him being dropped. Woods is too much of a fan favorite to drop. Again I love the depth of the k's and we'll need that throughout the season. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Shaun Bill

I hesitate to quote Bryan Bloodworth, here, but he does the political thing by indicating both answers are correct. :-)

First came the train - it being the actual name of a train that ran through Bloomington back in the day.
Check this link:
(Bloomington is the county seat for Mclean County)
The timing of this display coincides with the "Name the Team" contest.

The team liked the NAME but didn't want to do a train logo/mascot.
Thus we have the buffalo mascot in Bloomington.



My fault on this one, I forgot that Henley was on the 21 day.

I'll save this for two-three weeks from now when Henley is on the ice.

Justin, any update on how Henley is skating?

Henley Update

Henley probably skates one foot after the other.


Henley Update,

Really?? No double runners either???

Gee you should have your own colum so you can provide one line comments and feedback. Perhaps a kindergarden blog would be best to start you out on.

Elmo, Dora those subjects should be easy for you to handle.

Websters Dictionary

What exactly is a colum?


Are you here for any particular reason, Webster? Try talking hockey instead.


MR.Justin Cohen,is it ok to post a few tickets for sale or trade here? Just a few games I can't make because of work and other things going on.


The subjects went from names of teams,where they came from,and opinions.Then to interest in players.Can we stick to the subject Justin wrote?Like back up to T.P.'s question,cause I am interested in HOW Henley is skating.Does anybody know?Sorry,but that stuff should be on another column!


Yes, please start another column for Henley news...


I just talked to someone and I understand Henley is going to practice,but not skating.I hear he is still sore.It will probly be after thanksgiving before he plays.

Justin Cohn

You can talk about whatever here; it doesn't have to coincide with posts. ... As long as it's with good decorum. ... As for tickets, if it's legal, doesn't bother me.

Shaun Bill




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