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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May 21, 2008



thats why im shocked fort wayne is the best minor league city...i just dont understand it.

oh well, we have the cup!!!

have a mini cup giveaway at the home opener next year like the nhl did after the lockout

Karla Stranger

Watch WANE TV 15 from 5-7am today (it IS after midnight) for my comments.


The city of Fort Wayne has always supported the Komets as well they should considering what they mean to the local economy and this year, quite possibly their best year EVER, the city of Fort Wayne is no where to be found. It's a disgrace. What the team accomplished this year was nothing short of amazing and they even received national attention from the "CBS Early Show" as well as on the NBC broadcast of the Stanley Cup playoffs but their own city can't even issue a simple congratulations, proclaim "Komets Day", or something to that effect. It's not exactly hard to do, takes about the same effort to send a fax. Where is Mayor Henry? Perhaps he's too busy trying to sell his condo that's not even built yet to take notice of a great accomplishment. While the recognition wouldn't add much to this year (nor does it take anything away from it) it's simply a matter of respect...Something that Mayor Henry must not have much of for a big player in his local economy or it's fans.


The Komets had an outstanding 2007-2008 season. Winning 56 games, a regular season title and a playoff championship is something that resulted from hard work and dedication.

True, this is not the original IHL and it comprised of 6 teams. The point is, the Komets still won a league championship. It is still an accomplishment to be proud of regardless of whether it's the IHL, CHL, etc.

And yes, it would have been the decent thing to do if the Mayor or City Council, etc. had done something to give recognition and congratulations to the team. I'm not saying that the City needs to give a ticker tape parade or anything like that, though it would not cost a lot of money to make a Mayoral Proclamation.

Even an advertisement in the newspapers would have been better than the response (or lack of...) that this community's leaders have seen fit to issue to date.


We have a big parade coming up called 3 Rivers, could we get them to lead the parade? Call or email them and let your voice by heard.


Anyone know why there wasn't barrel hockey last Friday? And if they're going to have it tomorrow?


It would have been best to recognize the accomplishment right after the Komets won. It's not too late for the community leaders to do something when the new season starts. Who and how do we let our thoughts be known?


Saying the 3 rivers parade is good enough for them is a joke! They normally have only one player and Icy on a bus with all the front office staff waving to the crowd. It's great to see, but it means nothing to the players that were on the team but now in other cities. They could have had a small parade on the way to the party or at least have the Mayor call a day "Komet Day." It wouldn't be that hard and I am sure he could have done that in 5 mins and only use the cost of one piece of paper....


You are very true about people knowing the Komets. I was in California in March wearing my Komets pullover and had a guy walk up to me and ask if I was from Fort Wayne. He had only been in the city once for a job interview, but knew just from that one visit who the Komets were.


Hoss I whole heartily agree that TRF does not do justice. I think the new mayor missed a big opportunity and may have done some damage with Komet organization.


I live in Japan an occasionally wear my jersey or hat when I am out and about. It really is amazing how many people have stopped me through the years here and asked me about the team. Unfortunately, they think the team folded with the demise of the old IHL.
It reminds me of the scene in the movie "Major League" when the old lady tells Berenger's character that she didn't realize that Cleveland still had a team. He responds with "yeah. We have uniforms and everything".


If i recall, didn't the 1993 team have a parade into the coliseum parking lot on firetrucks the night of the year end party? The TRF parade seems to get smaller every year on the komets cement truck or bus


Was anything done in 2003?

Given that these players dedicate alot of spare their time to appearances and charitable events, it would of been nice to be recognized by the city for the team achievement. There is alot of charitable dollars made off these players each year.
A parade into the MC parking lot would of been okay and I am surprised they missed the boat to bilking even more of the general public $4 who cared to see it. Perhaps a meeting in front of city hall with the mayor kind of like what MLB, MBA, or NFL teams do with the President would of been cool. He makes a speech and declares that day Komet Day, gets a jersey, and then the players could speak if they chose to.

But its a little late for that now. Maybe the city will learn something from this.

Cat Eyes

ok, so no one was on the stick (pardon the pun) enough to get anything done for this this year. that does suck, because i think some sort of city nod was due. it is a big deal. very big deal to me and the 10400-plus people who witnessed the game! but at least now we know for next year that WE need to do something because obviously city hall will be doing nada when the K's repeat...plus, hey, at least for the newcomers like me, this gives me an idea of how many vaca days to save up!!


i havent read the blogs yet but my 2 cents to begin is that justin is wrong in one regard. it may not be as big as the super bowl but to the city of ftwayne it is our superbowl so it is just as important. i think it once again falls back on an administration that is truly out of touch with not only the public but the city as well. lets gain office, immediatly try to raise taxes cause of a lack of money then completly ignore one of the cities biggest draws for tourisim dollars and noteriety. way to go mr mayor. what exactly are you the mayor of???

Karla Stranger

YES! In 1993 there WAS a parade. Started at Freiman Square down Spy Run to the Coliseum. The players were on fire trucks, and sirens blaring all the way. I know....I was part of the procession. It was awesome. BTW....if I do recall the mayor at that time ( name of which escapes me) was waiting at the coliseum and read a proclimation as well.


The mayor in 1993 was Paul Helmke and there was a presentation in the MC parking lot. They used to give out proclomations all the time, winning a state championship or something big, and now it is not even seen as an accomplishment to have a team that did what the K's did this year!! After reading the Bob Chase transscript i love the guy even more!!


Yeah, there should be something to honor the Komets, but it's a little late. While some players live in Fort Wayne most have gone on go find a summer job and/or Canada


How many Championships have the -wizards-freedom-fury-madants etc. ever won =0000/ Maybe they should of built a indoor area downtown=it would of had use + people in January.


OPPS= arena


A multi-purpose arena with room for a pool, b-ball and an ice surface would have been a better idea. At least something like that could be used year round.

Of course, the parking and traffic would be a nightmare!

Hit Somebody!!!

Graham Richard read a city proclamation in 2003 at the end-of-season party and was present supporting the team throughout the party that night.

This mayor and city politicians just shot themselves in the foot. How stupid can you be not to promote the good things that happen in your city when the only thing you see on the local news and in the local fish wraps is death, killing, murder, huge gas prices, crap economy, lay-offs and lots of bad news all the time. You have a good story that the local citizens can rally behind, and the local government is no-where to be seen?

Wonder if next time this town is recognized for being Minor League Sports Town of the World the city officials will simply ignore that and not take credit for it? No...I suppose they will pretend that they had something to do with it and take the credit for it...

The Komet Organization should be celebrated. They make the quality of life in this town 20x better than what it would be without it. We are lucky to have such a great team and entertainment source. It helps make this town what it is anymore. What else does Fort Wayne have that is all that exciting?

Bad Job City of Fort Wayne!!!

Jerad Shaw

Anyone that enjoys Mirasty videos on youtube, or just hockey "goons" in general, will love this article. Great piece!!!



I wasn't familiar with the things done for the Komets in the past, but you know my opinion. Enough cannot be said about or done for this team. The city of Fort Wayne would be wise to recognize that. And please don't tell me that it has to do with their minor league status. They may be minor league, but they have never been "minor league", if you understand my meaning. Not to this city.

It is never too late to do the right thing.

Matt Kelty

The Republicans would have never allowed this to happen!!!

Matt Kelty's Auctioneer


I'm not surprised the City of Fort Wayne "forgot" about the Komets. Seems like they are too busy covering their you-know-whats with the Harrison Square project. Just look at what the mayors are doing in the ECHL playoffs. Even Cincinnati that has had horrible fan support for years is getting into it. Fort Wayne thinks small on everything except this stupid stadium. It took years and years of wrangling to expand the Coliseum and it took how long to get this baseball stadium built? Plus they build an ice rink at Headwaters and don't even make it regulation size. That place would be a goldmine if it were bigger. And why would a city build something to add to a downtown that is essentially a ghost town, block a major thoroughfare and keep ballpark visitors away from some of it's most famous restaurants, has no grocery store nearby for tenants to go to, and build a facility that can only be used when the sun shines? Fort Wayne needs more ice rinks so that skaters don't have to leave town and drive 2+ hours to practice and get better at their craft. Just another example of how a little payola can make people forget about some of the best things around them, namely the Komets.

Jerad Shaw

DITTO, In the Know!!


impeachment hearings ahead!!!


I cant sit back any longer and listen to a City Councilman sing the National Anthem at almost every home game, and not do anything to honor this team. The city of Fort Wayne should be promoting the true Champions of the City, the Fort Wayne Komets


That is exactly what I was going to bring up Bigdog! Here we have Tom Didier singing out national anthem at every game, one of the town councilman!, and there was still nothing done. I heard many people at the games say that Mr Didier is a tradition to sing at Komet games, (even though he can't say "FREE"), yet as much as the Komets have put into him he does nothing back. Sad I tell ya.


Canuck...barrel hockey was played last friday but they moved the time up to 915pm instead of the regular 11pm skate, looks like the remaining skates will also be at 915pm also.


Intheknow... most people don't realize this but Headwaters Ice rink is privately owned and operated by an entity called The Headwaters Alliance, this same entity operates and maintains the park. I totally agree with your point that FW needs more sheets of ice and hopefully that project is just around the corner, rumor has it that the triangle shaped parcel between Wells st. and Lima rd. would be a prime spot.


K's checking line for 08-09=Woods-Morencey-Mirasty=I wish.


Thought you all might get a kick out of this.


Hodgman's "fan" page from the river otters. It seems to be a bunch of teenage girls fighting over him and claiming to be his girlfriend.

*shrug* what else is there to do in the summer? LOL Stupid girls


That's the future of this country? God help us! Breeding should be suspended for one generation in Erie,PA.


This is LOW minor leagues. Will there be a parade if the Wizards ever win anything?

We have an AHL crowd with a low minor league team. Setting a record in a six team league is nothing special. Some of you need to take off the Komet glasses and look at it for what it is.

There has been more than enough celebration for this. Time to move on.



ha ha brendun sewage


I've put together a slideshow for the shots I took at the Komets End-of-Season Party and Jersey Auction on May 14. Just click on the link below. I wasn't able to get a single shot when all the players in attendance were assembled on stage at the beginning of the party. A throng of digital camera users got in front of me, many holding their cameras over their heads, blocking any possible view. I waited patiently, but they kept snapping and snapping until time had run out. Needless to say, I wasn't pleased. Still, I managed to get pictures of roughly half the team before the party ended. I need some help identifying a few people, though. Please let me know if this is correct. Is that Ken Dufresne conversing with Woods in image "P"? Also, is that Kevin Hansen and Evgeny Saidachev with Boucher and Legault in image "R"? Thank you in advance! :D


Also, I don't think it is fair to knock the Komets accomplishments this year because they are in a 6 team league. After all, the NHL only had 6 teams for 15 years. I suppose that everything that happened during those years meant nothing.

And yes, as a member of the female of the species, I do roll my eyes at behavior such as that illustrated by the link above. Come on, girls. Have some dignity when you gawk. :D I, for one, have my pride.

Justin Cohn

Hey, Duglaw, I believe Fort Wayne was the 18th best place to raise a family.


Indeed that would be correct Cohny



What a town !!
the better team
the better place to live
the better journalist's
we rock !!

Melissa S

Great Pic Wendy! Thanks for sharing!


Nice job again Wendy! You're right, that is Hansen and Saidachev in the one picture, but I'm not sure about the other one. Could be Dufresene, but I didn't see enough of him during the season to be able to tell for sure.

And I gotta agree with you as another fellow female- some of the girls need to get some dignity already. It's kinda embarrassing to see the way some of the puckbunnies act. I'm not above looking, but sheesh... :)

Jerad Shaw

Puckbunnies?? That is a new one. Skate Chaser is a term I use. I was told by a friend in college that they are called cleat chasers in the Minor League baseball world. I won't tell you the rest of the story, but the bullpen guys don't really focus much on the game!

Jerad Shaw

If anyone is interested in a copy of game 7, email this guy. [email protected] I recieved mine in about 2 days. Great game to watch. The commentary, even though a little less professional then what I am use to is great!!!! I guess having fans in the booth for IHL games is a good thing!!! I recieved my DVD in a padded evenvolope. If you are looking for game 7 on DVD, this is the guy to go through. I'm obviously bia's since he is the guy that responded to me, but he did an AMAZING JOB.

Jerad Shaw

Soo Darren McCarty plays at the MC this year, and now he is in the Stanley Cup playoffs!!! I love the "New" IHL!


to tgp.. why are you even on here? i want you to walk up to eddie long and tell him winning a championship with only six teams means nothing. and tell him that a low minor league player doesnt mean anything.. im an old pro around here and i can tell you the ihl originally only had four teams in its first year.. and many years it had only six teams and some times it only had five teams. so if our lowly minor league team and players dont mean anything to you then move to a major league city and quit trying to upset us fans of our city and things we have to be proud of.. we will never be major league so we have to support what we have. remember, the old ihl that you loved (and dont really know anything about it) they tried to be a major league and it wound up killing the league.. thanks to the frankes for trying to redo it and do the league an honor of keeping it alive again!!!

Jerad Shaw

Chuckitt, I love the fact that you know and realize the history of Komet hockey. I can speak on from 93 on because I was 10 and feel in love back then. To be honest, he has a point. Regardless of what you say, we are the UHL/IHL until proven otherwise. By that I mean by fan numbers and talent. I think this year, we toke care of the talent. I think next year, we get more talent and toughness, but we need the fans.


what you guys think of the Komets merchandising? I really haven't seen really good stuff come from the merch since I have been going to komet games when I was little. I was just wondering what other people thought of it. I think they should put a little more money into and come up with newer/better designs.


I too got the video from the same guy that Jerad Shaw did and it was a great job. I'd recommend it to everyone.

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