Puhalski is leaving

June 7, 2006

The Fort Wayne Komets are looking for the 25th coach in their
55-year history, The News-Sentinel has learned. Greg Puhalski, the winning-est
coach in United Hockey League history, is taking over the new Chicago Hounds
team in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Puhalski, 41, recently completed his sixth season behind the
Komets’ bench. During his tenure, the Komets won the 2003 Colonial Cup, had
back-to-back 50-win seasons in 2003-04 and 2004-05 and won four division titles. Last season he led the
Komets to a sixth-place finish in the overall UHL standings. The team was
knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by Rockford in five games.

“This is a personal and family-related issue for Greg,” Komets General Manager David Franke said. “I know this was a very difficult decision for Greg to make, but as we sat and discussed it, it will bring him a breath of fresh air, and we’ll take on a different look, too.”

Puhalski worked with Chicago Tuesday during the UHL dispersal draft in Detroit. David Franke and Komets President Michael Franke made the selections for the Komets.

“We have no negative thoughts at all on this,” David Franke said. “Greg has done a tremendous job for us.”

Puhalski won 271 games as Komets coach, second all-time in
franchise history to Ken Ullyot’s 304. He has 359 wins in his UHL career,
including two years in Port Huron before he came to Fort Wayne.

Because he had a year remaining on his contract, the Komets are
expecting compensation from the Hounds. The former Richmond RiverDogs, the
Hounds have several players the Komets could have interest in, including
defenseman Dan Vandermeer or goaltender Mike D’Alessandro. David Franke said any compensation won’t be announced until the UHL meetings.

Puhalski’s wife Ali is an actress who worked in  Chicago a few years ago but moved home to Fort Wayne.
A move by Puhalski to Hoffman Estates would allow her to
resume her own career.

 

“I want to
thank the Frankes, especially David and Michael, for their support,” Puhalski said. “They’ve been
tremendous and my wife and I would like to thank the entire Fort Wayne community for
making us feel at home here.”

Puhalski said discussions began two weeks after the season and picked up momentum last week.  He starts June  16 as coach and director of operations.

 

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137 Responses to “Puhalski is leaving”

  1. Woodman Says:

    Hit Somebody, was that you leading the parade down Parnell Ave?

  2. Brandon Says:

    Actually that was me after helping Greg pack his stuff…BYE BYE!!!

  3. Greg Says:

    I think this will make some fans very happy and that explains the choice in Duhart.

  4. Tony E Says:

    Once again Komets management proves they have an organized plan.
    You guys want to bash Puhalski, fine.
    But stop for a second and remember that they DID win a cup and go to the finals under him. History will record him as one of the greatest coaches in Komets history.

  5. Brandon Says:

    Yes he did win us a cup but we were still yelling for him to be fired. This is the best news I’ve heard in a long time

  6. TJ Says:

    I SEE NEW SHIRTS IN THE MAKING!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Greg Says:

    I think you’re right Tony. I’m wondering how long this thing has been in action. The fact that the Frankes are stating that they want to go in a new direction, letting Frenchy go, and picking Duhart in the draft makes me think that this change with Puhalski has been in the works for a while.

    If that is the case then are there any front runners for the Komets position?

  8. Tony E Says:

    He is going to go to Chicago and win games there just like he did here.
    I wonder who you guys think should be brought in here to replace him?
    Do you offer Troy the job? Go outside the organization? Hire Blake?

  9. Tony E Says:

    I have a name out of the Komets past that might be interesting but I don’t know if he would have any interest. Ian Boyce. Busted his tail every shift and lead by example. Like I said, I don’t know if he has any aspirations to go back to the world of hockey and the Komets probably want someone with experience.

  10. Greg Says:

    Oh, make Blake an assistant Coach, he can be in charge of the defense. 😉

    I think Troy needs to be at least interviewed. I think he wants to get into a head coaching position, so the question is, does anyone think he’s ready right now?

  11. Greg Says:

    Tony, I’m not sure he’d work right now. He pretty much lambasted the Frankes for allowing the Twister to do his antics(sp).

    Might be something that could be smoothed over, but I think your right they would want someone with some experience.

  12. JungleMonkey Says:

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks be to whatever higher power created this miracle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Blake Says:

    I’d have to take a pay cut. And sleep more. But putting up with you guys is good training for dealing with spoiled athletes.

    Kidding, just kidding.

  14. JungleMonkey Says:

    Nah Nah Nah Nah
    Nah Nah Nah Nah
    Hey Hey Hey
    GOODBYE!!!!!

  15. Mark Says:

    Boy, alot of people I talk to will be happy…

    Wonder who is on the way in…

  16. Greg Says:

    Sleep, you don’t need no stinkin sleep.

  17. Mark Says:

    You would think the Komets would have a flood of resumes flying in. One name comes to mind, Todd Brost, the former coach of the Jackals, he’s availible.

    But anyways, I agree with people that Troy Neumeier should at least have a shot at the job.

    It will be an interesting next 30 days.

  18. Tony E Says:

    Greg you are probably right. I have always thought he had the makeup to be a coach. I am sure the twister stuff could get worked out. It will be interesting to see if he comes tot he opening night “old timers” stuff this coming season.

  19. JungleMonkey Says:

    Brost would be a good choice.

    What Fletcher doing?…lol.

  20. Tony E Says:

    Brain cramp question of the day, who coached Richmond last year? Why didn’t he go with the team?

  21. Greg Says:

    Tony-Kris Waltz and he singed with Elmira.

  22. Greg Says:

    sorry that should be signed. I hate fast fingers.

  23. JungleMonkey Says:

    Nichols started the season. Quit to “help” the team get settled in Chicago. Quit and went to Elmira to be GM. Chris Waltze finished season in RCH and is now going to Elmira as well.

  24. Tony E Says:

    Thanks Greg. That’s right.

  25. JungleMonkey Says:

    Try typing with giant JungleMonkey fingers!

  26. Burgee Says:

    Good Luck to Coach P.

    I think it was a good move for both sides.

    But…..i never wanted coach P to end up facing us in the UHL if he left!

  27. Tony E Says:

    Thanks JM. That’s right I forgot about that whole fiasco.
    I wish they would maybe go in the direction of getting a coach out of Juniors.
    I have a name for you. Former Komet goalie Peter Sidorkiewicz has been an assistant coach for the last 6 years for the Erie Otters. He is ready to get behind the bench himself.

  28. ilovehockey Says:

    YIPEE!!!!! I’m dancing a jig right here in my office. That’s the best news that I could have ever heard. I know we won 1 cup under him, but HIT THE ROAD JACK!!!!!!! I agree to offer it to Neumie first. If he’s not interested, then look elsewhere. Now, to those who kept telling us to shut up that they would never let Puhalski go. HA HA HA Sorry, had to gloat for a minute.

  29. Greg Says:

    JM-I have enough trouble typing with a burger inone hand and a drink in the other.

    Tony-If El Sid is as active on the bench as he was in the crease he’ll be a pleasent change. Couldn’t tell how many times I yelled at him to get back in the net. I also can’t shake the image of him wailling on Rick Hayward in the head wiht his blocker during the Cincy series.

  30. Tony E Says:

    Sid would command respect and is full of energy. He communicates well, has a wealth of experience as a player both in the NHL and in other leagues and I think would be a good young fresh face in the UHL.

  31. Tony E Says:

    ilovehockey. Nobody said they would not let him go. It was said the Komets would not fire him and they didn’t.

  32. Mark Says:

    Boy, the names being thrown around here…the next 30 days can’t go by fast enough…

  33. ilovehockey Says:

    Ok Tony, Now you’re getting too technical. People made it abundantly clear on here that he would not leave. Period. Just rejoice that he’s leaving. I think it’s time for a farewell party.

  34. komets23fan Says:

    I just wanted to say good luck to coach and hope things go well for him in Chicago. I think that they do need to check with Neumeier on the job. I think that he would make a good coach.

  35. Tony E Says:

    Mark, the Boyce thing was off the radar. As far as Sid, he is going to be a head coach and a good one. He has paid his dues and is ready for a shot. If not here it will be somewhere. There are a ton of possibilities and I am sure the Komets have a list of ready cantidates. You are right, this is going to be an exciting time and a fun season next year.
    Ilovehockey maybe you are right to a point. I don’t believe the Komets forced him out. If he wanted to come back he could have. I understand people are happy he is gone. I also know many cities who would have felt fortunate to have him. He did nothing to cast shame on the Komets during the time he was here and brought plenty of success. Folks wanted a change, now one is at hand. Hopefully the next coach will be able to duplicate the success of the past few years.

  36. Greg Says:

    Amen Tony.

  37. David Says:

    Why would want Troy he would use the same system that Coach P used. We need fresh ideas and a tougher team. Let’s get Killer in here now….

  38. Skate Says:

    Well, I hope all you Puhalski-haters are happy now, finally. Don’t you realize he was the winningest coach in league history? He will continue that trend with the Hounds. I can’t wait until the hiunds come in here and whoop the Komets. Then all you people (Hit, Chuckitt, JM among others) will be saying “why didn’t we keep him?”

    OK, so they had a bad season. You’ve just thrown the diamond ring out with the trash.

  39. Skate Says:

    As I’ve called for previously.

    Martinson.

    He’s out of contract at Rockford.

    Or me.

    At least, by God, we’d have apower play.

  40. becky Says:

    Glad you are “Happy” for us, Skate, because alot of us die-hard Komet fans are ecstatic about this move!!!
    Let’s get started on a new brand of Komet Hockey!!!

  41. Tony E Says:

    Skate you are right and the “bad” season wasn’t really bad. I think he did his best job with this team.
    Can I get you guys to think about coaches who are NOT UHL retreds? That means, no Killer, no Willet, etc. I also agree Troy might not be the change you guys want. I do think he will make a good coach but the time and place may not be right for him here right now.
    Here is the good news, Blake said this has been in the works for awhile now. That means the Komets have had time to get a list together.

  42. Greg Says:

    You know Tony, if you’re not looking at UHL retreds, that pretty much leaves somebody with little expierence at this or any higher level. The Frankes say they want to go in a new direction and it may be with a coach who’s never coached at this level before.

  43. ilovehockey Says:

    Skate must have been a huge Puhalski lover. Poor person. He’s not the only winning coach out there. We’ve lost a lot of excellent players because of him. I don’t think Neumie would be like Puhalski. You forget, no one could voice their opinion with Chief, be it good or bad. He would get rid of them. Do you really think that Neumie would have pushed that? If you do, then you’re not thinking straight. Offer him the job first, see if he’s interested. On a different subject, I was told that somebody on here the other day was bashing Guy. Are you just plain nuts?

  44. ilovehockey Says:

    Guy could outskate, out hussle, every defenseman we had on the ice. He worked his position and had to work the other defensemen’s positions many times to save potential scores. I would be honored to have Guy back. He plays with all his heart, unlike a few other defensemen we had this year.

  45. Teresa Says:

    I’m jumping up and down for joy, too! Not that I wish anything bad on the Chief, but I just think it’s time for a change behind the K’s bench. Don’t think I want Martinson though – couldn’t stand him this past season. He’s such a whiner like all the Hogsbut I’m sure they got that from their coach. I would like to see Neumie get a chance, at least as a full-time assistant coach, if he’s ready to hang up his skates for good. Personally, I’d love to see Robbie Laird back, but I’m sure he makes a whole lot more money scouting for the Kings.

  46. Tony E Says:

    I don’t remember anyone bashing Guy but I guess anything is possible.
    Greg, it depends how you define experience. Take Sid. Many years as a player in several leagues. His only head coaching experience saw him lead the Canadian under 17 team to a gold medal. He has put in 6 years as a assistant coach. This is a guy who has put in the time and work and has earned a chance to have his own program. Is it risky? Sure but really what coach isn’t? Scotty Bowman isn’t coming here.

    If anyone cares, here is the bio on Sid. I think you might be impressed (and his days in Fort Wayne are mentioned)
    http://www.ottershockey.com/team/coaching-staff-sidorkiewicz-peter.php

  47. Skate Says:

    NOT Kaminski or Willett, PLEASE.

    Every team I’ve ever seen Kaminski coach (in 2 different leagues) was every bit as boring as the Komets were last year.

    Willett has other baggage.

    With what FW has to offer — city, stable ownership, fan support, history, building — we should be able to pick and choose. There shouldn’t be a lack of quality interest.

    BECKY: When you get a second, look up SARCASM in the dictionary. Or review any of my posts since day ONE on this, or any, blog, regarding Puhalski.

  48. ilovehockey Says:

    I didn’t see the thing on Guy. My husband saw it on here. I haven’t been on for a few days. Just too busy at work. Finally, a slower day. I just know that hubby was not too happy about what he read.

  49. Teresa Says:

    Guy had a fantastic season and says he wants to come back. Hope the Franke’s keep him around as long as he wants to stay.

  50. Greg Says:

    Tony, I did say “…at this or any higher level.” Yes I agree we most likely won’t get a coach who has any head coaching experience in the NHL and probably not the AHL either, but I seem to remember someone asking somewhere on Blake’s blog (and forgive me but I thought it may have been you) to name another coach in this league that is available that has the record that Puhalski does. THe answer is no one and there’s no pne around any of the leagues that come to mind that’s any where close.
    So in effect losing Puhalski is huge because the K’s will almost have to hire somebody that has zero experience at this level or hire a UHL retread.

  51. Tony E Says:

    Greg I know. I was kidding with the Bowman comment. I was talking in general regarding the old “grass is greener” theory for people who wanted coach gone.
    That was me who made the comment about coaches with better record but meant that it would be hard to find a coach in this league (or any other league) with a better record who would come to the UHL. The fact is, most coaches with the record of Puhalski have moved up. You can read into that what you want. At this level, he is about as good as it gets.

  52. Nanci Says:

    I vote Neumie…to be coach!

  53. Skate Says:

    Al Sims. Although he has not had much success anywhere else.

  54. Tony E Says:

    Do you think Al Sims can relate to today’s players at this level? You don’t see too many guys his age in this league. I ask because I don’t know much about his personality.

  55. itt79 Says:

    Speaking of Martinson and such who did Rockford name as their coach today?? There was suppose to be a press conference.

  56. JR Says:

    Will be interesting to see who we get from Chicago as compensation. Why do the K’s think they will get a high end player made available to choose from??? Or did they agree on a list before letting Puhalski go??? Skate, your right alot of us are happy now that coach P is gone; but nobody said he was a bad coach, we just said we are tired of his boring teams. I dont want to go to a hockey game and feel like I am in a library… You have your opinions we have ours, and by the sound of the article the “diamond ring” had a hand in taking itself to the trash…

  57. Greg Says:

    Last I heard Sims is coaching in the CHL, but that brings us back to someone else who wasn’t in favor of reliving the ‘glory years”.
    AS far as Puhalski’s record. He isn’t moving up. Does anyone else find that a little curious?

  58. Eric Says:

    Reliable sources told me Teddy Garvin, Moose Lallo & John Ferguson have all contacted the Frankes.

  59. Greg Says:

    Somebody has to explain this notion of boring team. I can remeber many a night the K’s were 30, 40, even 50 shots up per game with Puhalski and it seemed more times than less. I agree that leagues want to ramp up offense and most coaches are fighting it, I’m just not sure Puhalski system was that bad. He did win a lot of games after all.
    I guess in the end it’s all the player turn over I couldn’t get over.

  60. Blake Says:

    Not enough brawling for some, Greg. Al was an assistant coach in the AHL the second half of this year.

  61. dnlkomets Says:

    Martinson resigned with Rockford
    http://icehogs.com/news_detail.cfm?newsID=ne03121047113

  62. dnlkomets Says:

    Also, I’m sure it’s been talked about in the blogs somewhere but Rockford also picked up Van Buskirk. Guess they won’t be getting away from the ‘rough and tough’ hockey for a while!

  63. Charlie Says:

    thanks dnl. Thats one off the list. What about Danton Cole????

  64. Blake Says:

    Cole took the job at Bowling Green. Wanted stability.

  65. Skate Says:

    WAIT !!!
    STOP THE PRESSES !!!!!

    I am happy Puhalski is gone. I said 6 years ago when they hired him I thought it was a mistake. (Please review ANY of my past postings.)

    OK, OK, I GIVE UP.

    I will never again use sarcasm on a blog.

    (Until the next time)

  66. Komet Fan Says:

    See ya Chief!!!! Blake, I find it hilarious that Chief is gone after many ramblings of you praising the Chief and constantly telling anyone who would listen that we were stuck with Chief. Guess not, huh? As was stated by Chief and the Frankes, this has been in the works for awhile. Did you know what was going on? If not,why? I find it funny that the “beat writers” seem to know little else other than what the Frankes want them to know. Either that or the “beat writers” are holding out on the fans. I have said many times, if you want to know what is really happening, talk to the players or staff. Just don’t publicly call a player out on the blogs like somebody did with Chaulker a few weeks back. Did anyone really believe that Chaulk was going to publicly state what was supposedly said in a grocery store so that the Frankes could read about it? Sure….. This is another time when Larry Schmidt plays Hallelujah after many penalty calls against the Komets when they finally get a power play. See ya Chief!!!!

  67. JungleMonkey Says:

    I kind of wondered that too, Blake. Figured you would have seen this coming.

  68. Blake Says:

    Yawn

  69. Komets PA Says:

    No comment, except that Blake really needs to get the speeling of my last name right after 8 years. It’s Schmitt. Glad there’s so much to talk about. BTW, a few friends and I will be out at Frickers tonight watching the game and Blake, I will buy you a beer for all the flack you have to take on the blog. And if you don’t show, I’ll make sure the adult beverage gets a good home.

  70. Komets PA Says:

    and yes, I know I wrote speeling

  71. Blake Says:

    I can ask all the questions I want, but I can’t make stuff up out of thin air. I have to have someone willing to go on the record to be able to publish. Unlike some of you, I refuse to print rumors. Unlike you, I have to put my name on it and my reputation in front of the public.

    I find it hard to believe some of you think I might be holding out on you considering how much time I spend on here answering every question, even though I have several other responsibilities with the paper that take a ton of time as well.

    At the end of the season I asked specifically about this and was told it was a dead issue. Something popped up in the last few weeks that rekindled it.

    Next you’ll be blaming Justin for having the gall to schedule his wedding for this week. He should have anticipated this stuff happening and skipped the wedding, right?

    Some of you really need to look into getting a life. You make me look like a wild party animal, and that’s scary.

  72. Komets PA Says:

    How dare Justin have a dj other than me!!! You and I know how much he loves Asia (the group, not the country). Oh well, I really couldn’t stomach watching him do the macarena or the hokey pokey anyways.

  73. JungleMonkey Says:

    Who’s Justin?

    Unlike you, Unlike you… and most of all… Unlike you!

  74. Blake Says:

    Something else to consider, did you ever think that maybe the players are playing you or using you to stir stuff up, knowing it won’t come back on them? I’ve heard them laughing in the locker room about the next day.

    Sorry about the spelling Larry, and sorry I can’t make it tonight. I’ll be working as I was last night until 2 a.m. trying to get confirmation on this.

  75. Tim Hoke Says:

    WELL FANS I TYPE IN ALL CAPS SO GET USED TO IT AS IT IS EASIER TO TYPE IN MY ADVANCED YEARS. SOME OF YOU MAY KNOW THAT I DO THE PLAY BY PLAY FOR THE KOMETS ON THE TV GAMES,THIS BEING OUR 16TH SEASON. YES CHIEF HAD A GOOD RECORD HERE IN FORT WAYNE. YES HE WON REGULAR SEASON TITLES, AND A CUP. THE PROBLEM I HAD WITH HIM WAS THAT HE NEVER MOTIVATED THE PLAYERS PROPERLY. WHEN SOME OF HIS GUYS WOULD MAKE A GREAT PLAY AND COME BACK TO THE BENCH I NEVER SAW HIM PAT ANYONE ON THE BACK AND SAY WAY TO GO. WHEN THEY MADE A BAD PLAY I NEVER SAW HIM LEAN OVER AND TELL THE PLAYER WHAT HE DID WRONG AND GUIDE THEM. TO ME THAT IS PART OF COACHING AND IT HAS TO BE DONE. ALSO YOU HARDLY EVER SAW HIM OUT IN THE COMMUNITY DOING PR WORK. THAT IS PART OF IT TO. HE MOSTLY STODD BEHIND THE BENCH WITH HIS LEFT HAD GLUED TO THE BACK OF THE BENCH DASHER BOARD. I THINK IN THE 6 YEARS HE WAS HERE I ONLY SAW HIM GET EMOTIONAL BEHIND THE BENCH AT MOST 10 TIMES. YOU HAVE TO MOTIVATE YOUNG PLAYERS IN THIS DAY AND AGE AND THAT WAS NOT HIS STRONG SUIT!!!! TO GREG P I SAY THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE HERE AND THANKS FOR THE CUP WIN, NOW TAKE CARE AND BEST OF LUCK IN CHICAGO. ITS TIME TO MOVE ON NOW AND WHOMEVER THE NEXT COACH IS WILL CERTAINLY HAVE THEIR HANDS FULL. TROY SHOULD GET A SHOT ALONG WITH OTHERS THAT WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THE KOMETS JOB. TO ME THERE IS NOT ANY REASON THAT WITH THIS FRANCHISE BEING THE BEST IN THE UHL THAT WE SHOULDNT CONTEND EVERY YEAR FOR THE CUP. WE LEAD THE UHL IN ATTENDANCE EVERY YEAR BY A HUGE MARGIN. WE HAVE THE BEST FACILITY IN THE LEAGUE. WE HAVE THE MOST HOCKEY SMART FANS IN THE LEAGUE. NOW LETS GET A COACH! WE GOT DUHART AND SOME OTHER GREAT PICKS IN THE DRAFT. WE NEEDED SCORING PUNCH BADLY LAST YEAR AND DUHART WILL HELP OUT THERE. WAS SORRY TO SEE DAVID ALEXANDER BEAUREGARD LEAVE AS HE IS A NATURAL SCORER. MY POINT IS I GUESS LETS GET THIS THING MOVING ON A POSITIVE NOTE AND NOT DWELL ON THE PAST.CHIEF IS GONE LIKE HIM OR NOT AND LIFE GOES ON. LETS GO KOMETS AND STOP BY AND SAY HI TO ME OR RANDI MARCOM THIS SEASON…..SINCERELY TIM HOKE PRODUCER AND PLAY BY PLAY ANNOUNCER KOMET HOCKET GAME OF THE WEEK ON COMCAST CABLE 55….HAVE A GOOD SUMMER ALL SEE YA IN OCTOBER!!

  76. dnlkomets Says:

    Neither Blake nor Justin need my backup but c’mon …. Both do a fantastic job in providing us with info that we NEVER use to have on the Komets. Both are very profesional in making sure that they report honestly and not just rumors. What proof did they or ANYONE for that matter have a month or two back that Puhalski was going to leave? What next? Sometimes you got to take Blake and Justin for what they are-reporters and not for mind readers and psychics.

  77. JungleMonkey Says:

    TIM, WHAT IS THE AGE WHEN YOU BEGIN CAP-LOCKING?

  78. Tim Hoke Says:

    lmao age 15……just last year!!

  79. Skate Says:

    I think it will be interesting to see how many of his past or current players will follow Puhalski top Chicago.

    That might tell a tale.

  80. JR Says:

    Blake, maybe you can clarify this… the Frankes say they “expect” compensation. So its not a definite that we will get someone in return for Pulhalski??? If you have time let me know, I know you are busy…. Thanks for keeping us informed so far…

  81. JungleMonkey Says:

    A dozen jock straps and a 5 gallon bucket of used pucks sounds like a fair trade to me!

  82. Blake Says:

    There will absolutely be compensation. I’m guessing it’s already been figured out, but they can’t announce it yet until all the contracts are signed or something like that.

  83. JR Says:

    thanks

  84. JR Says:

    Martinson got a new contract with Rockford…

  85. Nucklepuck Says:

    Does anyone know if Dustin Virag still has a house in the Fort. I saw him today and was just wondering what he might be up to in the Fort. MAYBE he is coming back?…Doubt it

  86. blake Says:

    Dusty does have a house here and his fiance lives here. He usually came back whenever the Wings had a day off. Now he has a ring almost as big as hers.

  87. Bob Says:

    Dustin and his fiancee Kate had bought a home here in Fort Wayne before he got traded. I believe that she stayed here while he played for Kalamazoo.

  88. Bob Says:

    Wow, I guess I need to type faster…LOL! Hey, Blake, do you think that with all of the changes that have and will take place that Dusty would return? He is my wife’s favorite player and she would love to have him back in Orange and Black.

  89. Skate Says:

    I think we should establish a “girls only” blog where you females can post and talk about how cute the players are (Garrett Summerfield to name one) and fawn over them there.

    Leave the hard hockey analysis to the guys on this board.

    Maybe you could apply for some sort of “Non-posting, observer” status so you could learn about the game, however.

  90. Tony E Says:

    Wow….Bash Puhalski, Bash the Frankes, Bash Duhart, Bash
    Blake………………

  91. Silence Dogood Says:

    I see Skate is getting in touch with his womanly side. Good Show. Long live the First Amendment.

  92. Pucker20 Says:

    I am totally surprised that nobody mentioned John Torchetti for the coaching vacancy. In my opinion Torch is a pretty fine coach. He’s demanding and expects a lot out of his boys. He’s been in the NHL as recently as this season. From the sounds of it, he was out of work, sitting at home on the couch scouting games on TV. The Kings call him up and he fills in. Sure he didn’t get them to the playoffs, but it’s the Kings we’re talking about. They were on a downward spiral when he took over with about 12 games to go. That’s not much time to get to know the players and to teach a system. Obviously he didn’t get hired for the full time position for the upcoming season, so maybe he’s looking. If I were the Frankes, I would be beating down his door.

  93. blake Says:

    Dusty will be a veteran next year. I don’t know what his plans are. I heard a bunch of Kzoo vets may be retiring.

  94. blake Says:

    I talked to Torch today and he said he’s trying for NHL assistant jobs or AHL head job. Said if he ever came back to AA hockey, this would be the place.

  95. Tony E Says:

    He did a decent job this year in a no win situation in L.A.
    I certainly think he would be qualified to coach in Fort Wayne, maybe over qualified.
    The question is does management want to look backwards for it’s next coach. If they look in his direction, it might be worthwhile.

  96. blake Says:

    They aren’t going to look in his direction because he is not interested, but he said he’d be glad to help out with advice, whatever.

  97. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    Oh My God…the Frankes do indeed read your blog Blake…this proves it. That was me on top of the Budweiser Beer Cart driving the Clydesdales today parading all over town celebrating the new look Komets. It is about time. Lets have the jungle back too please. It is time for good old hard nosed tough arse kicking high scoring hockey again in the Fort. I am so excited. I cannot wait until next season now. Guarenteed we win the cup next year and we have fun doing it. I can’t wait for Chicago’s first trip into the Jungle so we can wipe Pulcrapski’s girls all over the ice. It will be so much fun to see it from the other point of view for a change. And for anyone who thinks that last years team was entertaining, come over to the house and I will paint the sidewalk so you can watch it dry, that should entertain you.

    Next Coach:
    Dave Allison? Colin Chaulk? Steve Fletcher? Bruce Ramsay?

    Can’t wait to see real hockey next year…wait a great night this is!!!!

  98. Tony E Says:

    People!!!!
    The Frankes did NOT GET RID OF PUHALSKI!
    QUOTE “David Franke said. “I know this was a very difficult decision for GREG to make,”

    GREG MADE THE DECISION!!!!!!!!!!
    You can spin this all you want, take all of the credit for this that you want. The fact is, if Greg Puhalski wanted to coach this team next year, he would still be the coach.

  99. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    Says you Tony……Frankes know how to spin things to make Greg look good leaving as well. You have to read into things a little bit. They wanted the look of this team to change, he had a year left on his contract, I am sure they told him that they wanted to make a change and that he was free to look around. He got the message and was able to leave without looking like he was let go. You can’t always believe everything that is said, lots of things have been going on behind the scenes that people don’t know about. Things that would blow your mind. Things will be different next year, for the better. If you want information in this town about the hockey team, alls you have to do is put your ear to the ground in the right park……

  100. Amelia Says:

    Skate, I really take offense to the comment you made about the girls only blog. Summerfield is not that cute! I’m thinking more along the lines of Michele Robinson… haha, kidding!! Hey, I actually know quite a bit about hockey, and I am proud of the knowledge I’ve gained over the last few seasons. I don’t comment that much because, frankly, I’m afraid of getting verbally attacked!

  101. Bob Says:

    Fellow Bloggers: If the Franke’s wanted to fire Puhalski, I doubt that they would have waited this long. This was Greg’s decision. He was really looking forward to next season when I last spoke to him. It is his right as a human being to change his mind…..Oh, I forgot, he’s just a cardboard cutout wearing a nice suit.

  102. chuckitt Says:

    good bye greg, with your record we wondered why pport huron let you go. we wondered why yu never got the call upward. we wondered why you never coached during a game, and we wondered why players in private didnt say a lot aabout you. now we all know, so thanks for the memories and now you can take your act to chicago. i really hope your wife makes it big in acting and the two of you have great lives. now hopefully i can now go to a komet game with anticipation and an air of excitement instead of knowing that id see the same old bland stuff game after game. youre a decent guy and an ok coach, its just that you won a cup here and still you couldnt excite the fan base. i remember marc bouleiu(sp) had this team eating out of his hand, same with al sims, but you never gaave us the chance to warm up to you. now youre off the chicago and we get to have an exciting summer filled with anticipation. so good luck to you and thanks! now i just hope we beat the hell out of you every chance we get!!!!!

  103. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    Uh….nothing has changed you guys…the Frankes tell Greg what to do, and he does it. Nothing different here. He was on the hot seat….you get on the hot seat, and yes, you probably make a decision to move on. I think the right buttons were pushed for him to go. If they wanted him here, he would have stayed. Oh well, let the celebration continue…bring me some pretzels and beer, who stopped the music, Larry, put on something I can dance too….lol Super Fan wants a song by the Black Eyed Peas to dance to.

  104. Tony E Says:

    Amelia, don’t be afraid to post. As you can see we all don’t agree on many issues but for the most part, there is enough respect for each other and for Blake to not lower this blog into personal flame wars.
    Everyone here is passionate about the Komets.
    It isn’t their fault that they are wrong 99% of the time!!
    JUST KIDDING GUYS!!!!!!!!!!! (AND LADIES)

  105. JR Says:

    They still had to give thier blessing on his departure…..So they made a “DECISION” also. Also saying that the Frankes didnt factor in the knowledge of the unhappiness of a growing segment of fans towards the lackluster play of the Komets under Puhalski is arrogant. They might have given it a thought or they might not have, the bottom line is that you or I will never know because they seem to do an excellent job of keeping dealings like this quiet. So give those of us a break if we are a little happy with Puhalskis departure because for us this type of change is good…

  106. scoops Says:

    Wow, all kinds of stuff to read since I last viewed the blog.

    I have some mixed feelings but I think its all for the best for everyone. Its been a long run with some of our players and the coach. Some changes are needed. His is obviously a great coach and a proven winner and I think if he can assemble what he needs to execute his system in Chicago then they will be a formidable team to watch. What goes unnoticed was even though this season did not turn out to be one to remember…it was probably his best coaching job of his Komets tenure. There was not alot of chirping about his style when things were good…
    As for compensation, it is nice to dream but do we actually think we can get their best goalie or the league’s best defenseman for Chief?

    The draft results were solid I think. Reiter was a great choice. Jim Duhart was another great selection in terms of charactor and performance. I like the selection of MacMillan too. The big surprise was Matt Elich.

    Now moving forward…lets not etch the Komets on the cup just yet or proclaim the return of the Jungle. Lets see which draft picks actually report, what kind of team the Franke’s assemble, and whom we try and build around. I’d like to see both Colin and Lance back next season but personally I only think one of them will be here based on some things I have heard. I have some concerns on the blueline too.
    As for the next coach…..who knows. I don’t think I want a former Komet player or a former Komet coach. As a wishlist for the Yankees of the UHL…the Komet job should be considered “the” job in the AA ranks. I’d like to see a Steve Martinson-esque type hiring. Someone who has a proven track record of success, played the game and played with grit, has NHL bloodlines, stands behind his players 100%. This may be a biased opinion but the Franke’s should be answering calls, not placing them.

  107. Tony E Says:

    JR I accept that many people are happy to see him go. I just don’t like the assertions that he was forced out because he wasn’t. Sure the Frankes gave their blessing. They aren’t going to keep a coach who doesn’t want to stay!

  108. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    Do you know for sure that he wasn’t feeling the pressure to move on? Don’t be too sure that he wasn’t showed the door…maybe he decided to walk out of the door…but I bet he was shown where it was. Things that are said in the media are not always the full story. I am sure Blake knows more of the behind the scenes things that have been going on that definitely needed some addressing. I also believe, those things should remain behind closed doors and not on here or in the paper. Some things are best dealt with out of the eye of the public for many reasons. That is all I will say. But you are allowed to have your opinion Tony. No one can stop you or should try.

  109. Tony E Says:

    Hit I am of course aware of the possibility of your theories. You are very right in that the “dirty laundry” should be kept out of the public. That is part of the classy way the Frankes do business. They very rarely hang someone out to dry publicly.
    Let’s talk theories. Can you offer on regarding why this happened now? Why not sooner after the season was over?
    For the record I am neither happy nor sad that a coaching change has been made. I think Puhalski could have done a fine job next year. However the thought of a new coach with new ideas is exciting too. The Komets won their only championship since I have been a fan of the team with this guy behind the bench. I respect the way he carried himself on the bench, not making a raving lunatic fool out of himself. He represented the team and the city with quiet class and dignity.

    Now, like all of you I look forward to the next head coach coming in and continuing the fine tradition that is Komet Hockey. I am very excited about next season.

  110. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    I don’t have an exact answer on why now…Same question is why would Rockford advertise for over 2 weeks that they would have a press conference on 6-7-06 to announce if Martinson was the coach or not? The timing thing must have to do with the meetings they just had, or maybe Chicago was waiting to make their announcement about their new coach and the Frankes honored their wishes to wait until now to tell us all. Sounds like this has been in the works though for at least weeks. Good questions though. I think the Frankes are very classy in how they handle the majority of their business…I say majority meaning 99% of it. I still hold that 1% for certain crap they release on certain players when they have left the team. I don’t like that. But they are good about handling things. They handled this one really good “allowing” Greg to pursue another coaching job. At least that is how they painted it. And it was well painted. By both parties. No harm, no foul. They do have lots to do to fix this team on the ice, and off of it. They will get it done. Greg was the really the first piece. A no-brainer. You wanna change the overall nature of the team…the coach has to be a part of that…that is the facts.

  111. Mark Says:

    I’m gonna throw my $0.02 in here…

    Does it really matters what is said or not said. I really feel Puhlaski wasn’t forced out. He would of been the coach of the Komets this coming season, if he wanted to be. The Frankes obviously loved him as a coach and person.

    On the other hand, I’m estatic for the possibilities that lay ahead for this town and franchise. Greg is gone, lets not forget what he has done for the Fort Wayne Komets, and welcome in a new, fresh face. This is gonna be an exciting summer to see who the Frankes bring in, and who they sign for the upcoming season.

  112. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    Ok, if you guys say so, I won’t argue it anymore…
    But how do you honestly over-haul a team and change the look of it, if you leave the bozo in charge of the team in place? It would have been the same season as last year…a merry-go-round of players all year long trying out for the team to be molded into his system. No talent needed, just a bunch of sheep that obey and do what they are told. That is not entertaining hockey, at least not anymore…it was old.

    You are right though…lets get on with the new Komet look and next season. Lets keep this party going…Pass me the chips and dip Super Fan. Larry, got any Floyd tunes we can listen to? Nevermind, I have every album they have done, I will pick the songs. How about a little “Sheep”!!! or “Shine on you crazy diamond”…

  113. Skate Says:

    Well, that pretty much blows my theory that Chuckitt was Puhalski’s alias on here.

    Kinda like Superman and Clark Kent.

  114. Greg Says:

    HS-think about this for a moment. If Puhalski was forced out then the Komets are not entitled to any compensation. Being forced out to me is the same as being fired. Chief asked if he could talk to Chicago, the Frankes said yes, Chief said Chicaog wants to hire him and the Frankes gave their blessings. I’m wiht Tony E on this one. I’m also with Tony E on I’m not happy or sad that he is leaving. I just hope whoever the K’s can find does an equal job of coaching the team.

    P.S. according to the JG, Troy has said he wants to continue playing and at this point not interested in the head coaching job.

  115. joseph Says:

    You know, Conspiracy Theory was one of the worst movies I ever saw.

    Obviously, Komet Fan is in the tiny, tiny minority of blowhards that are out there. Blake, I liked your “yawn” response better than the next one you had.

    As for Danton Cole. OK, he took the Bowling Green job, but at the time his Motor City team was folding and that job was available. Now, the Fort Wayne job opens up. Having not been at Bowling Green for long, maybe he would still consider this job. As far as stability goes, look at Puhalski. If Cole does a good job he can be here for years to come. I wouldn’t count him out.

  116. Greg Says:

    joseph- I origianlly thought that Cole might be a decent choice as well. The Frankes have said though that they will loo for some one with experience and I’m not so sure that Cole would qulaify at this point.

  117. chuckitt Says:

    he may have been forced out and now was the time because since he had a year left on his contract , it took him this long to find another job, and as for compensation, all ive ever seen is that a few dollars pass hands, very rarely does a player actually move. so forced out or nudged or done on his own to help his wife, it doesnt matter. he will go down as a good komet coach becasue after awile only thing that will remain will be his numbers and they stack up pretty high. so lets put it to bed and start speculating who the next coach will be and get on with hockey stuff. bye greg and lets not ever use his name in the blogs again!!!! lets move forward!!! charge!! hey skate, #@*(&^$&%^*++!!

  118. Mark Says:

    Greg,

    Danton Cole would most defintely qualify, he coach Muskegon to a Colonial Cup championship back in 2002, the moved on to Grand Rapids before being fired half thru the 2004-05 season, then he took over Motor City for the last season and half, Danton Cole is well qualified for this position.

  119. joseph Says:

    I will disagree. 2 years as an assistant in the IHL and 4 years as a head coach with three of those in the AHL. 181-107 record.
    Lost in the first round, out of the playoffs, lost in semi finals and won a championship in his 4 years. PLayed over 300 games in the NHL. He’s 40 years old. I think he’s experienced enough.

    It’s worth a shot to see if he would consider it

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=1047

  120. Greg Says:

    I did say I wasn’t so Sure, but I could be wrong. I must admit I’m not up on the coaches as much as the players.

  121. blake Says:

    Guys this wasn’t some last-second deal. The rumor has been out there ever since the team joined the UHL because it made so much sense with his wife’s career. It was just continually denied. Several times this year the Frankes told me Greg could coach here as long as he wanted. This was his choice with their blessing. Another reason I’ve been told they couldn’t say anything is because of the compensation. My guess is the league has said they can’t talk about that until the league meetings for some reason.

    Honest to God, there is no conspiracy here, but I guess you’d think that by denying any conspiracy I’m giving it credibility. This goes back to my reputation. You either believe me or you don’t. I slept great last night because my conscience is clear.

    And did you hear? There are supposed to be WMDs in Iraq! Talk about conspiracy theories.

  122. Greg Says:

    What’s the big secret as to the compenstation. If the deal is done it’s done. The question for me would be are the Komets getting or not getting a player from Chicago and if so will the value of that player be equal to the value of Puhalski?

  123. chuckitt Says:

    justins column this morning is such a hoot. us poor unintelligent season ticket holders with the minority opinion sure are partying now that chief is gone. did he take a poll from all the fans to come up with this? just have to laugh. see my post on h is site. go komets!!

  124. Greg Says:

    Hopefully, this will be my last comment on Puhalski. He’s not bashing any of the fans even when Justin egged him on about those that critized Chief behind his back. All Chief said was that the fans have been great to him and his family and that no one ever said a discouraging word to him. To me that shows a lot of class. He may think differently, but he’s sure not going to say it. And if he thinks and feels differently, Chief didn’t need to say anything about the fans at all.

  125. Tony E Says:

    Well, I am GLAD Martinson isn’t coming here! The guy may win but he acts like an idiot behind the bench. I have no patience for coaches who rant and rave at officials as he does. His players take his lead. There is a reason that Rockford players whine and complain after every call. It is because they take the lead from the coach.

    Well Blake….you and Justin must be clueless…oh wait…you two must be getting something under the table to spin things…. maybe change the name of this column to Spinning the Komets?
    Guys (and Ladies), Blake and Justin can only write what they are told. It isn’t up to them to take a quote, print it and then argue with it. They write columns but they are not GOSSIP columns. I am sure in private they may have questions just like any of us but the paper is not the place for that. You are here on these blogs because you enjoy reading and respect what they write. If you want them to post wild rumors to ruin their credibility that isn’t going to happen and there are plenty of “experts” on ITB and other trash boards to do that.

    ARRRGGGGHHHH before I go Archie Bunker I am going to go spend some money on Ebay LOL.
    I don’t mean to rant guys but you don’t normally walk into someones house and pretty much accuse them of lies and intentional deceit.

  126. Blake Says:

    Well, from reading the board, maybe the compensation is a mop.

  127. Skate Says:

    Tony E —

    Quit sucking up to the girls.

    Or go to Oprah.

  128. Tony E Says:

    Skate……
    nevermind……

  129. Tony E Says:

    😉
    aw heck. Skate………
    You…….
    bleeping bleeper bleep bleeep no good bleep…. (chairs start to throw)….motherbleep…..bleep…..not my kid…bleep……I didn’t touch her….bleeep…I wouldn’t do that with my sister…bleep…..

    Oh wait.. You said Oprah. I walked into the Jerry Springer show by mistake.

  130. Komet Warrior Says:

    I can not believe some of you people actually call yourself fans. Coach Puhalski has done great things in his 6 years in the Fort and yet people are ungrateful and disgusting. He has always turned out winning teams and his squads regularly challenged for the Cup. To many fair weather fans here for sure. Must have been spoiled as children or something. The guy IS THE WINNINGEST COACH IN UHL HISTORY! What part of this do you not understand?

    This has truly been a sad week in seeing Coach leave. I can only hope that his decision was not enhanced by the thoughts of some of you people

  131. JungleMonkey Says:

    Komet Warrior is Greg Puhalski.

    Skate, when did I pass the tourch of being the biggest jerk on this blog onto you?

    TODD BROST
    DANTON COLE

  132. Greg Says:

    KW-See my post in Justin’s blog.

    JM-You’re not Giving Chief an ounce of credit are you?

  133. JungleMonkey Says:

    I’ll give him 4 ounces of credit, Greg. Thats per pound or roughly 25% of the credit for the Komets success.

  134. Bob Says:

    Komet Warrior….you are right about one thing….a lot of the fans are spoiled, since the Komets enjoyed a huge amount of success the first few years the Franke’s have owned the team, people got used to it and now expect it. We have enjoyed more successful seasons in the past 15 plus years than some teams will ever see in 50+ years! (Ask Tony about the Maple Leafs!) While I like to win also, I’m not going to think it’s the end of the world if we lose. My expectation is that I want to see a quality effort and hard working players. Hard work and determination can make even a not so talented team look like world beaters.

  135. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    Entertainment boys….entertainment. That is the bottomline….oh winning is nice too. But the team we wasted our time on last year was only entertaining what 5 or 6 home games last year and 2 of those were the last 2 regular season games. And I think the players we have seen come in and out of the revolvong door the past 6 years have been entertaining at times here, but are always much more entertaining when they leave or before they got here…why is that? HHHHHMMMMMMMM……Give you one guess.

  136. JR Says:

    Because some of us dont like a coaches style and would prefer a different style means that we were spoiled as children???? What kind nonsense is that??? You liked the coach I didnt….period. Remember Puhalski came to one of the best franchises in minor league hockey with a strong winning tradition and won alot of games. Its not like he came to a franchise thats been horrible for 50+ years with bad managment and made them a contender every year. Hopefully the K’s will find another good coach that everyone likes who can bring back that edge that ALOT of fans want and continue the K’s winning ways…

  137. chuckitt Says:

    this franchise had a lot of success long before the frankes bought them. it is like the yankees in mbl. (sorry skate) im spoiled because im in a city that has had owners who put their souls and their money into the team and we have been the elite minor league team along with hershey for many many years. yes there has been down years but we fans expect to be at the top every year and if we dont make it we can be satisfied if everyone gave the effort. so since we have been so great does that mean we are suppose to sit back and take a few bad times and be satisfied with a boring style of play and non success in the playoffs? i think not! if somethings wrong, lets identify it and fix it. lets not just sit back and become stagnant or stop coming to games. if we didnt stay on top of thing and if we dont expect ist place every year, then hockey city will just be another town like saginaw or indy with no teams or a city like flint or port huron who struggle badly. spoiled? youre damn right we are, and glad for it!!!!!!!


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