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Ice Chips

  • K's drop to 4th in rankings
    After getting soundly defeated by the Toledo Walleye twice in the last week, the Komets have dropped in my ECHL Power Rankings. Idaho now tops the list.
  • A good cause
    The Fort Wayne Freeze, the police department team, will take on the Cincinnati Firefighter Hockey Club at Memorial Coliseum at 3 p.m. Saturday.
  • No defense, no win for Komets
      TOLEDO, Ohio – In what has been a largely excellent start to the season, the Toledo Walleye has proved problematic for the guys in orange and black.

K's get shaft in new divisional alignments

The Komets are heading to a new division and a new conference this season.

They will be in Western Conference’s Midwest Division, along with Colorado, Evansville, Indy and Kalamazoo.

After every team in the Western Conference made the playoffs last season, this is an attempt to even things out.

The Komets' schedule is not expected to change -- unless they swap out a trip to the south so they can play Colorado a couple times -- but I do know the potential travel in the playoffs is going up.

Here’s why …

The new playoff format will have the top four teams in each of the four divisions make the playoffs. The first two rounds will be played within the division, so the Midwest’s top team will play the fourth-best team, and No. 2 will face No. 3. Then the winners of those series will square off.

So there’s already potential for a series against Colorado. Then the third round will see the Midwest Division winner face the winner from the Pacific Division (Alaska, Bakersfield, Idaho, Ontario, Stockton and Utah).

And, then, of course, would be the Kelly Cup finals. Not until then could the Komets play Toledo or Cincinnati.

That’s crazy. Toledo and Cincinnati are within three hours, but the Komets could be in Alaska.

I’m sure the Komets just love this.

I don't understand why they didn't just use a crossover rule. It would have been so much easier.

  • The Komets are looking at an affiliation with an NHL team again. Discussions with the NHL team will intensify after the NHL draft.
  • The Komets have no player signings yet, but hope to re-sign some players by the end of the week.
  • In other news, the ECHL is going to hybrid icing, following the lead of the NHL. The hybrid-icing system allows the linesman to blow the play dead and call an automatic icing if he determines that the puck will cross the goal line and the defending player is not behind in the race to the end-zone faceoff dots in his defensive zone. The faceoff would go to the far end of the ice as it did with icings called in the no-touch icing used by the ECHL in the past. If the attacking player is leading the race, the linesman is supposed to allow the play to continue.
  • In overtime, the teams will switch ends from where they began games.

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