This summer will not be last summer, Fort Wayne Komets general manager David Franke says. And thank the hockey gods for that.
My summer hopefully is going to be based around working with Al (Sims) and putting a team together, he said Wednesday at Memorial Coliseum during the team’s end-of-season fan party and jersey auction.
Sounds utterly placid compared with last summer, when the Komets were first fighting to save one league, then hammering together a coalition with another, then trying to put a team together wearing blindfolds, in the sense that they were preparing to negotiate a landscape they barely knew.
None of that this time around.
There might be some changes with some teams in the league and the number of total teams in the league this year, but I don’t expect that kind of summer for us, Franke says.
What is more likely to change is the roster itself, considering the nucleus that delivered three straight Turner Cups lost the last game of the season for the first time in four years and is beginning to show some wear.
I think it’s time, Franke says. We’re due for some changes. It won’t be the total same cast of characters we had this year. We’re probably primed right now for kind of a retooling.
Guy Dupuis knows the drill, after the last couple of years.
The season ends. The question – Are you going to retire, Guy? – begins.
Last year, I took maybe a month, month-and-a-half and sat down with my wife on different nights and just mulled over the facts to see what was best for our family, said Dupuis, 40, who had 10 goals and 38 points in 64 regular-season games this year. I always came back to I want to play again.’
This year, we’ll see. I’m getting a little bit older. I had a good season, but I’ve had better seasons in the past. So it won’t be all in my hands. Sure, I can decide if I want to come back or not, but it will be up to the team to see who they want to bring back.
Dupuis’ jersey brings highest bid
And the winner is ... Dupuis. The veteran defenseman’s jersey pulled far and away the highest bid in the jersey auction Wednesday, going for $2,750. All told, the auction raised $18,325 for charity.