FORT WAYNE – While The Journal Gazette deemed Len Thornson to be the greatest Komets player of all time, the fans seemed to have a lot of different opinions.
Sixty years worth of players will do that.
Heres what some fans had to say:
I went to almost every game during Robbie Lairds Komets career and the guy could score and was a great fighter. He would throw five punches to the other guys one. They were like jackhammers, similar to Joey Kocur. He created a lot of room for himself. Was Robbie the best scorer? No. Was he the best fighter? No. But for all around best player, I say Robbie was it.
Charlie Arnold, Rochester Hills, Mich.
Robbie Laird is my all-time favorite player, but cant really say he was the greatest player ever. That would be his linemate, Terry McDougall. That guy could do some amazing things with the puck. He was a great puck handler, set up his teammates well, and could easily find the net to score a few goals himself in his career while with Fort Wayne.
Teresa Beck, Fort Wayne
I was living in Detroit in the early 90s and I saw Vladimir Tsyplakov playing for the Colonial League Detroit Falcons in 1992-93. He was too good for that league, but I was told that he was there to learn English. Then I watched Tsyplakov play for the Komets from 1993-94 thru 1995-95, scoring 141 points in 142 games. Also in those two years, he played in 18 playoff games and scored (20) points. He went on to spend five years with the Los Angeles Kings and two with the Buffalo Sabres. Tsyplakov was the best, most talented, Komet.
Mark Lee, Fort Wayne
We have been lucky to have had a lot of great talent here. Good players want to play here. My thinking on this is for the player that had the talent to get to the bigs and start, and not how they contributed strictly as a Komet, my vote goes to (goalie) Murray Bannerman, who played (seven) NHL seasons after playing for the Komets.
Paul Turner, New Haven
Guy Dupuis was the most iconic of my life, however Len Thornsons stats were ridiculous. How can you go against a seven-time IHL MVP, three-time league scoring champ, and eight-time all-star? All while being the Komets all-time leader in points by a pretty wide margin. Pretty tough résumé to beat.
Jason Garrison, Fort Wayne