You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Ice Chips

  • Komets affiliate with Avs, Lake Erie
    The Komets have aligned with the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and their American Hockey League team, the Lake Erie Monsters.
  • This is sad news
    Former Komets star Joe Kastelic, who once owned the record for most goals scored in the IHL, died Wednesday at 81. He skated for the Komets from 1953 to 1957 and then again in 1960-61.
  • Major signings for Komets
    The Komets bolstered their roster with a potential No. 1 goaltender, a former first-round NHL draft pick, a familiar face and player who should be popular with the fans.
Advertisement

SPHL suspends Thomas for season, playoffs

Former Komet Leo Thomas of Pensacola has been suspended for the rest of the season and the playoffs following what the Southern Professional Hockey League called "an incident involving fans" at the end of the Pensacola-Louisiana game Friday night.

"Mr. Thomas could have assisted his teammate and helped defuse the incident, but instead escalated the situation and we cannot in any way condone or defend his actions," league President Jim Combs said in a statement. "Any confrontation with fans is a serious matter, but physically engaging a paying customer, for any reason, must result in a significant penalty."

Pensacola player Brad Cooper was suspended two games for his actions, the league said.

The club is coached by former Komets assistant Gary Graham.

In a news release reported by the Pensacola News Journal on its website, Graham said Thomas, the club's captain, only was coming to the aid of a teammate.

"Leo has been a great captain and a leader on and off the ice all season," Graham said, according to the newspaper.

"He made a split-second decision to defend his teammate and unfortunately the decision the league handed down has cost Leo his season with the Ice Flyers. While we don't agree to the length of Leo's suspension, we have to respect the SPHL's decision. Our team will handle this loss of our captain the best way we know how to, and that is by putting it behind us, moving on and continuing to produce wins."

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 jcohn@jg.net.

Advertisement