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Ice Chips

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Alternate point of view

I would like to share with you an email I got from a reader pertaining to Colin Chaulk.

Before you read it, let me say, I don't think me saying that Chaulk is the greatest player in franchise history is insulting to people like Len Thornson or Eddie Long. They're all great.

I have covered the team since 1997, so I do know my Komets history, even if I wasn't here to see all of it. It's hard to compare eras. But, to me, the players today are bigger, stronger, faster. To me, Chaulk's leadership alone put him in elite company, but then add the scoring, the defensive prowess, faceoffs, the whole shabbang, I just have him slightly ahead of Thornson.

Only slightly.

Anyway, here's the note. What do you think? There are no wrong answers here ...

I enjoy your insight and stories on the Komets. I regularly check your blog to get the latest scoop on what's going on with the team and I love the extra hockey tidbits you throw in that aren't Komet related but still hockey related.

The past few days I've really enjoyed your tributes to Colin Chaulk and his outstanding contributions to the Fort Wayne Komet franchise.

However, certain statements, such as "I had no idea during my first interview with him that he'd morph into the greatest player in franchise history," are simply incorrect and also a dishonor to those men whose jersey's are already hanging in the rafters.

Guys like Eddie Long, who played in more Komet games than any other player. Or Len Thornson, who has held the scoring records for the team for nearly 50 years now and also held the scoring record for all of minor league hockey untill the late 90's or so. A hockey magazine even named Len Thornson the greatest player never to play in the NHL.

And these men played in a higher, more competitive league. I don't wish to deny that Chaulk was one of the greatest and most inspirational leaders/players to ever wear the Komet crest, but for you or Ben Smith to say he was the greatest player in franchise history is a dishonor to players of the past and simply incorrect.

As I stated early, I enjoy your blog and don't wish to be critical, I just think that statement is inaccurate.

I just hope that the men who played before Chaulk are remembered. Without guys like Len Thornson, Eddie Long, Reggie Primeau, Robbie Irons, or Guy Dupuis, the Komets might not be in existence to begin with.

I just ask that you don't diminish these other men's accomplishments simply because the most recent star of the team is now retiring and he happens to be someone you personally have experienced with.

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.

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