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Komets coaching update

Komets general manager David Franke still believes he will have a coach in place by June 1, though he declined to get into specifics about potential candidates – with one exception.

Franke said former assistant coach Gary Graham, a native of Fort Wayne, is in the mix, after he led Pensacola to the Southern Professional Hockey League championship in his first season as head coach.

“He’s definitely a strong candidate,” Franke said. “He was here for four years and helped us to a lot of success (with three championships), and then he went down and had a highly successful season in Pensacola.”

While former Komets captains Colin Chaulk and Bruce Richardson have both applied for the job, neither is considered a likely replacement for Al Sims, who retired after leading the Komets to championships in 1993, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

“We’ve had a couple interviews with candidates,” Franke said. “I would say we’re still on target for the June 1 deadline to have somebody named coach.”

The Komets have no players under contract and cannot sign anyone, per ECHL rules, until June 16.

In other news, Franke confirmed that the Komets have decided to make a change with their athletic trainer. Shawn Dundon had been with the team since 2000.

The Komets will continue to use the Lutheran Health Network, where Dundon remains employed.

Note: Andrew Miller of the Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C, was selected as the winner of the ECHL’s Outstanding Media Award. He has covered the Stingrays since 1998.

jcohn@jg.net

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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