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Wrapping up the day

I must say, I'm a little surprised that there's so much outrage today that Colin Chaulk is now with the Kalamazoo Wings.

I just didn't think a Gary Graham/Chaulk combination would work, and I figured everyone else would have pondered and agreed with that by now.

Whether it was Graham's decision, or that of David and Michael Franke, I just don't think it would have been a great idea to have a guy like Chaulk who so many wanted to have the job and who covets a head coaching job, being right beneath a new hire like Graham with so little experience as a head coach.

In other words, whether or not you agree with the hire of Graham as head coach in the first place, he's there and if you want him to succeed, you have to put him in the best position to do that.

Part of that is comfort level.

But I digress.

And, like many of you, I'm not convinced that the Komets won't ultimately have an assistant coach or at least a consultant. It may be a player/assistant coach, but I just think there will be someone.

Lost in the Chaulk news was the signing of Rob Kwiet and Kevin Walrod.

Kwiet may be a very good signing, but the Komets have to learn the lessons of last year and make sure they don't just have one elite offensive defenseman.

And Walrod's numbers -- 15 points in his last 34 games at Michigan State -- are nothing to sneeze at.

I know some of you don't want to admit it, but so far the Komets' roster looks pretty decent.

I figure you have a top line of Brandon Marino, Mickey Lang and Chris Auger; a second line of Bobby Hughes, Matthew Larke, maybe Jean-Michel Rizk; and a third line of Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock, Kyle Bocheck and Matt Firman -- just based on the players signed so far.

So someone like John Dunbar, today, may not even make the team.

Then the top defensemen are Kwiet, Simons Danis-Pepin, Kyle Follmer and Joe Hartman, plus Mathieu Gagnon and Jeremy Gates.

It's a little CHL-esque for my tastes, and I always reserve any full judgment until I see goaltenders, but it's a nice start.

But the chemistry will be the real key, I guess, since that was awful last season.

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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