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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, January 09, 2019 3:20 pm

Komets' Joe Franke headed to ECHL All-Star Game

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Komets’ Joe Franke has been named equipment manager for the ECHL All-Star Classic. He will accompany player Justin Hodgman at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, for the game Jan. 21.

Franke began his career with the Komets in 1978. He served with the Komets until joining Indianapolis of the Central Hockey League in 1983.

He then logged four years with Muskegon of the International Hockey League, where he where he was part of a 1989 Turner Cup championship team before moving to the NHL with Pittsburgh in 1989 where he earned a Stanley Cup ring as a member of the 1990-91 champion Penguins.

Franke returned to Fort Wayne in 1991 and worked the Komets locker room for an additional 15 years through the 2005-06 season, collecting two league championships. From 2008 to 2010 Franke was a member of the New York Islanders organization before returning again to Fort Wayne in 2011. Franke claimed another championship in 2012 with Fort Wayne for a total of five league crowns.

Franke will be accompanied in the All-Star locker room by athletic trainer Scott Allison of the Kalamazoo Wings. Dave Aleo (equipment manager) and Brad Fredrick (athletic trainer) will serve the host Toledo Walleye.

For the second consecutive year, the CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic will feature a 3-on-3 tournament with four teams competing for the top spot. New in 2019, the host team will make up two of the four teams and face-off against the other two teams made up of All-Star players from the Eastern and Western Conferences.