The Journal Gazette
Friday, May 24, 2019 12:10 am

Cup pick, K's affiliation update

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

It's still very early in the Komets' offseason. But if you're wondering about the status of an NHL affiliate for next season, Komets general manager David Franke said: “That’s going on right now. We’ve been working on that for the last couple weeks. Everybody knows that in our position, we’re going to have a new coach on board, and that for us right now is the biggest thing we’ve had to do since the season ended.”

The Komets’ expiring affiliation with the Vegas Golden Knights is expected to be renewed but a wrinkle may be the Los Angeles Kings' search for an ECHL partner.

  • The Kelly Cup finals between the Toledo Walleye and Newfoundland Growlers will begin Saturday at St. John's, Newfoundland. These are teams I've watched a lot of this season and I'm picking the Growlers in 7. The Walleye, which ousted the Komets in six games in the first round, knocked off regular-season champion Cincinnati and is coming off a seven-game victory over Tulsa, hasn't yet faced a team in the postseason that looks like this. The difference with the Growlers is that they really use their speed to attack the net; they don't rely on the dipsy-doodle plays that Fort Wayne and Cincinnati did and they don't shoot as much from the perimeter as Tulsa. Newfoundland is just multi-faceted. However, I always like a team that's in a groove over one with time off, so that gives some edge to the Walleye. And goaltender Pat Nagle has been at a never-before-seen level in these playoffs for Toledo. While travel might be an issue to some, Toledo has won huge games on the road all postseason, including clinching games on the road in all three series, so I don't think that's a big deal. I wouldn't be surprised by anything in this series except it being a short one.
  • Franke said that defenseman Jason Binkley is recovering well from his arm/shoulder injuries and will be good to go next season. Also, he said Binkley is getting married, so congratulations! Franke also added that Shawn Szydlowski is healthy after he endured myriad injuries the last two seasons.

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