Al Sims won his fifth championship with the Komets to culminate his ninth year as a coach in Fort Wayne. He's led the Komets back from 3-1 series deficits twice, and now from a 2-0 hole after they lost the first two games at home in the conference finals against Missouri.
The Komets have offered Sims a contract for next season and expect him to accept it. If he does, he'll likely win his 500th game behind the Fort Wayne bench sometime next winter.
News-Sentinel: How was this team unique from some of the other title teams?
Sims: I think it's one of the best groups I've ever coached. Very easy to coach, followed directions very well and did everything that we asked of them.
NS: Why do you think this team was so inconsistent during the regular season?
Sims: I think it was the youth. We had a lot of young players, more than we've ever had. I thought our young guys grew during the year. We had ebbs and tides and flows and that's the way seasons go. You're not going to be great every night, but once they got to this round (CHL Finals) you could see the domination that our team had, and our young guys were a big part of that.
NS: You had so many veteran players with great leadership.
Sims: I think the acquisition of (Mike) Vaskivuo should be the move of the year. For any team to grab a guy who comes in at the trade deadline and becomes the playoff MVP and really shot us out of a cannon when he got here. Offensively, we never had a problem after he arrived.
NS: Why was he so successful?
Sims: He's just a real talented kid. When you put him with muckers like Chaulker (Colin Chaulk) and (Chris) Auger, and their talent, they just fit together perfectly.
NS: What did you think of Nick Boucher's performance?
Sims: He's a money goalie, and tonight I knew he'd bounce back after the last game. When Nick stands tall and wants to win something, he's hard to deny.
NS: What's next for you this summer?
Sims: Right now I'm just going to enjoy the cup and have some fun.