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Some Komets records will last forever

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For more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blakesebring and at his blog www.tailingthekomets.com.

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Marks will never be matched in modern era of hockey

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 4:14 am

When NBC's Mike Emrick mentioned Komets great Len Thornson during his Feb. 17 broadcast of the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings, it reminded me of how ridiculous Thornson's career numbers are. Thornson retired in 1969 and most of his records haven't been challenged since.

Thornson scored 1,219 points in 12 seasons as a Komet, seven times reaching at least 100 points. That accomplishment will never be reached again, which led to some thoughts on Komets records that will never be broken. Because hockey, hockey players and hockey leagues have changed so much, there are many Komets records that could be chiseled into granite.

I actually hope I'm wrong eventually because challenges to these records would be great stories to write about, but, besides Thornson, here's a few Komets record holders whose place in franchise history is assured.

* Most career shutouts: Kevin St. Pierre blanked 23 opponents in four seasons from 2003 to 2007. He also had a 1.98 goals-against average during 2003-04 when he earned 43 wins.

* Most penalty minutes in a season: Andy Bezeau earned 590 minutes in 1995-96. In today's game, Bezeau would earn at the most about 400 minutes because the leagues would be quicker to suspend him for multiple games. Those numbers included 40 fights that season.

* Most career games: Guy Dupuis played 945 over 14 seasons. Though he just set this mark in 2011, it's likely to last forever unless the ECHL increases the amount of veterans teams are allowed to use. Then, someone would have to be incredibly good and lucky with injuries.

* Most career penalty minutes: Steve Fletcher earned 1,706 penalty minutes during eight seasons as a Komet. To put this into a little perspective, Colin Chaulk has 1,119 career minutes, meaning he'd have to play at least six more seasons to catch Fletcher.

* Most goals in a season: Merv Dubchak scored 72 in 1965-66. None of today's forwards shoot enough to crack 50, let alone challenge Dubchak's mark. If they somehow got hot and approached the mark, they'd be called up to the American Hockey League.

* Most points by a defenseman in a season: Jim Burton scored 94 points in 1985-86. It's been almost 10 years since a Komets forward scored that many points in a season.

* Most career games for a goaltender: Robbie Irons played an amazing 573 games during his 12 years. Today, an agent would protest from the Memorial Coliseum roof for his client being overused like that.

* Most consecutive games by a goaltender: Chuck Adamson played 176 games in a row from 1962 to 1965. Adamson often lost more than 25 pounds each season because he couldn't eat enough.

* Most consecutive games played: Bobby Rivard played 319 games in a row over four seasons. Rivard was a little guy, and today would be worn down by the bigger defensemen.

Of course there are are few other records that won't be touched, but these are the major categories. It's always positive to reflect on the past and the accomplishments that helped build the Fort Wayne franchise and our city's place in hockey history.

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email Blake Sebring at bsebring@news-sentinel.com .