Because of injuries that limited him to 22 games this season, Colin Chaulk's retirement announcement this morning was not a surprise. That doesn't mean accepting the decision is easy for the Fort Wayne Komets.``Since he arrived in our UHL days, Colin's been the face of this franchise,'' Komets General Manager David Franke said. ``In the 23 years that we've owned the team, we've won six championshps led players named Colin, first Colin Chin and then Colin Chaulk. Guy Dupuis, P.C. Drouin and Colin Chaulk were the face of this franchise for many, many years, but Colin stands out even more because his accomplishments on and off the ice.
``It's sad that he didn't get to play a whole season and then retire, but you can't control that.''
Because of the Komets' transfer to the ECHL and its limit of four veterans, it's possible Chaulk may be the last player to wear a Komets jersey for 10 years. Franke said no player will wear No. 91 for Fort Wayne again and a retirement ceremony to raise Chaulk's name to the Memorial Coliseum rafters will come sooner rather than later.
Chaulk plans to become a coach, and Franke said he has talked with Chaulk informally about possibly becoming a full-time assistant next season but it's too early to announce any official plans.
``He will immerse himself into the coaching, and I think that will take away any feelings that he's going to miss playing so bad,'' Franke said. ``He won't have time to think about not playing any more. With the right situation and the right experience he will gain going forward, I think Colin has a chance to coach at a very high level. He'll be very successful as a coach and maybe Fort Wayne will be involved in that.''
For more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blakesebring and at his blog www.tailingthekomets.com.