Just like their fans, members of Komets management are going through a bit of withdrawal this spring.
Instead of going through their normal routines of preparing for playoff games and extensive travel for road games, the staff is scouting games in other leagues. They are also feeling the difference watching other teams play while their club has missed the playoffs.
``Things are calming down for us,'' General Manager David Franke said. ``The first two or three weeks were hectic, but they calming down and we're getting to spend some quality time planning what needs to happen next.''
Part of that includes determining the status of coach Al Sims, whom the Komets met with last week to review the 2012-13 season. Sims remains under contract as the team's coach, and Franke said management will make a decision on next season within two weeks.
``Right now we're formulating our plans,'' Franke said. ``He's just going to wait like everybody else to find out what we're going to do. We're getting close to a decision, and when we're ready to do it, we'll do it. We're going to get this resolved quickly.''
There are plans to have more discussions with Sims, and Franke declined to say when Sims' contract expires. Franke said he has also talked with the recently retired Colin Chaulk about becoming a full-time assistant coach, but the team needs to determine what happens with the head coach first.
``We're hoping Colin decides to come back next year,'' Franke said. ``There's a lot he can bring and he'll learn from being an assistant coach.''
If Sims returns, would he want Chaulk back as his full-time assistant? If a new coach comes in, would he prefer to name his own assistant coach? Would Chaulk want to work with a new head coach? Does Sims want to return? All of those questions must be answered.
``I have the impression from him that he wants to come back, but like I said all along we're going to be very deliberate about this, and we're not going to be rushed,'' Franke said of Sims.
The Komets are continuing to scout the ECHL and Central Hockey League playoffs. Franke returned Sunday from watching Idaho and Ontario play two games in Boise.
``We can talk to players in other leagues,'' Franke said. ``As far as players in the ECHL, there's nothing we can do until the final rosters go in and then we're allowed to sign people. The month of June will be busy all the way through the summer.''
On June 1, ECHL teams will submit their protected lists, which is any player they own ECHL rights to. On June 15, the season-ending roster, which can contain no more than 20 players, is due. Teams can start signing players for the following season June 16. By July 1, teams must submit their list of right qualifying offers. Any player signed between June 16 and July 1 does not need to be qualified.
A team can offer eight players qualifying offers, thus retaining rights for non-veterans for up to one year and for veterans until Aug. 1. After Aug. 1 veterans become restricted free agents, and after Aug. 31 they are total free agents.