New Komets coach Gary Graham gets to play his first two games at home and then lead his team on a stretch of playing six of seven road games.
The ECHL announced its 2013-14 schedule on Wednesday. Among the highlights are 14 games against Kalamazoo and 40 of 72 against Northern Division foes Kalamazoo, Cincinnati and Toledo. The Komets open at home against Toledo on Oct. 19 and finish at home against the Walleye on April 12. The last time the Komets hosted Toledo in the season-opening game was in 1976.
The team has also switched the start time for its Wednesday home games from 7:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. There are three Wednesday home games this season.
``We don't have many this year so we thought it would be a good opportunity to give it a try,'' Komets president Michael Franke said. ``Kids are in school, and people getting off work maybe might just come to the game from there. There's no scientific data behind this, but we just thought we'd try it.''
Franke guessed it's been more than a decade since the Komets have changed a regular start time to a game.
The Komets also play three-games-in-three-nights in Las Vegas Nov. 1, 2 and 3 for their first trip to Las Vegas since 1999. Fort Wayne also plays three nights in a row in Elmira in late January but make up for that by playing three in a row at Florida in late February.
The games at Las Vegas are the only contests against Western Conference foes, but the Komets play 15 games against Elmira, Reading and Wheeling from the Atlantic Division and 14 against Florida, Greenville, Gwinnett, Orlando and South Carolina from the South Division.
The entire schedule includes 31 home games on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays, three Wednesdays and one game each on a Tuesday and Thursday. Of the annual holiday games, Thanksgiving will be against Florida on Nov. 28, and the New Year's Eve contest will be against Toledo.
The Komets play three-games-in-three-nights 11 times, but four-in-five only four times all season. November is the busiest month with 14 games and January and February host 13 each. The Komets finish the regular season by hosting five of their last six games.
The team will also take six representatives to next week's ECHL annual meetings in Las Vegas. Along with Michael Franke, attending will be General Manager David Franke, Executive Vice President Scott Sproat, Director of Promotions and Group Sales Josh Testin, Director of Communications Chuck Bailey and Merchandise Manager Rick Bireley.