Fort Wayne Komets, Arizona Coyotes and Tucson Roadrunners end affiliation
Tucked away in the next-to-last line of Monday afternoon’s press release was “The Komets also announced Monday that they have mutually agreed with the Arizona Coyotes of the NHL to not renew their affiliation for 2018-19. The Komets will continue to pursue new affiliation options.”
With Komets President Michael Franke and General Manager David Franke attending the ECHL’s annual summer meetings in Las Vegas, neither was immediately available to comment.
Komets coach Gary Graham said, “The Frankes will always do what they feel is best for the Fort Wayne Komets, and that’s what’s special about working for them. They are all about winning a championship. They want to have the ability to do some things and have flexibility within the organization, and sometimes if both teams aren’t 100 percent in line with how things look…”
This means the Komets are looking for their fourth AHL/NHL affiliation since they joined the ECHL in 2012-13. They worked with Norfolk and Anaheim that season, followed by two years with San Antonio and Colorado and one year with Tucson and Arizona. Usually, AHL teams want an ECHL affiliate that will do what it’s told in all matters of player personnel, and that will likely never happen with the Komets.
This year the Komets got players such as Michael Houser, Zac Larraza, Ryan Culkin, Trevor Cheek and Artur Tyanulin from their affiliation.
Efforts will continue to reach the Frankes for comment throughout the evening.