November is when the Fort Wayne Komets let out their inner caveman.
"Sorry, honey, I'd love to shave, but it's a team thing,'' they may use as an excuse. "We've got to bond.''
For the second year in a row, the Komets are taking part in "No Shave Movember,'' an attempt to raise funds for male cancer research. Last year the team raised about $600, and this year the goal is $1,000.
"As Tyler Butler said, it's an excuse to be awesome for a month,'' Komets forward and team event organizer Chris Auger said. "The only people it has a negative effect on are the wives and girlfriends who have to put up with it day in and day out, but it's fun.''
They should just tell the gals they are trying to save money on the outrageous price of razors. Yeah, doubt the ladies buy that, either.
As a result, the Komets will look like their faces are in playoff condition, minus the stitches from a postseason run.
Auger has started a Komets Movember page on Facebook and on the official site, movember.com, where fans can search for the Komets' page. There will be plenty of pictures to chart the team's ... um ... growth.
"This year we're going to try to get some different competitions like mustache of the week and all sorts of different things, and we're going to give away tickets,'' Auger said. "This year we're obviously a lot more prepared for it. We're encouraging all fans to grow them. If you can't contribute financially, then help us spread the word by talking about the cause. It's a conversation starter.''
Auger calls it Christmas for his lip.
"It's hopefully something that will bring the guys together a little bit more,'' he said. "That month last year was when we found our identity a little bit. We're hoping the same thing can happen this year. There are a lot of new faces, and it's a good thing to rally around.''
Now that's a hip check
New Komets defenseman Nick Schaus has been throwing a few hip checks lately, something Fort Wayne fans haven't seen regularly since Dan Ronan in 2000-01.
"I've always prided myself on being a physical player, and I'm a good skater so I'm able to get my body in there and get in underneath guys and catch them when they aren't expecting to be hit,'' Schaus said. "I don't try to hurt anyone, but obviously is a different type of hit you don't see all the time.''
Throughout the Komets' 61 years, 12 pairs of brothers have played in Fort Wayne. Mike and Neil Buchanan played on the first Komets team and were followed by Edgar and Ken Blondin three years later. Then came Mickey and Jim Shaw, Gerry and Jim Minor, Perry and Paul Pooley, Mark and Steve Salvucci, Sean and Derek Gauthier, David and Mikhail Nemirovsky, Bobby and Danny Stewart, and Dustin and Bryant Molle. Now Kenny and Kevin Reiter and David-Alexandre and Thomas Beauregard are being added to the list.
The Buchanans, the Blondins, the Salvuccis, the Pooleys and the Molles played together as Komets.
The Komets have some catching up to do with Toledo. Friday's game will be the Komets' first in Toledo since March 8, 1986, a contest Fort Wayne won 4-2. The last time a Toledo team played pro hockey in Fort Wayne was April 12, 1986, a game the Komets won 7-3. The all-time regular-season record between the two teams is 191-148-29 in 368 games. The Toledo teams have won 28 of the 55 games the teams have contested in the playoffs.
Here's the list of cities the Komets have played the most regular-season games against: 1. Muskegon 459, 2. Toledo 368, 3. Kalamazoo 358, 4. Milwaukee 332, 5. Indianapolis 268, 6. Flint 257, 7. Port Huron 233, 8. Dayton 199, 9. Peoria 145, 10. Saginaw 129.
Icing the puck
Former Komets defenseman Ed Campbell was waived by Quad City of the Central Hockey League on Monday. ... Former Komets defenseman Jamie Milam has signed with GKS Katowice in Poland where he joins former Komets Craig Cescon and Justin Chwedoruk. ... The Komets are going to play a 10:30 a.m. game Wednesday at Toledo as part of a School Appreciation Day. The last time they played such a game was Feb. 28 last season at Quad City. They also played a morning game Jan. 13, 2009, at Muskegon. ... Toledo has an interesting promotion Nov. 10 when the Walleye will wear Captain American uniforms as part of Patriot Games weekend... Former Komets assistant Gary Graham won his first game as head coach of Pensacola of the Southern Professional Hockey League on Saturday. The IceFlyers beat Mississippi 2-0 behind goals by Jeremy Gates and T.J. Miller, both former Komets. Mark Bradtmueller is the equipment manager for the IceFlyers.