``I am announcing my retirement today from the Fort Wayne Komets hockey club. After talking with my family the last month we are all in agreement this is the best course for me,” Sims said in a release from the team. ``I have to thank the Franke family for the opportunity they afforded me. The last 6 years have been the best of my coaching career. I want to thank all the players who played for me, and all the fans that supported us. It was a very special time in Komets history and I think it will become even more special as time goes on. I wish the Komets and their fans the very best in the future.”
Sims "retired" or he would have been given the axe. He retired from "the Fort Wayne Komets hockey club" not hockey. A very limited retirement as it were.
The guy won 5 Championships in 10 years for the owners and his reward was to be kept dangling in the wind since the end of the regular season-one and one half months ago.
Al Sims didn't all of a sudden forget hockey strategy or lose his motivational abilities. He had the misfortune of having an owner-GM (David Franke) who is clearly in over his head at the ECHL level. In a season market by a lockout which exacerbated player turnover-even by ECHL standards-Franke made all of two trades to strengthen his roster, one of them so late (Henley to Florida) that it was irrelevant.
The Franke brothers have an arrogance such that they don't ever seem to admit to their own failings. The 2012-13 debacle in Fort Wayne was of their making, not that of Al Sims. He deserved a much better fate than he received.
I'm sure his "retirement" will last about as long as most boxers do. He'll be coaching in 2013-14 no doubt about it. He's not ready nor did he want to be turned out to pasture. If anyone doubts this, then go to fortwayne.com and dig through their archives. He never once sounded like a man who wanted to call it a career.
The Frankes risk ruining their franchise. While everyone with functional eyes knows that they juice their attendance numbers by at least 1500 per game, they still have a successful franchise. But, not so successful that they aren't capable of wrecking it.