Dennis Hextall, who still answers to International Hockey League commissioner, caused a mild buzz when he told Fort Wayne radio listeners he was pursuing sponsors and expansion teams while in the Q-C last week.
With Hextall’s primary employers lagging badly in last place over in Fort Wayne, that caused message boarders to speculate the Franke family is working to resuscitate the grab-and-clutch IHL the Komets dominated for three years.
Reached by phone this week, Hextall stressed Fort Wayne and four other IHL newcomers, the Mallards included, contractually are commited to CHL for two years and said his expansion efforts are on behalf of the new league.
Hextall is a fan of the CHL’s cleaner style of play, but he said, “I think everybody is sitting back and taking a look at the two years, how everything works. Everything has been positive so far.’’
First-year Mallards owner Eric Karls looked into Hextall’s radio remarks and said they were misconstrued.
“It’s no drama,’’ he said. “It’s nothing. The Quad-Cities is in the CHL and so are the Frankes. A lot of different things are being talked about, but at the end of the day, we couldn’t be more excited to be in the CHL.’’