Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette
Ted Wright, who played for the Komets from 1962 to 1970, was one of its most versatile players and later coached the team, has died. He was 82.
Wright, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, helped the Komets to Turner Cups in the International Hockey League in 1963 and 1965.
Inducted into the Komets' Hall of Fame in 2002, Wright is one of only 20 players in the Komets' 69-year history to play seven or more consecutive seasons.
“Teddy was tough, really tough. He was tough and aggressive and didn't back down from anybody,” said his longtime teammate, Norm Waslawski, who recalled a time Wright chased notorious tough guy John Bailey from the ice to the opposing locker room.
“Teddy was tough, tougher than nails. He was a great person and he wouldn't back down from anybody.”
Wright played 319 regular-season games with Fort Wayne and totaled 90 goals, 223 points and 530 penalty minutes. In 1963-64, he totaled 35 goals, 59 points and 119 penalty minutes in 59 games.
In the playoffs, Wright skated 45 games for the Komets and had nine goals, 31 points and 85 penalty minutes in his career.
“He started off as a left wing and (coach Ken Ullyot) moved him back to defense and he played on defense for quite a few years, too,” Waslawski said.
Wright spent some of his career as property of the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, who had sponsored the Ontario Hockey Association's St. Catharines Teepees when Wright played there alongside the likes of Stan Mikita, Ron “Chico” Maki and John McKenzie from 1957 to 1959.
He played in the IHL for Louisville and Toledo, and for the Eastern Professional Hockey League's Sudbury Wolves, before he joined the Komets.
According to a 2002 interview with the News-Sentinel, Wright said he loved Fort Wayne so much that he eschewed an opportunity to join the Los Angeles Kings during the NHL expansion of 1966.
Wright coached the Komets in 1973-74 and the team missed the playoffs with a 31-45-0 record. After a 2-7-1 start to the 1974-75 season, he was replaced by Ralph Keller.
Wright, who had been dealing with multiple health problems, was living in Summerville, South Carolina. Funeral arrangements aren't yet available.