I've already been asked this several times, and it's a question I've pondered myself: What will the Komets do with the goaltending when -- if -- Nick Boucher is ready to play after hip surgeries?
First of all, this is a great problem to have: Three championship-caliber goalies.
The Komets are taking a let's-wait-and-see-what-happens attitude with this.
First of all, we have to see if Kenny Reiter does actually make it to Fort Wayne. With the NHL facing a potential lockout, and Bridgeport of the American Hockey League likely to have several goalies, I'm pretty confident he will start the season in Fort Wayne.
But by the time January rolls around, and Boucher is recovered -- again, if he recovers and still wants to play -- who knows where Reiter will be?
However, if Reiter and Charlie Effinger are here, and Boucher is good to go, then the Komets will have to choose two of them, at least once the playoffs arrive. It's highly unlikely they would commit three roster spots to goalies.
If they are all healthy, I probably have Reiter as the top guy (yes, he's that good), Boucher second (he's won four titles in five years) and Effinger third. I think Effinger is terrific, and he was one of the best AA-level goalies available, but he has yet to prove he can win on the stage that Reiter and Boucher already have.
Reiter won an NCAA championship with underdog Minnesota-Duluth. Boucher is the most clutch goalie in franchise history. It's tough to fathom that the Komets would go into the playoffs without Boucher, if he's healthy and playing well.
That is, of course, if Boucher even wants to play here. He's not under contract and could definitely look elsewhere. I'm sure plenty of CHL teams and at least once ECHL team I can think of (within six hours of here), will take a look at him after Jan. 1.
I would imagine, if the Komets have all three goalies, they take a good look at Boucher in practice and games and see if he's back to 100 percent, and then they'll evaluate. If nothing else, it would give them some collateral to trade one of these guys, most likely Effinger.
These things always have a way of working themselves out. The X factor to me, more than Boucher's health, will be Reiter. AHL teams have a way of pulling good players up when it gets close to playoffs. And depending on the labor strife in the NHL, that situation could solve itself.