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Ice Chips

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Responding to critics

K's believe their model is sound

Here's what the Komets had to say about the signings of Brandon Marino, Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock, Mickey Lang, Matthew Larke and Kyle Bochek, which I'm sure will be reviled by some because it's a collection of CHL stars.

“I’m not concerned with it. I know the kind of style I want to teach and it’s not a concern. These are speed guys who can get the job done,” Komets coach Gary Graham said, adding several ECHL and European teams were vying for the services of these players.

Added general manager David Franke: "Lang was one of the top players in the CHL last year and scored over 40 goals. Very fast and good speed. Not a big kid, but it doesn’t keep him from getting to the net.

"We needed offense and right off the hop with Marino and Mickey Lang, we have two highly offensive players who will succeed. Some of these guys, Larke and Bochek, they are young kids but fit what we're doing."

The Komets haven't decided who will replace Colin Chaulk as captain, but surely Schrock has the inside track.

"He’ll be a big part of our leadership core and a guy I will believe in a lot. ... I know how to get more out of Schrocky," Graham said. "We’re going to work on getting him to the net more. He’ll be crashing and banging."

Graham wants to put Schrock with Bochek and get something like the "Redrum Line" of two seasons ago, when the Komets won the CHL title.

"Kaleigh Schrock, it’s his time to shine with the Komets," Franke said. "He’ll have the longest tenure of anybody probably on the team. It’s his time to shine and he’s kind of the face of the Komets right now. He’s got a great personal relationship with Gary Graham and I expect a much better season from Kaleigh than we got last year."

Schrock has told me several times he feels he has something to prove this season.

"It’s exciting," Graham said of the day's events. "Obviously the guys we targeted from the Central League are guys I think can get the job done at the ECHL level. They’re young, hungry and have something to prove. They are guys who can push the pace. They are very good skaters. Lang, Larke and Marino are three high-end speed guys who put guys on their heels."

The Komets continue to talk with Chris Auger, though they haven't spoken recently with Mike Vaskivuo.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at