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Ice Chips

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    The Komets have aligned with the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and their American Hockey League team, the Lake Erie Monsters.
  • This is sad news
    Former Komets star Joe Kastelic, who once owned the record for most goals scored in the IHL, died Wednesday at 81. He skated for the Komets from 1953 to 1957 and then again in 1960-61.
  • Major signings for Komets
    The Komets bolstered their roster with a potential No. 1 goaltender, a former first-round NHL draft pick, a familiar face and player who should be popular with the fans.
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Just a question

When the Komets sign a player who was once a big NHL prospect -- such as Simon Danis-Pepin, who they inked this week -- I wonder how you perceive such players.

He was a second-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks (61st overall) in 2006, but he never made it to the NHL and even though he's still only 25, chances are against him ever getting there.

There are a lot of players like that -- guys who got a big investiture from an NHL team but didn't materialize with that organization -- roaming around the minor leagues.

I figure you hear "second-round pick" and think one of two things: He's a guy with tremendous upside and the right people just didn't tap it; or, he's a bust and let's hope there wasn't a good reason he never made it.

So which is it?

I don't know the guy, and I'm certainly not trying to knock him. I've heard nothing but good things.

He's spent parts of three seasons in the higher-level American Hockey League and, at 6-foot-7, 240 pounds, he's just what the Komets needed in a defenseman.

My first reaction when I saw his bio was: Wow, good pickup.

I mean, he's not just talented; he was a captain at Maine.

But I am curious if you get a red flag when a player was taken so high but moved from the organization so early?

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 jcohn@jg.net.

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