Mike Vaskivuo, the Komets' playoff MVP from the 2012 CHL championship, is ecstatic that he's coming back to Fort Wayne.
"Yeah, absolutely, I'm definitely excited especially with all the memories I had made there last time," he said. "But it's a whole new season, a whole new team and a lot of new faces."
According to Vaskivuo, Gary Graham was the guy instrumental in bringing him to Fort Wayne after a tumultuous stint with Rapid City of the CHL. At the time, Graham was the Komets' assistant coach, and now he's the head coach.
"Gary and I, we've been in contact all summer," Vaskivuo said. "He's the guy who kind of found me before I got to Fort Wayne and gave me the opportunity. So he holds a special place for me and it's why I'm coming back. It looks like a good team on paper."
Unlike last time, Vaskivuo is expected to be a top-line player who will lead the Komets' offensive attack.
He welcomes it.
"Absolutely," he said. "That's what I've always been as a player, is be a guy who looks to score and produce that way. It's a good opportunity for me to help the team obviously and help myself and maybe get some looks at the higher level. I'm ready for the expectations but it's about having fun. As long as I'm having fun, it'll be great."
As for playing last season in France, he said: "It was definitely something new. I'd never really played over there. Socially, it was kind of awkward because they didn't speak English. Hockey-wise it was a different game and an eye opener."