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Ice Chips

  • Bootland not coming to K's
    You may have heard that Darryl Bootland has defected from the CHL's Allen Americans to join a team in the ECHL. It's not the Komets, according to general manager David Franke.
  • Szydlowski would like bigger role with K's
    Shawn Szydlowski, who re-signed with the Komets today, said he hopes to have a top-line type of role this season.
  • AHL could be coming to town
    There is a possibility the American Hockey League's Lake Erie Monsters and Grand Rapids Griffins will play an exhibition game at Memorial Coliseum on Oct. 4.
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Some deep thoughts

I know many of your are panicking because, so far, Brandon Marino, Chris Auger, Dean Ouellet and Matt Carter have decided to play in Europe next season, while the Komets aren't able to formally sign anyone until June 16.

Frankly, I'm not surprised by what's transpired so far, and neither should you be, and frankly I don't think it's an indictment of the Komets ... yet.

Now, if we get to the end of June and no major pieces from last season's team return -- namely Mike Embach, Ben Meisner, Christian Ouellet, Jordon Southorn, Scott Fleming -- then that would be more convincing evidence.

Let's face it, the Komets cannot offer the amount of money that teams in Europe can.

Marino has torn up Double-A hockey for two years and American Hockey League teams have shown no interest, so can you blame him for leaving for some dough?

Chris Auger has had a brutal knee injury and a shoulder injury in the last two years. He's not moving up. Again, why not make some money?

I don't think Carter was a part of the Komets plans.

Dean Ouellet was the most surprising; he could have come back and been a top-line player.

Anyway, that's my feeling. This is the ECHL. Players who are in the mid-to-late 20s are frenzied over by European teams, if they aren't under NHL contracts.

In my experience, about 33 percent of guys who go to try Europe end up coming back anyway, so it wouldn't shock me if some return.

I've heard agents for players in Fort Wayne and Las Vegas, both independent teams, were fielding calls from European teams months ago.

  • The CHL's Missouri Mavericks will introduce their next coach Thursday. Click here. I think Colin Chaulk is a possibility, but I don't think he's the front-runner. Keep on eye on these names -- Richard Matvichuk, who was an assistant coach in Allen, and Jeff Pyle, who coached Evansville of the ECHL last season. But that's largely guesswork on my part.
  • Alaska takes a 3-2 lead in the Kelly Cup finals into tonight's game in Cincinnati. Come on, you know you want a Game 7. Former Komets player Tom Mele has four goals and six points in 16 playoff games for Alaska, which has been led by Nick Mazzolini's 10 goals and 29 points in 20 games. Wowsa.

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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