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K's roster moves

The Komets submitted their season-ending roster of 19 players to the ECHL on Monday. They will be able to reserve the rights to a maximum of eight players from that list by extending them qualifying offers by July 1.

The Komets were permitted to submit a list of up to 20 players, but they chose only to do so with goaltenders Ben Meisner and John Muse; defensemen Simon Danis-Pepin, Mathew Maione, Joe Hartman, Jace Coyle and William Lacasse; and forwards Matt Carter, Scott Fleming, Brandon Marino, Mike Embach, Sy Nutkevitch, Aaron Clarke, Christian Ouellet, Chris Auger, Drew Daniels, Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock, David Rutherford and Dean Ouellet.

Only players who were on ECHL contracts – not those sent down from the NHL or American Hockey League – were eligible. That eliminated goalie Andrey Makarov and forward Shawn Szydlowski from consideration. Jordon Southorn and Steven Summerhays weren’t eligible because of previous agreements with the Komets.

The Komets will not have to extend qualifying offers to players signed between now and July 1. The Komets have yet to sign any players.

Of those who do get qualifying offers, only four can be veterans of 260 games played prior to the 2013-14 season.

By extending a qualifying offer, the Komets retain exclusive rights to the player until Aug. 1, after which non-veterans’ rights are kept for one season and veterans become restricted free agents.

The Komets, who reached the Eastern Conference semifinals before losing to Cincinnati in six games, have already lost some players they put on their season-ending roster. Marino, the ECHL’s leading scorer last season and a two-time team MVP, signed a contract to play in Europe. So, too, have Auger, Carter and Dean Ouellet.

It doesn’t mean they couldn’t return at some point this season.

Last year, the Komets put only nine players on the season-ending roster. Of them, only Marino, Schrock, Auger, Jeremy Gates and John Dunbar played for the Komets.

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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