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Ice Chips

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Cathie Rowand/The Journal Gazette
Matt Krug, seen here for Fort Wayne in a March 2011 game against Dayton at Memorial Coliseum, has signed with the Komets for the 2014-15 season, the team said today.

K's add scoring, toughness

Sign defenseman Krug, center Crowder


The Komets were in need of a defenseman who can score and hit and they got one today – and he should be familiar to fans of the team – with the signing of Matt Krug.

He played for Fort Wayne in 2011 in the CHL, tallying one goal, two points and 24 penalty minutes in 11 games. Last season, the 29-year-old Krug skated with the Evansville IceMen of the ECHL and had 12 goals, 37 points and 231 penalty minutes in 69 games.

“Komets fans will really enjoy having Matt back in a Komets uniform,” said general manager David Franke, who also signed playmaking center Paul Crowder.

“(Krug) will bring hard-nosed physical play, as well as the ability to contribute offensively. Last year in the ECHL, he was one of the top 10 of all scoring defensemen. And Matt also had 19 major penalties, which was second in the league.”

Crowder, 29, spent last season with the Cincinnati Cyclones, who eliminated Fort Wayne in the Eastern Conference semifinals. He had 16 goals and 48 points in 64 games. He also played four games in the higher-level American Hockey League with the Milwaukee Admirals, bringing him to 111 career games in the AHL dating back to 2008.

In 2012-13, he skated against Fort Wayne with the Wheeling Nailers and had 23 goals and 62 points in 68 games.

“Paul was heavily recruited by (coach) Gary Graham and myself, and we both feel that Paul will be a major contributor to the team,” Franke said. “We have played against Paul the last two seasons and always had a lot of respect for his play. He is the centerman we have been looking for.”

The Komets’ roster is up to 18 players, including forwards Brett Beebe, Mike Embach, Angelo Esposito, Eric Faille, Thomas Frazee, Alex Hudson, Christian Ouellet, Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock, Shawn Szydlowski and Greg Wolfe, defensemen Ian Barteaux, Drew Daniels, William Lacasse, Matthew Maione and Cody Sol, plus goaltender Pat Nagle.

And they haven’t yet received any players from their parent clubs, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters.

“Matt Krug and Paul Crowder will give us a solid veteran presence in our locker room, which is vitally important,” Franke said.

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