The Komets went into Wednesday's game against the Kalamazoo Wings at 21-19-8, good enough only for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division with 24 games remaining in the regular season.
So how do the Komets improve their roster?
The process of getting healthy for the first time since November started against the Wings (18-22-6) when goaltender Dylan Ferguson got the start at Memorial Coliseum. The Vegas Golden Knights' rookie prospect hadn't played since Jan. 12 because of an undisclosed illness.
Other Fort Wayne players – Brady Shaw (concussion), Shawn St-Amant (upper body) and Brad Morrison (lower body) – should return any day. Defensemen Chase Stewart and Kyle Haas have two games left in their six-game ECHL suspensions.
There are two dates to be mindful of: Saturday's 3 p.m. overseas deadline and the 3 p.m. March 5 trade deadline.
The former puts a halt to players coming back from Europe to complete their seasons in the ECHL. Last season, the Komets brought in Shawn Szydlowski, Mason Baptista and Craig Cescon from Europe, though the Komets don't typically sign imports so close to the deadline.
General manager David Franke said the Saturday deadline shouldn't be a factor.
“We don't have anything in the works. We're not looking at any last-minute deals, no,” he said Wednesday night.
Making large tweaks to the roster is complicated by the abundance of players – nine – from the Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings.
“It's going to come down to who's here at (trade-deadline) time. There's an extra roster spot this year (for the playoffs), so that helps,” Franke said. “But it's going to be a factor, as it has been all season, when you deal with two clubs, two NHL organizations. There are a lot of different moving parts on it and we've got to figure it out.”