Fan-favorite forward Mitch Woods will make his return to the Komets lineup tonight against the Quad City Mallards at Memorial Coliseum.
While his aggressive play and penchant for dropping the gloves to fight were staples of his previous season with the Komets in 2007-08, he made no promises that tonight would provide a particular show.
That stuff finds me more than I find it. Well see. Im not guaranteeing anything, he said.
Woods tallied 15 goals, 36 points and 297 penalty minutes in 73 games with the Komets during his last stint, then he had one goal, six points and 28 penalty minutes in 13 playoff games en route to the Turner Cup championship.
He played 12 games last season with Cincinnati of the ECHL before a short-lived retirement that saw him take a position as a youth-care worker in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, a job he will return to after this season.
By his own admission, Woods, 23, was out of shape when he started practicing with the Komets two weeks ago.
The first week, my recovery time was a struggle, he said. Id be skating and then just be spent. It took me awhile, but every day, I started feeling better and better.
Woods wont be expected to police the ice alone, not with Brad MacMillan and Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock also on the roster. Woods expects to skate only a few shifts in every period tonight.
Its been going a lot better than I expected, he said, but I talked to (coach) Al Sims, and were in agreement not to have me play overly much, just get back in the feeling of things and not do too much, feel it out.
The Komets are 23-13-2 and in third place in the IHL, but theyve been outscored 7-1 over their last two games, both losses. The Mallards are 13-19-7, good enough for sixth place.
To make room for Woods, the Komets waived center Rick Varone, who had 23 goals and 55 points in 75 games last season, making the IHLs All-Rookie Team and sharing the teams Rookie of the Year Award with Sean OConnor.
But this season, Varone had only one goal and six points in 23 games.
General manager David Franke couldnt be reached for comment.