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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.

Who could replace Chaulk?

With the Komets now in need of a top-line center to replace Colin Chaulk, who might they now go after?

I haven't spoken to general manager David Franke yet, but here are off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts, in order of likelihood:

  • John Mori: He had 27 goals and 65 points last season with Flint, is a free agent and is only 24.
  • Nick Lindberg: He had 29 goals and 81 points with Port Huron last season, is a 29-year-old free agent, and has on-ice rapport with recently signed Derek Patrosso and Brandon Naurato.
  • Pascal Rheaume: Former NHL player has got game left at age 37 -- 21 goals, 57 points last season -- and he's a free agent.
  • Bryan Smolinski: Former NHL player was in Flint last season, where he produced more than a point per game, and is a free agent. But he's 38.
  • Todd Robinson: Would require a trade because the rights to the former Muskegon playmaker, and 2009 IHL MVP, are held by Evansville.
  • Kris Vernarsky: He had 21 goals and 65 points last season with Port Huron and is a 28-year-old free agent.
  • Chris Richards: Nearly a point per game last season for Corpus Christi of Central Hockey League. At 34, he's a free agent.
  • Andrew Fournier: Had 71 points in 70 games last season for Kalamazoo of ECHL and didn't receive a qualifying offer. He is 22.

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