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Ice Chips

  • This is sad news
    Former Komets star Joe Kastelic, who once owned the record for most goals scored in the IHL, died Wednesday at 81. He skated for the Komets from 1953 to 1957 and then again in 1960-61.
  • Major signings for Komets
    The Komets bolstered their roster with a potential No. 1 goaltender, a former first-round NHL draft pick, a familiar face and player who should be popular with the fans.
  • Former Komet in Elmira
    Steven Shamanski, who had a cup of coffee with the Komets, has signed to play this season with Elmira of the ECHL.

Komets sign Mironovic, Rodger

As the Komets prepare for their 59th season, and their first playing under the Central Hockey League moniker, they continue to prioritize their young defensive corps.

The team signed Danko Mironovic and Keith Rodger, who were part of the last two Turner Cup championships in the IHL.

"We've had success with Danko and Keith the last two seasons and we'd definitely like to keep a core of those championship teams here," Fort Wayne coach Al Sims said. "And they're young, which is a bonus. They're only going to get better."

Mironovic, 23, tallied one goal, 19 points and a plus-18 rating in 72 regular-season games last season. Rodger, 25, had two goals, 12 points and a plus-6 rating in 69 games.

They join Bobby Phillips, who is coming off his first professional season with the Komets, as defensemen contracted for the upcoming season. The Komets have also signed forwards Derek Patrosso and Brandon Naurato, who both skated last season for Port Huron of the IHL.

While Rodger was scoreless in seven playoff games last spring, Mironovic had three assists in all 12 postseason games, including victories over Port Huron and Flint.

"Danko's physicality, his size (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) and reach and everything, when he plays a physical game, he's really effective," Sims said. "I was talking to Brandon Naurato and he mentioned Danko being a pain to play against and when he does (use his body), he is effective."

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