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Drouin returning to Komets

High-scoring winger back for 6th season; praises newcomers


P.C. Drouin doesn’t want to wear a uniform with anything but the Komets’ logo on it, not ever again.

And maybe he never will play for another hockey team.

The left wing confirmed late Sunday that he has agreed to terms for the coming season, which will be his sixth with Fort Wayne dating to 2004-05.

“I’m definitely happy,“ said Drouin, who had a three-game stint in the NHL with the Boston Bruins in 1996-97. “My plan was always to finish my career here and play for the rest of it, whatever it is, however long I want to play, as a member of the Komets. I’m happy. Every year I re-sign with the Komets, I’m excited. They show they want me back, and I’m happy with that.”

Drouin tallied 26 goals and 82 points last season, second most on the team to center Colin Chaulk’s 85, and he helped Fort Wayne to its third straight IHL championship.

In the playoffs, Drouin had five goals and a team-leading 18 points in 12 games.

General manager David Franke couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Komets and four other IHL teams are moving to the Central Hockey League this season. That means a younger roster and fewer veterans.

It’s expected that the collective bargaining agreement with the player’s association will allow four veteran players, and Drouin, 36, will be one of them.

Drouin has tallied at least 20 goals and 74 points in each season he has played with the Komets, and he’s been a staple running the power play. His 31 points on the power play (10 goals, 21 assists) led Fort Wayne last season.

Drouin is also an insurance salesman locally with Three Rivers Insurance Group.

Though Chaulk recently announced he would play next season in Italy, the Komets have already re-signed leading goal scorer Leo Thomas, a center and sometime linemate of Drouin’s. Also returning are defensemen Danko Mironovic, Bobby Phillips and Keith Rodger.

The Komets have also signed former Port Huron forwards Derek Patrosso and Brandon Naurato, forward Matt Ward, who was a prolific scorer at Neumann College, and former Flint defenseman Craig Cescon.

“I remember playing against (some of those guys) and they seem like good players. I’m happy they’re on board,” Drouin said. “Obviously, I would have liked Colin to have stayed. It will be strange not having him here. The dynamics will be different. I’m losing a good friend. It will be strange. But apart from that, I like the signings so far. Again, we’ll be a successful team and we’ll be competing for some hardware.”