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Komets

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No major moves planned for struggling K’s

Komets general manager David Franke believes the players on his roster can turn this season around.

“We feel we have the players. We just need to get the right combinations on the ice,” said Franke, whose team is off to a 2-6-1 start, worst since 1994.

“We’re playing as individuals right now, and we need to play better as a team. That’s always been our success. We don’t worry about individual goals; we worry about team goals.”

The Komets won championships the last three seasons in the IHL before being absorbed, with three other IHL franchises, by the Central Hockey League.

Fort Wayne and Odessa are tied for last place in the 18-team CHL with five points apiece.

The Komets plan to add two rookies to the lineup Friday, when they play host to Arizona (2-7-2). They will be defenseman Steven Delisle, assigned by Columbus of the NHL, and forward Neil Musselwhite, assuming the Komets can get his immigration work papers approved in time.

Other than that, the Komets will stick to the nucleus that has tallied only 13 goals.

“We’re going to have to get to the point here in the not-too-distant future, where if we don’t feel (they can get it done), maybe by the first of December, we’ll have to change it up,” Franke said. “We can’t keep going the way we are now, so maybe the alternative is to switch personnel.

“I hope we don’t have to do that. I like the guys here and hope they can get the job done, but we need to start (winning).”

Franke and coach Al Sims will spend today and Wednesday conducting interviews with all the players, something they normally do after the 10-game mark. Franke is also researching the players available as free agents and being offered in trades by other CHL teams.

“We can still fix this,” Franke said, adding the next five games, four of which are at home, will be critical.

“I think there is some general concern. We thought offense would be one of our strong suits, based on the résumés of the guys we had coming back and coming in this season, but we just don’t have the right chemistry at this time.”

Meanwhile, fans have been lighting up message boards and begging for the return of center Colin Chaulk.

“He’s under contract over in Italy. I keep in touch. I just don’t know right now where he would fit financially, but it’s something that’s crossed my mind,” Franke said.

“I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but I’m not saying it’s not going to happen. We’ll stay in contact and see if there’s a point where we do bring him back if he does happen to get out of his contract in Italy. But there’s nothing in the works. There’s nothing on the burner with Colin Chaulk.”

The Komets released defenseman David Cianfrini, who was scoreless in five games.

jcohn@jg.net

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