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K's acquire Lardner

The Komets are coming off their biggest win of the season -- Friday's 5-2 victory over the Quad City Mallards -- but that doesn't mean everyone's job is safe.

Especially not after what went down late Friday afternoon.

The Komets acquired high-scoring forward Tab Lardner from Missouri for future considerations, and he will join the Komets on Monday.

That gives the players another two games -- tonight at Evansville, and Saturday against visiting Quad City -- to prove they still belong with Fort Wayne.

The Komets are 3-8-1 in their first Central Hockey League season.

"Tab is a player we're familiar with from when he was Port Huron," Komets general manager David Franke said of the 30-year-old Lardner, who had 95 goals and 186 points in 199 games over the last three seasons in Port Huron, where he skated against the Komets in the IHL.

"He scored a lot of big goals against us through the years, and he's got a lot of experience in the Central League, too. He's been around a little more than other players on the team. He'll be a veteran and add some experience, and definitely add some offense."

With Missouri, Lardner had three goals and 10 points in 15 games. To replace him, the Mavericks signed Bill Vandermeer, who had 14 goals and 30 points in 38 games with Missouri last season, before breaking both of his heels in an offseason incident. He fell 20 feet while pruning a tree.

Lardner will be reunited with two of his of his former Port Huron teammates, Derek Patrosso and Brandon Naurato. But Lardner is paid in the high end, so look for a player with a high profile to be moved come next week.

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 jcohn@jg.net.

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