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On Ratchuk, Shaf and more

Chris Francis and Michael Ratchuk are in Fort Wayne; they practiced with the Komets this morning.

Ratchuk is on a conditioning assignment, so it's unknown how long he'll be here. The Komets are going to use him as a defenseman, though he has played forward, too.

The Komets don't have to release anyone to make room. Defenseman Danko Mironovic was placed on injured reserve with a back injury. And Ratchuk qualifies for the five-game roster exemption because he's on an assignment from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Komets will not have Leo Thomas (ankle), Brandon Warner (shoulder) or Mironovic this week, though Neil Musselwhite (leg) will make the trip to Bossier-Shreveport.

As for left wing Konstantin Shafranov, the Komets have opted not to add him to the roster anytime soon.

"It's mainly numbers," general manager David Franke said. "I've got enough forwards, and we've picked up on offense and on our power play. (The decision) was more on our part. And I'm also not sure he felt like he could make the impact right now that we'd have liked him to."

Franke said Shafranov, who retired after last season, could still make a return to the lineup if the Komets need a boost later in the season.

The Komets will leave Thursday morning, and they are flying.

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