The Komets have opted not to protect from free agency defenseman Brandon Warner, a Huntertown native who played four seasons with the team, general manager David Franke.
Warner had five goals and 17 points in 43 games last season but was not on the Komets' playoff roster, when they fell in the Turner Conference semifinals to Rapid City.
The only other players not protected were defenseman Guy Dupuis, who retired after a 21-year career, and forward Derek Patrosso, who also retired after one season with Fort Wayne.
Defensemen Michael Ratchuk and Matt Krug couldn't be protected because they were with Fort Wayne on assignment from American Hockey League teams.
A second phase of the protection process arrives July 18. At that point, the Komets can protect up to eight players by extending them qualifying offers. That doesn't need to include players who have already signed contracts, which currently consists of Colin Chaulk and P.C. Drouin.
Franke said the Komets are waiting until after the league meetings -- Friday and Saturday in Phoenix -- to determine which players they will go after full force.
"We want to see which teams are officially coming back and which ones aren't," Franke said. "The ones who aren't coming back, their players will be declared free agents. That has a bearing on our recruiting. There's not imminent on our (returning) players yet; we want to see how the meetings go."
The Komets have spoken to some players from the Colorado Eagles, who are moving from the CHL to ECHL.
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