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Why didn't Komets deal?

And Thomas, Molle remain out

Komets general manager David Franke spoke to six teams about possible trades before today's CHL deadline, but nothing came to fruition.

"Like I've always said in the past, unless we can upgrade the team, we don't want to make a trade where it's an apple for an apple," Franke said. "If we can make us a better team, that's what we want to do. That deal wasn't out there."

The Komets believe they righted things with their play last week, defeating Quad City 3-2 and Dayton 3-1 and regaining a two-point lead in the Turner Conference.

The victories came on the heels of a subpar 5-6-1 run in January.

The Komets play Wednesday at Evansville, which is in second place in the conference.

"We talked to a half a dozen teams out there, but we couldn't find that player that we thought would make the better team without giving up pretty much the same thing," Franke said.

Next Monday is the deadline for the Komets to sign players coming back from Europe, but Fort Wayne isn't in negotiations with any such players, despite annual speculation it could go after ex-Komets Justin Hodgman or Luciano Aquino.

To upgrade the roster, the Komets plan to focus their attention on signing players coming out of juniors or college. That's how they landed Tom Mele last season.

Meanwhile, center Leo Thomas remains on a leave of absence, Franke said, declining to elaborate on what's going on. Thomas, who has five goals and 15 points in 34 games, has missed the last four games.

Defenseman Dustin Molle, who has missed the last 12 games with a groin injury, is unlikely to return this 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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