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K's fill 3 vet spots: Is Henley still a possibility?

The Komets have now signed three veterans -- Colin Chaulk, Brett Smith and Tyler Butler -- and that gives them only one more veteran spot for their first ECHL season. (Goaltenders are exempt.)

That begs the question: Is Brent Henley still in the mix?

"It's a valuable spot and we have to make sure we make the right move with it," general manager David Franke said. "But Brent Henley is definitely in the mix."

CHL MVP Brandon Marino, who signed with the Komets today, will get a spot in an American Hockey League training camp. He's believed to be the first 40-goal scorer to sign with the Komets since Chris Grenville.

"We’re thrilled to have him here in Fort Wayne," Franke said. "He brings some high-octane offense and, as you can see, so far with putting the team together up front, we’re really going after offensive-oriented players and guys who can play both ways. We want to make sure we have enough offense because it was at times last year difficult to score goals."

Don't underestimate the effect of signing Butler, too.

He was a captain in Arizona and Tulsa.

Chaulk is one of the best leaders in minor-league hockey. Brett Smith captained Bossier-Shreveport to a CHL championship in 2011. Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock will be in his third year as an alternate captain. That's lots of leadership.

"He’s a real physical player and has offense to his game," Franke said of Butler. "He’s going to be the whole package for us. He brings a lot of experience and a lot of leadership. He's a character guy and a leader....

"We’re excited. He’ll be a physical player and plays like we want our defensemen to play."

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