The Komets have ties with the NHLs Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks coach, Bruce Boudreau, was formerly a coach and player with Fort Wayne. And Fort Waynes coach, Al Sims, is a former Anaheim assistant coach.
So it makes sense that the Komets most significant affiliation with a higher-level club since the 1990s would come with Anaheim.
I think its great for our hockey team to have the affiliation and for them to have enough confidence in us to develop their prospects and turn them into good pros, said Sims, whose team finalized an affiliation with the Ducks and the American Hockey Leagues Norfolk Admirals on Wednesday. I am looking forward to the relationship, and it should be lots of fun working with some of my old acquaintances within the Ducks organization.
The Komets often had NHL affiliations in the original IHL, a AAA-level tier they left in 1999. In that final season, they had an affiliation with the NHLs Florida Panthers, but they havent worked much with higher-level clubs since.
The Komets had informal working agreements with Kalamazoo of the higher-level IHL in 1999-2000 and with Norfolk in 2008-09. The Komets had an affiliation with the NHLs Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010-11, but it didnt bear much fruit for Fort Wayne.
Fort Wayne will place four players in Norfolks training camp, which begins Sept. 27, a day before the Komets open their camp. Those spots will go to Brandon Marino, Chris Auger, Jean-Michel Rizk and, if he re-signs, Frankie DeAngelis. Daniel Maggio is going to camp with Chicago of the AHL.
I think this is good for us, general manager David Franke said. Its kind of the way, as I found this summer, that probably 90 percent of the teams in the ECHL go, being affiliated. Its a good thing for us, and its a great thing for our players because now weve got a direct pipeline to the American League. We will get some players, though I dont know them right now.
Also on Wednesday, the Komets added five players to their preseason roster – defensemen Chris Haltigin and Tim Buttery, and forwards Brayden Metz, Michael Hoban and Cory Park – giving them 21 players so far.
Notes: Single-game tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 12 at Memorial Coliseums ticket office and at www.ticketmaster.com. Adult prices range from $12 in the upper deck to $25 in the lower arena. For seniors and students, they are $10 to $20. And for kids, they are $7 to $15.