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Changes coming at Komets camp

Everybody at Komets camp, which is in its third day, is cognizant that there will be a lot of changes to personnel soon, maybe even before preseason games are played Saturday and Sunday at Memorial Coliseum against Evansville.

Part of that is because there are six players at American Hockey League camps -- Brandon Marino, Jean-Michel Rizk, Daniel Maggio, Brent Henley, Charlie Effinger and Kenny Reiter, who hasn't signed with Fort Wayne but is expected to be assigned here by Bridgeport.

Part of it is because of the Komets' affiliation with the Anaheim Ducks and the AHL's Norfolk Admirals.

And part of it is because of the NHL lockout.

"I'm sure everybody here knows a friend or two who is working for work right now or doesn't have a camp," center Colin Chaulk said of the glut of talent out there.

"There's going to be a trickle-down effect (because of the lockout) and it's going to make AA hockey better. But I don't know if there will be that many star players or big players (in the minors), maybe the bubble guys."

Forward Chris Auger was back at the Coliseum today, though he wouldn't discuss what happened in Norfolk. There are two stories out there: One, that he failed his physical because of a past injury. The other, from general manager David Franke, that he suffered a lower-body injury last week.

“I haven’t been around, but from what I understand there are a bunch of ambitious kids trying to push the pace and make good impressions here,” said Auger, who had 28 goals and 59 points in 57 games last season with the Komets. “It’s ECHL, though, and you will see turnover after turnover, and that’s the biggest change.”

And I just got this note from the Coliseum: The rooftop lounge will be closed during Saturday's game because of a private event.

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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