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Komets

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Fluid situation for Komets

Roster changing as team starts in new league

Kennedy
Schaus

Keeping track of the Komets’ roster in the ECHL will be challenging. But that’s the way it goes in an NHL-affiliated league, where there are players being called up and sent down all the time.

Add into it that the Komets are new to the ECHL, still trying to find the personnel to fit, and it will get dizzying around Memorial Coliseum.

The NHL lockout, which has created a glut of talented-but-jobless players, makes it even more likely Fort Wayne will keep on making moves.

Last season in the CHL, the Komets made only 23 transactions all season. That’s not including suspensions, leaves for births or bereavement, and the many moves to and from injured reserve.

Fourteen of the Komets’ transactions were related to goaltending, including getting Tyler Sims and Larkin Saalfrank in and out of the lineup to serve as emergency backups.

Even though the Komets are less than a week into their first ECHL season, it’s clear things will be quite different this season.

Since Friday, the day of the season-opening 4-1 loss to Kalamazoo, the Komets have made five additions (Josh Brittain, Marco Cousineau, Dan Nycholat, Matt Kennedy and Nick Schaus) and they’ve removed Kyle Atkins.

Plus, there’s already another player, Colten Hayes, in the process of being signed by the Komets, who will have to release at least one player before this Friday’s game at Kalamazoo, Mich.

With all the changes, cohesion could be an issue this season.

The Komets made some strides after losing to the Wings – they won 6-2 at Evansville on Saturday – but it will probably be a feeling of two steps forward, one step back, with the roster changes in the ECHL.

“I don’t think (chemistry) is going to take a while,” said forward Brandon Marino, who has three goals since returning from Norfolk of the American Hockey League. “But it’s not going to happen overnight obviously. We had our first week of practice for many of us last week. Guys started jelling a little bit, but it takes games playing together to know how guys will play and what they will do on the ice.”

There will be plenty of situations like the one Brittain faced Friday. He was sent down from Norfolk and immediately placed in the Fort Wayne lineup.

It might have been useful to ease him in, but it’s tough to not use a third-round draft pick, who is 6-foot-5, 230 pounds.

“With Josh Brittain coming in, we wanted to get him in the lineup to see what he could do,” coach Al Sims said. “He really didn’t even know what system he was playing out there. He was on his own page.”

jcohn@jg.net

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