FORT WAYNE – Chris Auger wants to play hockey again, and he wants it to be with the Komets.
It just wont be this season.
Tests Monday revealed Auger has a complete tear of the anterior-cruciate ligament and a torn meniscus suffered on an open ice hit by Evansvilles Aaron Gens in the first period in Saturdays 4-3 victory over the Icemen at Memorial Coliseum.
Im going to be able to come back 100 percent, which is different than it was with my shoulder. I am going to continue to play and I hope it will be in Fort Wayne when it comes the time to come back, said Auger, 24.
I guess devastation and shock, any one of those kinds of words, would suffice in this situation, said Auger, who had 28 goals and 59 points in 57 games last season, then added 10 goals and 22 points in 18 playoff games as the Komets won the CHL title.
Auger, who had missed a third of the 2010-11 season with a shoulder injury, had one goal and one assist in four games this season.
Any time you lose a player to a season-ending injury, its difficult and disappointing for the player, general manager David Franke said. Its a shock to everybody. But these injuries happen, not only in hockey but in all of sports. Weve just got to suck it up, and this will give some other guys more ice time and chance to develop. Were not going out and signing another player right now, so thats where were at.
Franke said forward Matt Firman will likely be activated, and the Komets expect Josh Brittain to pick up the slack with Auger out.
The ECHLs vice president of hockey operations, Joe Ernst, was at the game. The Komets (2-1-1) didnt plan to ask for a formal review but did inform Ernst of the extent of Augers injuries.
Auger said the hit may have been allowable in the rulebook, but he felt it was unsportsmanlike.
Theres just no way you can prepare yourself to be hit so low and you have no chance to defend yourself in that position, Auger said.