FORT WAYNE – The Komets have made 10 trades this season. It’s probably been the most in any of the team’s 62 seasons.
But that doesn’t mean the transactions are over. The Komets are still looking to improve the squad in advance of the ECHL’s March 13 trade deadline, and they’re owed future considerations from Orlando and Utah.
We could maybe use another scoring forward. That wouldn’t be a bad idea. But there are a lot of teams looking for the same thing, said general manager David Franke, whose team lost 3-2 to the Greenville Road Warriors on Friday night and plays today at Evansville.
We will continue to look to strengthen our defense, especially if Jordon Southorn is gone for a while. I don’t think we have any glaring holes right now, but if we can better, we’ll get better. If we can get better, then we have to get better.
Southorn was called up to Hamilton of the American Hockey League last week.
What do we do in the interim about that? We go with the guys we have and start looking around if we have to, if we think he’s not coming back, Franke said.
It seems like this year, whenever we’ve had a situation with someone going up to the AHL, like Jace Coyle or Scott Fleming, the team always has responded well. So we make do with what we have right now, and we keep our eyes open in case Jordon is a long-term call up.
The Komets will also be without forward Jason Dale for at least a month because of a groin injury.
The top eight teams in the Eastern Conference make the playoffs, and the Komets (25-18-11) have 20 games remaining. They missed the postseason last season for the first time since 2002.
The Komets entered Saturday night in eighth, one point ahead of Florida and two up on Evansville (25-18-9).
The Komets are hopeful they will be able to complete their trades with Orlando, which received forward Mickey Lang, and Utah, which got goaltender Cody Reichard, this season.
If not, then we can wait until this summer or maybe even trade our option to another team if they are looking to move a player, Franke said.
The Orlando trade has stung the Komets because Lang leads the ECHL in goals with 31, which includes 14 in 17 games with the Solar Bears, and because the key piece Fort Wayne was supposed to get in return, forward David Rutherford, didn’t report.
The Komets failed to put a clause in the deal that would have negated it in such a circumstance and hoped that things would equal out once the future considerations were paid off. But they have had trouble reaching an agreement – and at times even getting the Solar Bears on the phone. The Solar Bears have since acquired Reichard from Utah.
The Orlando deal, we’re talking to them again. We’ve got to decide the player we want, and we have it narrowed. We’ll take it care of as soon as we can. We are trying to get the right player we want at this time, Franke said.