I asked Shawn Szydlowski about the possibility of returning to the Komets, as so many players in this type of situation before have, and he said it was a possibility.
“It’s never out of the question. I’ve told (general manager David Franke) a couple of times it would be great to retire as a Komet,” Szydlowski said. “I’m not saying it’s going to happen. Who knows what’s going to happen or how long my body is going to let me keep playing? But if that’s something that comes back around, I would never shy away from a chance to come back to Fort Wayne.”
And if he doesn’t get a chance to don the uniform again, Szydlowski said he’ll always be a Komet regardless.
“Fort Wayne will go down in my career as the most fun I’ve had,” he said. “The main reason I kept coming back is it’s such a fun town to play in with those fans and getting taken care of so well. We had a great run. When I talked to (coach Gary Graham), we were just disappointed we couldn’t pull out a championship because that was our goal since Day 1 really and we’ve done such a great job of creating a winning culture. I don’t see that going away at all in Fort Wayne.”
Szydlowski, who will play in Norway, said the decision was a financial one and because this was a team that made him feel comfortable and that he would be valued. He stressed the Komets did nothing wrong; ECHL teams just can't, because of the rules, match these types of offers.
“I wouldn’t have any regrets going overseas if we’d won the Kelly Cup this year. It’s a little tough knowing we didn’t do that. But I think it’s just that time in my career now,” said Szydlowski, 27, who’d spent five seasons with Fort Wayne.
I've been told Curtis Leonard will also be going overseas.
In more positive news, I've been told by reliable sources the Komets have talked with two NHL teams about affiliating: The Vegas Golden Knights and the Nashville Predators. I don't know what the chances of either are, but they have spoken.