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The Journal Gazette

  • File photo There is at least the possibility that A.J. Jenks, right, joins the Komets this season. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2019 10:20 pm

Could Jenks join the Komets?

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

It seems as if Phelix Martineau won’t be back with the Komets this season.

A.J. Jenks? It’s possible.

Martineau is looking at playing university hockey the next few seasons, a Komets official said, after he appeared in 23 games last season for Fort Wayne and 30 for Laval of the higher-level American Hockey League. Martineau has played in 26 regular-season games for Fort Wayne, totaling 14 goals and 24 points, and 10 playoff games, accruing four goals and eight points.

Jenks, who has been one of the Komets’ all-time great rivals, won’t be back with the Toledo Walleye this season. According to The Toledo Blade, the Walleye doesn’t want to use one of its veteran spots on him this season. (Also, the Blade reported, Matt Register won’t be back.)

An official with the Komets confirmed that they have touched base with Jenks, 29, who totaled 19 goals and 37 points in 47 regular-season games and had six goals and 12 points in 23 playoff games for the Walleye last season.

Against the Komets, Jenks has totaled 11 goals and 20 points in 26 regular-season games dating back to his joining Toledo in 2014-15, and he’s got seven goals and 12 points in 22 playoff games.

There is a history of the Komets bringing in players who had been hated rivals. The biggest was maybe Scott Gruhl. And there have been flirtations with others, such as Jim Duhart.

What do I think? I’ve long said that Jenks is a player you absolutely hate playing against but would love to have on your team, so I think this idea is fantastic.

However, I’m skeptical this would advance past discussion stage because of Jenks’ injury history. He played 47 regular-season games last season, 40 the season before, and 46 in 2016-17. Committing a veteran spot in such circumstances can be dicey.

jcohn@jg.net