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The Journal Gazette

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette Komets goalie Dylan Ferguson goes to block the puck during the first practice at Memorial Coliseum on Monday.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019 5:40 pm

K's should carry 3 goalies

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Now that we know, after months of speculation, that the Komets will have two goaltenders on assignment from NHL teams, we must ask if it's actually a good idea.

The Komets have Dylan Ferguson from the Vegas Golden Knights and Cole Kehler is on his way from the Los Angeles Kings.

In theory, this is great because, well, guys don't get signed by NHL teams unless they're potentially very good. If Ferguson or Kehler, or both, play well and are in Fort Wayne for most of the season, then the Komets hit the jackpot.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of downsides.

If they play well, chances are better they get called up. If someone at the NHL or American Hockey League gets injured, chances are good they get called up and, even worse, no one gets sent to Fort Wayne to replace them.

The real doomsday scenario would be this: Both Ferguson and Kehler play poorly and the Komets have no out from that duo because those players aren't exactly cuttable.

I have lobbied for years for the Komets to carry three goalies. This would be a great season to do that, not just because there are so many possible problems but also because they have a very highly regarded rookie goalie, Stephen Dhillon.

Now, it's debatable whether Dhillon or any goalie would agree to being the third goalie when they will hardly ever play. (In past seasons, I thought have three and rotate them. But Ferguson and Kehler are here to play, not sit –ever.)

And conventional wisdom may suggest that the Komets could release Dhillon and he'll wind up in the Southern Professional Hockey League. However, if he's as good as advertised, he could be snatched up in a minute by another ECHL team and then the Komets could be shopping in case of an emergency.

Whatever the Komets do here, they had better have a very good backup plan. They'll need multiple goalies they trust with nearby SPHL teams.

-- In case you're wondering how the Toledo Walleye had an open veteran spot for the signing of Cody Sol, their three veterans were Shane Berschbach, T.J. Hensick and Zack Phillips. I know there were some rumors that the Walleye had its fourth slot lined up for another player, Steve Oleksy, who signed a tryout with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL, and that opened the spot for Sol. What's interesting about that is that I'd heard Oleksy was committed to another ECHL team. Time will tell, if the former NHL player doesn't stick in the AHL. 

-- To answer this question, the Komets' veterans are Shawn Szydlowski and A.J. Jenks, the former Walleye forward.

-- The Komets still have two players in AHL camp with Chicago: Brett McKenzie and Brycen Martin. So they're clearly getting long looks, which doesn't bode well for Fort Wayne. I don't know how much else the Komets will be getting from the Vegas deal (shocking, I know). I've heard rumblings of another but don't know how sure it is.