The Komets have a handful of injuries and they’ve now lost two players to the American Hockey League, so the bevy of cuts that were expected to be made today didn’t come.
Only one player was released -- Shane Bennett, who scored the overtime goal in Friday’s 5-4 victory over the Wheeling Nailers -- and he’s expected to rejoin Quad City of the Southern Professional Hockey League.
“We’re assessing where we’re at health-wise and we’ll go from there,” said coach Ben Boudreau, whose Komets also won Saturday’s preseason game over Wheeling, 6-5 in an overtime shootout.
The American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves, one step above Fort Wayne in the Vegas Golden Knights’ minor-league system, called up forward Brett McKenzie and defenseman Olivier Galipeau from Fort Wayne today.
McKenzie had just been returned by the Wolves late last week, when Galipeau arrived from Ontario of the AHL.
That leaves the Komets with 25 players vying for about 20 spots for the regular-season opener Saturday at Memorial Coliseum against the Kalamazoo Wings.
However, the Komets are dealing with injuries to Anthony Petruzzelli, Brad Ross and Matt Brassard, so they want to get a better handle on their health situation before making any more cuts, Boudreau said.
Meanwhile, while many fans have been wondering who will be the team’s captain, Boudreau acknowledged there may not be one to start the season. The Komets may opt for a few alternate captains until someone really emerges at the top leader.
“Our motto this year is ‘Nothing is given, everything is earned,’” Boudreau said. “That captaincy is going to come out naturally. I don’t want anyone trying to fake it.
"It’s not earned over a short period of time. We’ve got a new group out here and I want everybody to try and be leaders.
"We’ve got to get through this together, at least for a while. If something emerges, and we feel it’s the right time to announce a captain, we’ll do it. It might be Thanksgiving, it might be Christmas, it might be the All-Star Game, it might be next year. I don’t know, but it will come out when the time is right and we’re not going to force it.”
Shawn Szydlowski, Brady Shaw and Jason Binkley were alternates at different times last season. A.J. Jenks has experience in that role. And several of the rookies have had leadership positions in juniors or college.