First off, the Komets are looking at getting a pair of players from the Blue Jackets. GM David Franke would not name them.
``We've been talking to them over a month. (Assistant general manager( Chris McFarland contacted us originally. We thoguht about it and made the decision to do it. We think it's something that from a recruiting standpoint in the summer it will help us. I think for this year, the guys on our team that have come back the last 2-3 years, the younger guys, this may provide them an opportunity to get some games in the AHL.''
Why do this now when the Komets have usually been resistent to official affiliations?
``I think what's changed is the fact this is the way it's becoming in the AA ranks. If you are affiliated it's going to help you in recruiting during the summer. If you are affiliated it gives the players on your team a notion that they might be able to move up and play some games in the AHL. I just think in the CHL this year there were 64 CHL contracted players who attended AHL camps. There's a lot of kids in this league, this is going to be a younger league, maybe more of a development league. The players who have stuck with us the last 2-3-4 years who are still developing, this may be a good opportunity for them, too.
``It's kind of a sign of the times. We really haven't been seriously affiliated since the old IHL days (with Florida). This is a special case. Columbus is less than three hours away. The proximity of this is a no-brainer and they called us initially and we thought about it.''
As for how this affects training camp, Franke said, ``We'll just figure it out The palyers who we're supposed to get from them, they have to get assigned here first. That will probably happen by the middle of next week. If for some reason we only get one, we'll go with what we've got. This is just going to put that much more importance on the younger kids showing us what they can do in teh exhibition games.''
Franke also said Keith Rodger should be ready to hit the ice on M