Just got off the phone with defenseman Mike Dombkiewicz who said he was dropping his contact off at the Fed-Ex as we were speaking. He said he's taking a bit of a contract cut because of the salary cap, but he's completely happy to be returning to Fort Wayne.
``I had more money at other places, but I want to win a championship and Fort Wayne is the place to be,'' he said. ``Hopefully I've found a home. I love playing in Fort Wayne.''
Dombkiewicz said he'll be skating with the Buffalo Sabres in preseason workouts starting next week, and then he might have an opportunity to go to an unidentified American Hockey League training camp before reporting to Fort Wayne. He almost signed a two-way contract to play in the Central Hockey League but wanted to return to Fort Wayne.
``With the new salary cap, a lot of guys are going to take a hit with it,'' he said. "It's a real eye-opener, but we want to win a championship. Sometimes you have to make some sacrifices and most of us who are going to be there are going to, but we want to win a title. Below the AHL, in my opinion Fort Wayne is the best place to play in any league. It's a great hockey town, you get to play in front of 7,000 fans every night and you we well taken care of around town.''
That's also the message he's using to try to help recruit some new rookies. Though he declined to name them, Dombkiewicz predicted the two players would make the all-rookie team if they signed in Fort Wayne. All he would say is that they are former teammates of his from the University of New Brunswick.
"Everybody wants them,'' he said. "They are two pretty good friends of mine. They were both captains on their team and they were captains on their school team. Hopefully our friendship is what helps bring them to Fort Wayne. I'll just keep talking to them, and I'm going to do anything I can to bring as many good players to Fort Wayne as I can.''
As for taking less money?
``I would have liked to make more money in Fort Wayne like was going to get other places, but you have to give and take somewhat and I know David (Franke) is in a tough position. That's what it's all about when it comes to being a good person and a good leader for a club, and I'm willing to do that to win a championship.''