The Komets announced Monday that veterans Konstantin Shafranov and Kevin Bertram will be back in the Fort Wayne fold for 2008-09.
Shafranov, 39, returned to the Komets last season after seven-year stint of Russian Elite League play and posted 23 goals, 35 assists for 58 points in 71 games. Shafranov was selected by St. Louis in the ninth round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft and skated five games with the Blues in 1996-97 scoring 2 goals and 3 points. 2008-09 will be the winger's 18th pro year and fifth regular season in Fort Wayne. Shafranov first skated for the Komets during the 1995-96 season when he was the IHL's Rookie of the Year and led the Komets with 46 goals. Shafranov followed with Fort Wayne stints in 1997-98, 1998-99 (playoffs only), and 1999-00 before returning to his native Kazakhstan for European play. Shafranov's career in Fort Wayne includes 112 goals, 130 assists for 242 points in 232 games over four regular seasons of play.
Bertram, 31, will skate his sixth season on the Komet defense when the 2008-09 campaign begins in October and will be looking for his third championship with the Komets. In addition to last season's title, the defensemen also was a member of the 2003 Fort Wayne championship team. Bertram, named the Komet's Unsung Hero for the year, appeared in 74 games last season registering 15 assists, 17 points while accumulating 271 penalty minutes. Bertram will continue his Komet career while also serving as a Fort Wayne fireman.
Komets General Manager David Franke said he's talking this week with Kevin Reiter, Guy Dupuis and David Hukalo.