The Komets might announce a couple signings by the end of the week, but these are likely to be more rookies and role players than stars. It's starting to get toward crunch time when players who are hoping for spots in AHL training camps will have to make some decisions.
With seven players signed and only three veterans, the Komets have roster spots and money available. General Manager David Franke and coach Al Sims hope to have the team's goaltending positions figured out next. They continue to talk with Shawn Degagne who hopes to receive a doctor's clearance later this week after having shoulder surgery early last season. Degagne is already playing and working out, Sims said. “If everything looks good and he is cleared, we'll look to make the next step,” Sims said. “He's a real competitor.”
Franke said the Komets also have a few other goaltending options, and it's unlikely the team will fill one of its seven veteran spots in net.
Sims said he'd like to bring around 30 players to training camp, creating competition for the final five or six spots on the roster.
“The middle of August is usually when guys are looking for American League deals, and then they have to decide what they want to do next,” Sims said. “That's usually when you get the better players because these are borderline AHL players. You have to make sure you have some money for that time of year so you can get a guy like that.”
The Komets have made offers to dispersal draft picks Justin Chwedoruk, Chaz Johnson, Frank Littlejohn, Mike Sgroi and Mike Kautz, but Brett Pilkington and Sergei Durdin have said they will sign with the ECHL.
“The important thing for me is go get in touch with all the agents and let them know we're interested if their guys don't get an AHL deal, an we have money to spend,” Sims said. “If we get some AHL camps to offer as well, we'll be that much further ahead.”
Sims and Franke said the Komets currently have spots in two AHL camps, with Worcester and Syracuse. Sims said he's continuing to look for more options.
Franke said recently signed assistant coach Colin Chaulk and captain Guy Dupuis are also pitching in to help recruit players and sell them on Fort Wayne.