• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Tailing the Komets

Komets add four

The Komets announced Wednesday that four players have been added to the preseason roster.  Returning champions from last season include Chris Auger, Brent Henley and J.M. Rizk.  Rookie forward Matt Firman also agreed to terms.

Auger, 24, was named Komet Rookie of the Year last season after leading the Komets with 28 goals and adding 31 assists for 59 points in 57 games.  Auger scored team highs of 10 goals and +12 in 18 playoff games en route to the 2012 CHL Presidents' Cup Championship.  The Belleville, Ontario center was selected by Chicago in the sixth round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft before experiencing four seasons with the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, during the 2006-2010 Hockey East campaign.  Auger made his pro debut skating 42 games with Mississippi (CHL) 2010-11 scoring 14 goals and 25 points.     

Henley, 31, will be entering his 11th pro year and fourth with Fort Wayne.  The veteran defenseman won his second league championship last season with the Komets.  Henley scored three goals and 14 points in 60 regular season games before appearing in 15 playoff games posting a goal and three points.  Henley also won the 2008 IHL Turner Cup championship as a member of the Komets.  During his career, Henley has skated 109 AHL career games in stints with Lowell, Rochester, Toronto, Edmonton, Springfield, Norfolk and Hartford.  Henley is no stranger to the ECHL having appeared in parts of eight seasons over the course of his career skating stints with Jackson, South Carolina, Greenville, Phoenix, Utah, Pensacola, Augusta and Mississippi.  Henley led the Komets last season with +29 and 201 penalty minutes and dished a career best 11 assists and 14 points.  The Coquitlam, British Columbia native also collected the Community Service and Unsung Hero awards for 2011-12 and was named co-winner of the Komet Defenseman of the Year Award with teammate Frankie DeAngelis.

Rizk, 26, scored 20 goals and 31 points last season with Fort Wayne before netting seven goals and 14 points in 18 playoff games while capturing the CHL title in his rookie season.  The Dunham, Ontario native was selected by Minnesota in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft during a five-year stint in the OHL 2002-2007.  Rizk skated four seasons with Wilfrid Laurier University (CIS) 2007-2011 before finishing 2010-11 appearing in seven ECHL games with Wheeling. 

Firman, 23, will be making his rookie debut with Fort Wayne.  The Fayetteville, New York forward finished his fourth season with Colgate University last year scoring college career highs of seven goals, eight assists and 15 points in 39 ECAC games.  Firman was named Colgate's Most Improved Player for 2011-12 and received the Steve Riggs Memorial Award given to the player most known for gentlemanly play and high standard of ability.


Wed, 08/01/2012 - 10:59am

Great news I would say. Now lets get some new guys that have the fire inside to round things out. I do feel that at least the Ks will not get crushed out of the gate like they did in the first CHL season. K-Zoo has been a very good team in the ECHL so we will know in a short time how we stack up. If the NHL has a lock-out all bets are off. ECHL teams will NHL - AHL deals will get loaded up with players as long as the lock-out last. This should be a fun year.

Blake Sebring
Wed, 08/01/2012 - 2:24pm

They are still talking hot and heavy with Thorne and DeAngelis according to David Franke.

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 2:51pm

So, if there is an NHL lockout, those teams that have affiliations will have stronger players during the lockout period on the ECHL teams. So, if the Komets are not going to have any NHL/AHL affiliations, this team won't be stacked during the lockout.  If this is true, isn't that going to influence whether the Komets would want to pursue an affiliation agreement?


Blake Sebring
Wed, 08/01/2012 - 3:12pm

Not necessarily. Every time is different. Do the players not report in solidarity with the NHL players? Do NHL teams risk a top prospect getting an injury by sending them down? Or do they just send their top kids back for an extra year of juniors? Every organization has a different philosophy about it. Sometimes players sign as free agents just because they need some money, though I'm doubting that happens with ECHL since it is an affiliated league. There's no way to say for sure what will happen until it happens.  It might even be a case where all the affiliated teams are full up and the NHL teams may look to place their extra players on unaffiliated teams. Anything can happen.

I would still say no to an affiliation agreement because it's very rare where an affiliation really helps the lower team. If I was a FW fan, why would I want to watch a player play all year and then get called up for the playoffs somewhere else? Or play two or three games and then get called up? Or get yanked back and forth? Just so I can say I watched so and so play before he got to the NHL? Personally, if I was a fan I could care less about that. From my thinking, that doesn't do anything for a person who is a fan of the Fort Wayne Komets because it doesn't help them win.  It's all too one-sided and the Komets would have less control over the team they can put on the ice.

Others disagree.

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 6:30pm

Unless of course, you are the 2011-12 Florida Everblades who recieved a bunch of players back from their affiliates right before the playoffs, went on a tear and won the Kelly Cup.......

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 9:06pm

Being a hockey fan and not just a Komets fan, I would much rather be able to say I saw So and So when they were a Komet. Isn't that the whole point of the minor leagues? Player development?

I love being able to turn on a baseball game and seeing MANY former Wizards/TinCaps. When was the last time a Komet made it to the NHL? YEARS!