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Tailing the Komets

Komets sign three, including Thorne, Reiter

The Komets announced (Thursday) that three players have been added to the preseason roster.  Left wing Stephon Thorne will be returning for another season with the Komets after collecting the CHL Presidents’ Cup last year.  The Komets also announced that J.P. Chabot has agreed to terms for the 2012-13 season.  Also, goaltender Kenny Reiter, who signed a two-way deal with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, is expected to be assigned to Fort Wayne if he doesn't make the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in training camp.

Thorne, 22, made his rookie debut with the Komets last year scoring 11 goals and 32 points in 64 games and was named the Komets' Most Improved Player of the Year.  The left wing appeared in all 18 playoff games netting a goal and six points before hoisting his first pro championship cup.  The Mississauga, Ontario native skated three seasons with Brampton (OHL) before joining the Komets last season. 

Chabot, 24, will be entering his fourth pro year after a career best season with Arizona in the CHL.  Chabot (shuh-BAHT) led the Sundogs in 2011-12 with 22 goals and dished 22 assists for 44 points while accumulating 162 penalty minutes.  The center made his pro debut in the ECHL skating stints with Charlotte (2009-10) and Bakersfield (2010-11). 

Reiter, 25, completed five seasons with the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs last year.  The rookie netminder backstopped the Bulldogs to the 2011 NCAA Championship during his senior year while pursuing an undergraduate degree in finance with a 3.5 GPA, graduating in 2011.  Last season, while working on his MBA in his fifth year for UMD, Reiter registered a college career best 23-9-6 record while posting a 2.43 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 38 games.  The netminder also appeared in one AHL game with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.  The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native is a brother of former Komet goaltender Kevin Reiter, who was a member of the Komets during 2007-08 and 2010-11.


Thu, 08/09/2012 - 3:39pm

Yeah--Glad Thorne is back!

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 3:40pm

What's everyone's take on the team so far??

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 5:39pm

I like the team so far. How they handle going to ECHL with mostly CHL players will be interesting but It won't be anythin like going from IHL to CHL. I would love to see them get 2 or 3 big, young and tough defensemen. My guess is DeAngelis won't be back but would be thrilled if he did. Only concern is kinda small up front. But speed kills as we all found out last year. It worked out pretty well I think.

indy ks fan
Thu, 08/09/2012 - 7:25pm

I will never understand the Frankes.  In his interview with Blake he basically indicated that he didn't want an affiliation with an NHL/AHL organization because he won't have control of the players, yet he makes an agreement with an NHL/AHL organization to bring in a goalie.  If player control is so important, you remain totally independent.  If the affiliation provides access to better players, you sign an agreement with the organization.  You can't have it both ways.  I also do not understand why the roster that they are putting together doesn't include anyone who has actually played in the new league for the past two to three years--no, the one or two games that Henley played last year doesn't qualify him as an expert on the current overall status of the ECHL.  I hope he is right that the two leagues are equal, but I am highly skeptical.  I see a repeat of the CHL debut season.  I hope I am wrong.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 7:25pm

Sure hope Frankie comes badk!


Thu, 08/09/2012 - 7:46pm

I think the team is shaping up nicely. Although there does seem to be a glut of centers so far. Hopefully some of them can play the wing as well. Maybe a little small up front but Chabot brings some size. I would definitely like to see Frankie back. IMO they still need someone to carry the point on the PP. All in all it should be an exciting year in Fort Wayne. Go Komets!

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 9:19pm

If it isnt broke you dont fix it.  The make-up of the team was soley up to the players.  Most agreed to come back, you cant blame the Frankes.  Its marketably correct for attracting ticket sales and owner/player fairness.  The Frankes are consistent with bringing in character players which most of we do not see bc we are in the stands behind glass.  All power to the Frankes, this team however will not fail.  The turnover from CHL to ECHL takes time and bringing in the cream of the crop from the CHL is the best business decision to slowly reshape the team.  I would do the same.  These players deserve this, they skated their tales off and will not cost us a rebuilding season.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 9:25pm

Small up front! Need heavywight forward or power forward with a mean streak!  Like guys so far & def. size is a plus.

Phil Chifley
Fri, 08/10/2012 - 12:00am

We are far from a repeat of the CHL first year. Plus the face of hockey has changed so much sonce then with even fewer teams, tje playing field has really been leveled at AA hockey. Does anyone know how to gwt a hold of schebig

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 1:01am

Well its 2am Friday morning so you can officially say its only 9 weeks(63 days) until opening night. Hard to believe its that close. Seems like we were just celebrating the 2012 CHL Champion Komets. I'm really looking forward to this year. Good team so far and making my first road trip to see the Komets play in Orlando for 3 games. Puck can't drop soon enough for me.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 1:35pm

Indy K's fan, I hope you are wrong, too.

I can understand your fear or nervousness regarding  the failure to put a competitive roster together after experiencing that first CHL roster back then.  I believe there are real diffences now, however.

Among those differences is the fact that the Franke's know they failed with that roster and have learned from it.  That first CHL roster was loaded with players who were either past their prime or ones that simply were on it out of loyalty.  I believe the Franke' underestimated the talent level of the CHL, ( I know I did).  The first CHL roster was virtually nill of leadership and speed.  I think that the Franke's have selected their players with an understanding of the level their players  need in order to succeed.

I have read others who agree with you on the need for experienced ECHL players.  My question is this.  Who are they, where are they, and how do you aquire them?  The ECHL allows it's teams to protect 8 players.  I would assume they protect their 8 best players, don't you?  I would look to kalamazoo ( who had many IHL players on their first roster), and Colorado ( who had many CHL players on their roster).  Both teams achieved success.

I love the way the Komets have been so proactive putting their roster together.  They want to control their roster so they haven't entered into any affiliation agreements as yet.  But saying that, how do we know that they won't?  It is still early and things can change quickly.

This team already shows speed, the abilty to put the puck in the net upfront, tons of leadership, and two pretty darn good doaltenders.  As Franke stated, the team needs more defencemen signed and I trust we'll be hearing and reading about that soon.

As far as I am concerned, so far so good, and applaud the Komets for their work.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 7:34pm

Good post Alan. Couldn't have said it better myself. And I too applaud the Frankes so far on this years roster. Looking good so far.