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Tailing the Komets

Komets' Tuesday signings

From a Komets' press release:

The Komets announced Tuesday the addition of five forwards to the 2013-14 roster.

Last year's team MVP Brandon Marino (RW) has agreed to terms for the upcoming campaign. Fan favorite Kaleigh Schrock (RW) has also inked an agreement along with forwards Mickey Lang, Matthew Larke and Kyle Bochek.

Marino, 27, will be starting his second season with the Komets and fifth as a pro. The Riverside, California native posted a career high 54 assists last season while leading the Komets with 74 points in 71 games. In addition to being named the K's Most Valuable Player, Marino also received Fort Wayne's Mr. Hustle Award for the year. Marino also made his American Hockey League (AHL) debut last season appearing in one game with the Norfolk Admirals.

Schrock, 28, is entering his fifth pro year, all with Fort Wayne.  He began his pro career when he joined the Komets for the 2009-10 IHL season and collected his first league championship while be named the Komets' Rookie of the Year. Schrock won a second league title in 2011-12 with the Komets before making his ECHL debut with the K's last season. The right winger scored 10 goals last year and added 10 assists for 20 points while accumulating a career high 168 penalty minutes.

Lang, 26, led Quad City of the Central Hockey League (CHL) last season with career highs of 41 goals (2nd in the CHL), 42 assists, 83 points (fourth in the CHL) and +20 in 64 regular season games. The center led CHL special teams with 11 game-winning goals and six short-handed tallies. Hillsdale, New Jersey native also made his AHL debut last season appearing in one game with the Rockford IceHogs. Lang was honored with a spot on the 2012-13 CHL All-Star Team and was named to the All-CHL Team. 2013-14 will be Lang's third pro season as he makes his ECHL debut with Fort Wayne.

Larke, 26, will be skating his fourth pro season this year when he dons the Komet jersey in October. The Oxford, Michigan native made his pro debut in 2010-11 with Dayton in the CHL where he appeared for two seasons. Last year Larke ranked third with Bloomington in the CHL scoring a career high 47 points (19 goals, 28 assists) in 53 games. 2013-14 will be Larke's his first season in the ECHL.

Bochek (BOE-check), 25, will also debut in the ECHL this season as a member of the Komets. The Port Severn, Ontario native has appeared in the CHL the last four seasons. Bochek started his pro career with Missouri in 2009-10 before skating two seasons (2010-11, 2011-12) with the Dayton Gems where he led in penalty minutes each year.  The fifth-year pro skated 55 games with Bloomington last year scoring 12 goals, 37 points and 121 penalty minutes.


Tue, 07/09/2013 - 11:59am

Very happy to see Marino returning. Looking forward to seeing the new guys play for the Komets. Hope they're a big asset this year.

Tue, 07/09/2013 - 12:36pm

Alright... enough of this CHL signees.  With that said, Mickey Lang could be a fan favorite.  Might be a good 1st line start with Lang in the middle and Marino on one side.( They were successful playing together before) Lang does have a nose for the net.

Jon Booras (c)and Matt Duffy(d) are the only two left( Between Bloomington and Quad Cities) worth going after. Duffy may have signed elsewhere already. Larke and Bocheck signings.....yawn..yawn again. Hope thats the 3rd line



Tue, 07/09/2013 - 12:49pm

Happy with the Marino signing......  The rest....not so much.

Not sure how the signing of smallish CHL forwards will do us any good after what we saw last season....???

Tue, 07/09/2013 - 1:08pm

Bochek might just have more penalty minutes than he has spent on the ice. If he'll knock some guys into the boards and give Marino the room he needs to do his thing, he might be worth it. CHL or not, someone needs to just start putting people into the boards and on their butts.

Tue, 07/09/2013 - 1:39pm

I've been on the Mickey Lang bandwagon since last year. 

Tue, 07/09/2013 - 8:58pm

Why do we keep bringing back Schrock??

Wed, 07/10/2013 - 6:10pm

Alan, who else do you have on your bandwagon?  I really like Doug Jones from Gwinnet and Paul Crowder from Wheeling. They may be on contract higher up....Steve Makway would make a great Komet. 

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 11:01am

good morning, RG2. 

I'm not sure how to answer your question without a disclaimer.  I'm not sure what is important to the K's when they determine needs.  Plus, since there is no reciprocal agreement between the ECHL and the CHL, my list can only be made from CHL players.

Two seasons ago I commented that I would've liked for the Komets to go after Bruce Graham (F), Dylan King (F), and Joshua Heyditch (D) from Allen.  I would've liked to have seen Scott Balan (D), and Dan Gendur (F) from Rio Grande Valley also.  ( I'm not sure where these players are now but I believe I just saw King sign with an ECHL team a couple of days ago).

Here is a list of five that might be eligible for some consideration:

5'11" A.J Gale 46g, 38a in 64games last year  ( I don't think he's played enough career games to qualify as a veteran)

5'9" Mike Hellyer 23 g 38a +15  66 career games.

5'11" Chad Nehring 33g 24a +7 in 66games.

6'1" Chad Painchard 20g 36a +21 46games.

5'9" Mike Stinziani 26g 25a +9 63 games.

I have no idea the speed or the availability of these guys. 

I have no idea what is most important to the Komets.  Is it speed, is it youth, is it scoring?

Personally, and selfishly, I would like to see the Komets sign and announce Rizk, Auger, amd Mike Vaskivuo. 

Thanks for the question, RG2.  It was fun and it made me think.  What about you?





Thu, 07/11/2013 - 3:17pm

Alan, as previously posted I always enjoyed watching Jon Booras play but he just signed with Wichita.  No idea about Matt Duffy(d) . Thats about it from the CHL. I think Gendur has locker room issues.( Dan Shank syndrom) He has bounced everywhere.

 I like Paul Crowder from Wheeling last year. Big, smooth, good hands and back checks. Plays offense  alot like Corey Elkins( who was probably the most skilled player we have seen in past 13-14 years.) Chris Auger and JM Rizk would be great also.  Just dont have any names on defensemen. Its like a band trying to find a good bass player. the Guitar player can be great but if the bass and drums dont hook, it all falls apart. Hope we find some good bass players ...uh ...I mean defensemen...

 I think the determining factor this year will be players playing  at or above expectations. I thnk most would agree last year that the Komet "signed" players played at or below expectations. Hats off to the Anaheim kids. They all played well when here and got the opportunity to play in the AHL and played well enough to stay there.  Thats what its about for them. (I think this whole Dave Franke -norfolk being mad stuff is a bunch of non-sense).  

 on a side note : I still could never  figure out Matt Kennedy. Did nothing here and did nothing in Norfolk.    I know he was hurt often but when he did dress, he was invisible.


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 4:54pm

Ok, here goes:

- you all should realize Schrock is the past face of the K's and there was no doubt (read my old postings) that he would be on the team

- give the guys they have picked up a chance before being so negative, which is not surprising looking at how you have all blasted things relating to signings, GOALIES and coaching in your past posts

- if you all are so intent on your critiques, why aren't you the coaches or owners of a team

- wow, some things with some of you never change

- best of luck Gary G.....look forward to who else is coming on board

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 8:31pm

Who/Suz, why is it ok for you to be negative towards other contributers and critique their opinions; but not ok for others to critique or have a realistic view/opinion towards their team and its goings on???  I'm curious what the difference is?

Have you ever had a negative opinion towards a product that you have purchased and shared that opinion with others?  Did the product not meet the advertised promise or there just one or two aspects of the product you did not like?  Did you even maybe use the product because it worked even though one or two things werent to your liking?   

Komets hockey is a product..... 

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 6:11am

Oh boy...the "Why don't you coach/play/own the team" has started way too soon this year!

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 6:39am

Dear "fans"/"bloggers"....have at your opinions, comments, critiques and whatever else it is you have to say...no one ever said you could not...just be prepared to hear those of us on the other side who may not see it your way...please open up to others opinions...not just all the negative ones

Have a great season K's


Fri, 07/12/2013 - 9:27am

Ahmed Mahfouz, not the biggest, not sure of his speed, but definately young and aggressive!

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 10:06am

All of us seem to have our own opinions on roster signings and the makeup of the Komets this year.  Good for us!  It makes for an interesting dialogue between us. 

While pondering over the many thoughts and opinions, I asked myself this question.  Instead of focusing just on the Komets, what would you like to see the ECHL,  as a league, address this season?  Here is what I came up with and I would be interested in everyone's/anyone's thoughts and ideas or suggestions.

1).  Teams per division.  As it stands now, there are three Eastern conference divisions.  Two have five teams  and one has three teams.  Winning a division is an important part of the equation when scheduling the playoffs.  Yet, it is not an "equal accomplishment" when one team has to finish ahead of two teams while the others have to finish ahead of four teams.  The loss of Trenton has given  an advantage to Elmira, Reading, and Wheeling.  This disparity leads into number

2)  The number of playoff teams that participate in the playoffs.  Because the league schedules its playoffs with eight teams participating from both conferences, the Western conference enters with eight out of nine teams involved while the Eastern conference sends eight out of thirteen teams.  Again it is not an "equal accomplishment".

3)  The ECHL needs some sort of roster flexibility for its members.  If an AHL team or even an NHL team sends to them, say, three players, it forces the ECHL to make roster cuts when there is no defining time on how long those who get sent down will remain.  It can leave the ECHL team scrambling when those players get called up and the original players have left for other places to play or are placed on an injury list or whatever.

I'm interested in what your thoughts may be.  Maybe its a two referee system or a shootout change, no-touch icing, or anything else.

Nothing is right and nothing is wrong, but I believe the league should always be proactive and never be satisified.

What do you think, and what are some of your ideas?

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 12:43pm

Alan, my opinion on your numbers:

1. Equalize the divisions by taking a team (to late for this season) from one of the other 2 divisions (done by lottery)

2.  Take the top 3 teams from each division (2 from the 3 team division) and the rest get in by total points, etc.

3.  Agree, need to have something like an injured reserve except a holding area for players put in limbo status

Also, I woud pay more per ticket to see 2 referees in a game....would help


Fri, 07/12/2013 - 5:47pm

Who suz...weren't your pretty intent with your critiques of chaulk and Sims in almost every comment you posted this past season? Yet I don't think you were offering to be coach or captain. So you should understand the negativity alot of fans have...regardless of if they are doing the coaching\recruiting. You would be doing the same thing is they were both planning to be back.

indy ks fan
Sat, 07/13/2013 - 11:23am

If the Frankes and Coach Graham truly want to win at the ECHL level they need to follow this recruiting philosophy.  When seeking goalies, top eight forwards, and top four defensemen only recruit players who played the majority of their games last year in Canadian major junior, NCAA Division 1, ECHL, AHL, or Europe.  The only time that you would ever consider looking at a player who played in the CHL or SPHL is when you are looking for a policeman, ninth/tenth forward, or fifth/sixth defenseman.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 5:53pm

so youre saying that guys like chaulk boucher smith marino ect were terrible players not worth having on our team????  again, lots of silly comments from armchair quarterbacks.  the frankes have shown a good ability to put teams together and rebounding from bad years.  lets comment on each individual and not throw out such general statements.  remember too that there are lots of teams out there looking for the same things. i hope we have a fast skating tough team with lots of goal scorers and guys who love to bang and fight.  gee i think all teams and all fans are hoping for that and guess what,  you really wont know what kind of team you got till christmas rolls around and we see how all the guys mesh together. until then it is just peoples opinions.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 6:34pm

Finally, someone with common sense and judgment. Sheep, 99.99326% sheep.

indy ks fan
Sat, 07/13/2013 - 8:43pm

Chuckitt, the only players that were on ECHL contracts that were legitimate top eight forwards/top four defensemen last year were Rizk, Marino, and Maggio.  Chaulk was never healthy enough so his absence from that list is understandable.  CHL stars such as Smith, Giosa, Beauregard, Butler, Milam, and Effinger were not able to put up numbers that were even close to those that they did in the clearly inferior league.  The SPHL forwards put up the following numbers--Dunbar 10 points in 17 games and -9, Hoban 5 points in 18 games, Metz 2 points in 7 games--hardly top eight forward numbers.  My analysis is not negative.  It is realistic.  If any of the current signees with the exception of Marino are expected to contribute front line numbers, Ks fans are more likely to be disappointed than happy with the results.

Just Me
Sun, 07/14/2013 - 4:36pm

Way too early to get excited, anxious, upset, joyful, etc., over any "signing."  We all know things change, and "signed" players can disappear.  Sit back and enjoy your summer.  Stick your toes in the pool or lake, sip a soda or adult beverage, and relax.  October will eventually arrive.  Here's to a successful Komet season!  Go K's!

Mon, 07/15/2013 - 10:04pm

way to backtrack.  if you make a statement you better be able to support it. so once again i ask  you think chaulk smith marino maggio and bocher should never have been on our roster??  you said no one from the chl should ever be considered. guess you should tell chaulk and maggio and how about shrock this assesment to their faces............

off the post
Mon, 07/15/2013 - 11:29pm

indy k's fan... since we are being realistic.. how many games did you realistically attend last year? just curious

indy ks fan
Tue, 07/16/2013 - 6:44am

Chuckitt, you are far superior compared to my mere mortal existance.  Yes, Marino proved to be an exception to my general rule about CHL players in the ECHL.  Yes, a healthy Chaulk would have been too.  Maggio was not a CHL player, he was a major junior graduate who played a few games after his final junior season was over.

Would Giosa been a top six forward on a legit ECHL team?  No.  Would Beauregard?  No.  Would Schrock?  No.  Would Butler be a top four defenseman on a legit ECHL team?  No.  Was Effinger a legit ECHL goalie?  No.

Wasn't last year enough proof to you that the CHL is clearly an inferior league to the ECHL?  Apparently you and the Frankes are the only ones who cannot grasp the obvious.

Mike From Toronto
Tue, 07/16/2013 - 10:13am

Good morning Komet land. Doesn't seem like hockey weather does it?  I was sent a link yesterday. My buddy's brother coaches in Australia. Their team is in the middle of their season.  Looks like the old Senior league we played in. But fun to see the other side of the world.

Anyway a few comments. Looking back to last year a few things stick out for me. First, the team got off to a pretty good start. Lock out didn't seem to affect too much. I would say that the suspension of players coming back from Norfolk and some injuries just before Christmas and Auger gong down early were the  a few things that threw the bus off the road. For the record, I was at six games last year and listened or watched a dozen or so more on the computer ( I almost wrote radio there LOL).

The players such as Caputi and Lasch drew some heat and I believe that situation led to Fort Wayne  getting less help from the Admirals.  Not to make excuses for these guys but the way for them to increase their value is to score. Hence their defensvie play was not what the Komet team was built for. So the friction starts and we know where that led.

I have a problem when immigration and administrative issues get in the way of bringing in players. These "hurdles" have been there forever at this level of hockey.  Now having said that, I do think the Vet rules and salary cap did prove to be more onerous than other leagues the team has competed in.

A good CHL player will be a good ECHL player.  I don't see this league as being the development league it once was.

Minor league hockey has contracted so much that good hockey players just need a place to play. The young guys are scouted so thoroughly that the big teams know pretty much who is going to make it. I am not saying there aren't exceptions.

There is a big job ahead of the Komets. Making Fort Wayne the "place I want to play" for the better players will be their challenge. I agree with an earlier post about looking to the NCAA and Major Junior for players. The reality is everyone has contacts. What makes Fort Wayne different is what has to be driven home.

Stay cool everyone. I will looking forward to getting back for a few games next year.

Tue, 07/16/2013 - 10:38am

Mike, good morning and great post!

Indy K's fan, more people agree with you than most think or care to admit....

Chuckitt, I think its laughable that you believe those of us who try and give a realistic opinion of the team would not say the same thing during a conversation with the players face to face...   What do you think they would do?  Hit a fan?  Ask Leo Thomas how that worked out.....

Bottom line is that only Marino and Rizk (IMO) proved they could play at this level.         

Tue, 07/16/2013 - 1:53pm

i agree and love other peoples opinions but i dont like someone like indy fan giving a blanket statement like only take people from such and such league and  no chl players. he himself after being challenged backtracked and started saying guys like marion ect ect could play but he called them an exception.....i dont like posters who think they know more than a 10yr experienced professional general manager. if you have an opinion then say it but tell us why you think it. i personally think the chl was comparable to the echl but i think the echl was superior because of the higher level of team speed. i think it took the chl guys a while to get used to that speed difference but guys like marino chaulk schrock maggio ect could all make a living in the echl because of their hustle and desire. encouraged by todays signings but we will never know till the season gets going..i mean 6'7 204lbs is great but only 61 pm??? obviously he doesnt clear the net that physically or hes so tough no one challenges  him!  time will tell