It's possible Thompson might return to lineup tonight
By Blake Sebring, email@example.com
Friday, January 06, 2017 6:00 PM
After trading to bring back forward Brett Perlini on Thursday, the Fort Wayne Komets are also hoping to get some more familiar faces back soon. The goal is to have the training room look more like a clinic and less like an emergency room within the next week or so.
There's a chance forward Garrett Thompson could return to the lineup today or tomorrow in Toledo as he recovers from an undisclosed lower-body injury.
As for leading scorer Shawn Szydlowski, the Komets are playing wait and see what an undisclosed injury, Komets General Manager David Franke said. Franke did say it has nothing to do with stitches in Szydlowski's hand from recent fights. Saying he won't go into the details, Franke said Szydlowski is day-to-day.
After getting through this weekend, the Franke said the Komets are hoping for the return of defenseman Gabriel Beaupre and goaltender Pat Nagle for next week's games. Franke said Nagle is progressing very well in practice, but the team is going to be extremely careful with his high-ankle sprain. The general manager also said the team might carry three goaltenders for at least a stretch to make sure Nagle is ready to carry his regular schedule.
Defenseman Cody Sol likely won't return from a knee strain until after the ECHL All-Star Classic which is Jan. 18. That could make him available to go on the five-game road trip that includes Kalamazoo, Brampton, two games in Elmira and Reading from Jan. 21-28.
Franke said he has not heard anything new on the potential returns of defenseman Bobby Shea or forward Trevor Cheek from their American Hockey League call-ups. Heading into last night's schedule, Shea has played in two games with Rochester with no points, and Cheek has played in nine games with Tucson with two assists.
It was a long shot
Florida Everblades goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic sealed the game with an empty netter in a 5-3 win on Jan. 30 against Atlanta. It's just the 12th time in ECHL history that a goaltender has scored a goal. It's only happened once during a Komets' game, on Dec. 29, 2004, when Rockford's Michel Robinson scored into an empty net with 1:06 left.
The way new Komets netminder P.J. Musico likes to get out and handle the puck, he could be a strong long-range bomber.
Where are they?
Fort Wayne has been part of the ECHL for five years now, and here's a list of former Komets who have played in the league this season — Alaska: Peter Sivak, Coach Rob Murray; Allen: Randy Cure; Atlanta: Brock Higgs, Thomas Frazee; Brampton: Brandon Marino, Chris Auger, Mathieu Gagnon; Cincinnati: Tommy Mele; Colorado: Justin Hamonic; Elmira: Kenton Miller, John Muse; Greenville: Coach Brian Gratz; Indy: Tristan King, Keegan Asmundson, Eric Levine, Brock Montgomery; Norfolk: Josh Brittain, John Dunbar, Mikael Tam; Domenic Alberga, Steven Summerhays; Orlando: Eric Faille, Joe Perry, Daniel Maggio; Quad City: Chris Francis, Jace Coyle; Rapid City: Lindsay Sparks, Adam Morrison; South Carolina: Joey Leach, Steve Delisle; Tulsa: Reid Halabi; Wheeling: Garrett Meurs; Wichita: Brett Perlini, Peter DiSalvo and now David Friedmann.
That's 36 players covering 16 of the league's other 28 teams.
January is familiar
Throughout their history, the Komets have often been kicked out of Memorial Coliseum for large parts of January because of basketball games and tournaments, and this month the Komets play only four home games. They also played only four last January, going 4-0 and 10-4-0 overall. The franchise record is just three home games in March 1998.
They will also play eight road games this month, one off the record of nine set several times, including the last time in January 1962. That was also one of the two times the team played games on six consecutive days.
Icing the puck
Bet you didn't realize that though the Komets lead the ECHL with 7,392 average attendance, they haven't had a sellout since Feb. 16, 2013... Following his first month as coach when they were 1-2, the Komets under Gary Graham have had only one month when they have suffered a losing record, November 2015 when they were 5-6-0. That covers 23 months... Here's a sure-fire jinx: the Komets are the only ECHL team which has not played in a shootout this season... After being waived by the Komets, Stephon Thorne was claimed by Brampton.
For more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at @blakesebring, at his blog tailingthekomets.com and on Facebook at Blake Sebring.