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Hard work pays off for Komet

Komets Olivier Legault, right, scores for the Komets on Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.
Komets Olivier Legault, right, scores for the Komets on Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.

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Faceoff: Kalamazoo at Komets,

8 p.m. tonight


Radio: WOWO, 1190-AM
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Olivier Legault refused to let disappointment get the best of him.

Friday, October 31, 2008 11:41 am
When they told him he wasn't good enough, the Fort Wayne Komets really understood they had something special in Olivier Legault.After he was told he was not making the playoff roster last spring, Legault could have done what most players do, which is start their summer early by sulking and heading home. Instead, Legault continued to go to practice every day, bug the veterans for pointers and then dyed his hair into an orange mohawk. He kept working to make himself a better player and gained respect from his teammates.

“He accepted the role of being the rah-rah guy and kept finding ways to help,” center Colin Chaulk said. “He's a good person, and he has a great heart.”

Legault worked with Chaulk after almost every practice last spring, doing extra drills to hone his skating. This year he's been bugging Konstantin Shafranov for drills to improve his hands.

“He didn't get discouraged,” Komets coach Al Sims said. “He's a great kid who always has a smile on his face and is very upbeat.

“He and (Mathieu) Curadeau last year were asking me for drills after practice all the time. Every practice I would take those two and do something with them for their hands or whatever, but they were very eager to learn and that's why they have done as well as they have. Both kids showed that if you put in the time and believe in yourself, you can do things.”

That extra work paid off over the summer when Legault was invited to a rookie camp with the Los Angeles Kings and to training camp with the American Hockey League's Lake Erie Monsters. By the time he got to Fort Wayne, Legault was in midseason shape. He's skating a regular shift now and scored a pair of goals in the Komets' home-opening win.

“My trademark is getting better every year, and that's what I want to do,” Legault said. “I want to work on the skills I don't have and make them a little better, but I still have to focus on staying on my job.”

Last year Legault was basically a fighter who skated an occasional shift. He earned 178 penalty minutes along with three goals and nine points. He was third in the league with 24 major penalties.

“I hope he can get 10, 15 goals for us this year,” Sims said. “That would be a great year for him.”

More Information

Up next

Faceoff: Kalamazoo at Komets,

8 p.m. tonight


Radio: WOWO, 1190-AM

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