“Being close to home is definitely a plus,” Mangos said Wednesday after his signing was announced. “There are a ton of guys there from Toronto.”
It also helps that Mangos, 31, has known Smith for a long time. The pair played together at Ferris State and also with Bossier-Shreveport. In fact, they are riding together this weekend to the Ferris State Hockey Alumni Golf Outing.
“I've been talking with Simon pretty much the whole time,” Smith said. “I think the appeal is the same for both of us, the fact that it was so close to home. We love playing together. It's kind of like we're attached at the hip a little bit.”
Mangos' signing gives the Komets three players off Bossier-Sherveport's Central Hockey League title team, including defenseman Jamie Milam.
“He basically said, ‘Just follow me, it worked out well when you came with me to Shreveport,'” Mangos said.
He recently had shoulder surgery to tighten up some ligaments and tendons but said he'll be ready for training camp. Mangos also got offers from Missouri, Rapid City, Arizona and Quad City.
“It's a great organization and it really looks like they are putting together a winner,” he said. “The organization is first-class, so that plays a big role. The history of the team is one of the best in the league, if not the best, so that plays a big factor in it. They have a winning attitude and a winning way.”
The Komets also signed forwards Adam Krug and Shane Heffernan to deals. Krug, 28, is the brother of former Komet Matt Krug and played in Holland last season. Heffernan, 23, played in Norway.
Fort Wayne has 16 players on its preseason roster including 11 forwards, four defensemen and one goaltender.