It's a good thing Kaleigh Schrock is right-handed, because he could still sign his contract.
Schrock is wearing a cast on his left hand after offseason surgery to repair a small fracture. He broke it during a fight with Wichita's Justin Sawyer in Game 4 of the Ray Miron Presidents' Cup Finals this spring, but didn't realize it until long after the title celebrations had ended.
``I think I must have a higher threshold of pain,'' the 27-year-old forward said. ``I fractured a bone or a joint in my thumb, so they had to go in and fix it. There's been 100 different times in three years where I hurt my hand and played through it. We thought it was a sprain, but it kept bothering me through the summer, so we did an X-ray and found the problem.''
Schrock said he'll be 100 percent when training camp starts Sept. 28. So will center Brett Smith, who signed after having neck problems late in the postseason. Doctors have assured Smith and the Komets that the veteran will be fully recovered.
The Komets also announced the signings of captain Colin Chaulk, this time as player-assistant coach, and rookie defenseman Kyle Atkins from Holy Cross where he scored six goals and 15 points during his senior season last year. He's listed at 6-foot-3, 204 pounds.
``He's a big kid who comes from a good program out East,'' Komets General Manager David Franke said. ``We like his size and he's got some offense to his game. He skates well and moves the puck well. It'll be fun to have some young layers in again, and there will be more to come.''
Franke said the Komets have made offers to J.M. Rizk, Frankie DeAngelis, Stephon Thorne and Chris Auger from last year's team. They are also continuing to talk with goaltender Nick Boucher.
``There will be new faces, new young kids, maybe some players who played for other teams against us in the past,'' Franke said. ``We've got a ton of irons in the fire right now. There's a lot of players out there, and that's probably because of the contraction a little bit in the CHL. Not everybody can play in the AHL or go to Europe. There are a lot of players out there looking to work, and we're talking to a lot of them.''
The Komets also announced their exhibition games will be played Oct. 6 and 7 at home against Evansville.