In an attempt to find consistency, the Fort Wayne Komets made another big trade on Thursday.
Struggling at 8-8-4 and two weeks after trading captain Nick Tuzzolino, the Komets traded center Bobby Hughes and defenseman Rob Kwiet and the right to forward Brett Lyon to Gwinnett for forward Mike Embach and defenseman Nathan Martine.
Both new players are expected to be in Fort Wayne early Friday and to play in Saturday night's game in Kalamazoo.
``We've been working on it maybe two weeks,'' Komets General Manager David Franke said. ``After the weekend, we all got together on Monday on the phone. We had some other teams offer us certain deals for other players, but at the end of the day, the Gwinnett deal was the best. Mike Embach is a proven player at the ECHL level, and Martine is a guy that Gary was interested in over the summer.''
The Komets needed to make the move with Hughes after an on-ice shouting match with Komets coach Gary Graham in Kalamazoo on Nov. 29. Both Hughes and Kwiet were playing their first season in Fort Wayne.
With Kwiet, the Komets had hoped he could provide more offense and veteran leadership from the blue line, but he'd been limited to eight assists in 20 games. Hughes had four goals and nine points in 12 games.
Embach, 25, scored six goals and 12 points in 16 games with Cincinnati and Gwinnett this season after scoring 18 goals and 34 points last year with Cincinnati. Martine, 25, is a rookie who has played 22 games in the ECHL with Reading and Cincinnati.
``We're all excited to get both of these guys,'' Franke said. ``It just didn't work out with Hughes and Kwiet. We felt we needed to make some changes and that's why we did what we did.''