"We don't have to go through it next summer again," Komets General Manager David Franke said. "We're very, very excited. These are the guys we wanted to continue working with because we had such a good relationship last year. We did get contacted by two other NHL/AHL combos, but we wanted to stick with Colorado."
The Komets will likely receive five or six players from San Antonio, including a goaltender. Maybe just as important, the Komets will receive six spots in the AHL training training camp which Fort Wayne coach Gary Graham will participate in.
"It's important for the young guys because they want that opportunity to go to an AHL camp to see how they stand up to it," Franke said. "To the younger guys and their agents, it's very important."
Originally, the Komets had hoped to get this deal done earlier, but the Avalanche moved their AHL farm team from Lake Erie (Cleveland) to San Antonio. Then there were distractions with the NHL draft and free agency. Franke said he worked with Avalanche Assistant General Manager Craig Billington to put the deal together.
Last year the Komets received several players from the affiliation, including goaltender Roman Will, forwards Mitch Heard and Garrett Meurs and defenseman Joey Leach and Gabriel Beaupre. The Komets would love to have Will return, but Franke said he expects the second-year player to stay in the AHL.
"We proved we could help them last year," Franke said. "Guys like Heard and Meurs were more productive players when they went back up, and Roman came here as a rookie and got better and better every week. We helped them out from getting their players playing time and getting their confidence going, and that's what we're here for."
Franke said the teams have discussed some specific names but he's not going to divulge them.
"I think it's good that it's a two-year deal and it shows a lot of faith in both parties," he said. "It allows us to focus more next summer on player personnel instead of paperwork."