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Komets put together two-year deal with Avalanche

Craig Billington
Craig Billington

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For more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blakesebring and at his blog www.tailingthekomets.com.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Deal gets done earlier than last year

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 03:33 pm
It seemed to take forever, but the Fort Wayne Komets got their affiliation agreement with the Colorado Avalanche done early this year — one day earlier than last year.The Komets and Avalanche (and their American Hockey League team in San Antonio) announced a two-year agreement on Tuesday.

"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."

More Information

Online

For more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blakesebring and at his blog www.tailingthekomets.com.

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