Southorn left Fort Wayne because he got a two-way offer from Portland of the American Hockey League to split time with Gwinnett in the ECHL last season. He played most of the season in the AHL, getting in 26 games, but now his priorities are changing.
"With North American hockey, you have to be over it when you leave to go overseas, and I don't think I'm ready to give it up here yet," Southorn said from Montreal. "I want to win a championship, and I like who Fort Wayne has signed so far. It looks like a really a good team this year, and I feel I have more things I can accomplish here in North America."
Knowing he would be a free agent, the Komets approached Southorn as soon as the season ended. Then they kept in touch while he waded through other offers. The more players they signed, the better Southorn liked the Komets' chances.
"I was always going to come back eventually, because I just had such a great time there," he said. "There were other teams calling, but it came down to, if it's not broke don't fix it. There was no need for me to go anywhere else."
Southorn's signing gives the Komets six defensemen so far, and they are still negotiating with all-tar James Martin. Joey Leach is signing a two-way AHL deal with Hershey, meaning he's no longer a possibility.
"I think the thing with Southie is he knows I'm a big believer in him and will promote him," Komets coach Gary Graham said. "I just think trust goes a long way in our business."
The Komets have nine forwards, six defenseman and one goaltender under contract. General Manager David Franke said he'd like to sign two more centers and hopes to add more size up front.