CLICK ON THE VIDEO TABS FOR WAYNE'S COVERAGE (CLIPS 1 &2) AND AN EXTENDED INTERVIEW WITH G.M. DAVID FRANKE.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The Komets announced Wednesday that they have entered into an affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League's (NHL) Anaheim Ducks and the American Hockey League's (AHL) Norfolk Admirals for 2012-13.
2012-13 marks the 19th anniversary season of the Ducks in Anaheim since they became a member of the NHL in 1993. Anaheim's head coach is former Komet player and head coach Bruce Boudreau. Boudreau skated with the Komets two seasons, 1990-91 and 1991-92 and served as head coach 1993-94 and 1994-95, earning the IHL's Commissioner's Trophy (Coach of the Year) for 1993-94. Boudreau joined the Ducks last season after a five-year stint as head coach of the NHL's Washington Capitols.
Current Fort Wayne head coach Al Sims also has history with Anaheim. After guiding the Komets to the 1993 IHL Turner Cup Championship in his first stint as head coach with the Komets, Sims served as assistant coach with Anaheim for three seasons, 1993-1996, before accepting the position as Head Coach with the NHL's San Jose Sharks for 1996-97. "I think it's great for our hockey team to have the affiliation and for them to have enough confidence in us to develop their prospects and turn them into good pros," said Sims. "I am looking forward to the relationship and it should be lots of fun working with some of my old acquaintances within the Ducks organization."
As part of Fort Wayne's affiliation agreement, the Komets will have the opportunity to place up to four players in Norfolk's training camp which starts September 27. "This will be our most direct pipeline to the American Hockey League since the old IHL in the 1990's," commented Komet general manager David Franke. "Principle people we will be working with regarding player movement are David McNab, Anaheim's Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations, and Norfolk's assistant general manager Bob Ferguson."
The Komets also announced Wednesday that five players have been added to the preseason roster. Defensemen Chris Haltigin and Tim Buttery and forwards Brayden Metz, Michael Hoban and Cory Park are expected to be on the roster when training camp opens Friday, September 28.
Haltigin , 24, skated the past four seasons with R.I.T. (Rochester Institute of Technology) in the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA). Last Last season Haltigin was named RIT Best Defensemen while leading R.I.T. defensemen with 21 points on five goals and 16 assists. The Oakville, Ontario native finished his college career as a three-time member of the AHA All-Academic team and ranks second all-time among R.I.T. defensemen with 24 career goals and third in points while becoming RIT's all-time leader in games played with 147.
Buttery , 24, has completed four years of CCHA play at Michigan State University. The Northville, Michigan native scored 5 goals and 28 points during his 134-game career with the Spartans. Prior to joining MSU Buttery played two seasons for the Chicago Steel of the United State Hockey League (USHL). Led Steel defensemen in 2007-08 with six goals and added 26 assists for 32 points and was named a 2008 USHL All-Star.
Metz , 22, skated 56 games with Louisiana of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) last season. The Regina, Saskatchewan native ranked second in scoring with the IceGators posting 23 goals, 33 assists and 56 points and was named to the SPHL All-Rookie Team last year. Metz has been invited to the Komet camp through the Dayton Devils of the Federal Hockey League.
Hoban , 23, attended Babson College the past four seasons and skated a total of 106 ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) games with the Beavers scoring 29 goals and 76 points. Hoban was named to the 2011-12 ECAC All-Conference Second Team. The forward will attend the Komets' training camp through the Pensacola Ice Flyers of the SPHL which will be coached this season by former Komet assistant coach Gary Graham.
Park , 25, completed three seasons at Neumann College last season. The skater led the Knights with 13 goals and added 10 assists for a team second-best 23 points in 24 games. Eight of his goals were game winners. Park was named to the 2011-12 Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Men's At-Large Team and was named to the ECAC West All-Academic Team for the second time during his college career at Neumann University.
The preseason roster includes 13 forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders for a total of 21 players.
See Komet Roster
Komets slate two preseason tuneups-- Five weeks remain until the Komets open training camp September 28. The Komets have scheduled a pair of exhibition home games against the Evansville IceMen at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The Komets will face the IceMen Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7:30pm and again Sunday, Oct. 7 at 5pm.
Season home opener Oct. 12-- The Komets