FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Komets announced Friday that defenseman Curtis Leonard has signed a tryout agreement and has been added to the pre-season roster. Also, the format for the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs has been released. The top four teams in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, based on points percentage at the conclusion of the regular season, will earn postseason spots.
Leonard, 28, will be returning to Fort Wayne after spending the last two seasons playing for the Belfast Giants of the EIHL. The 6’3 defenseman played 10 games with the Komets during the 2015-2016 season before moving to play for the Evansville Icemen. The Napanee, Ontario native re-signed with the Komets before the 2016 season, manning the blueline for 136 games over the next two seasons. He also participated in 25 playoff games, helping the Komets to the Western Conference Final in 2018. Leonard started the season playing seven games with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.
The post-season is set to start Monday, June 7th. All three rounds will be best-of-five series, with the higher-seeded team having the option of playing the first two or the final three games at home, unless a mutual alternative series format is determined. The Conference Semifinals will see the first-place team play the fourth-place finisher and the second-place team taking on the third-place team. The two winners in each Conference will meet in the Conference Finals, with those winners advancing to the 2021 Kelly Cup Finals.
“During many league calls this summer, it was discussed not to have a playoff segment of the season, but in the end there will be a Kelly Cup Playoff,” said General Manager David Franke. “We feel the playoff format is great. It will allow eight teams to continue their season, It’s important to the owners, players and faithful fans. The Komets intend to be part of the playoff picture in June.”
The Komets will participate in the Western Conference with Allen, Kansas City, Rapid City, Tulsa, Utah, and Wichita. Play begins Friday, February 12th when the team travels to Wheeling for a 7:10p.m. faceoff. The home portion of the schedule starts Saturday, February 19th at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum against the Nailers, starting at 8:00p.m.
Game added— The Komets have added a road game to their schedule. The team will now travel to Indy for a three-game series against the Fuel, February 26th – 28th. The rivals had originally been scheduled for a two-game set, February 26th and 27th.