Here you go

September 11, 2006

After giving up on signing Mario Larocque earlier this summer, the Fort Wayne Komets are close to signing the defenseman General Manager David Franke said Monday.

Larocque, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound veteran, would give the Komets a boost of experience and toughness on the blue line. Last season he had 5 goals, 15 points and 187 penalty minutes in 46 games with Danbury.

“I think we’re headed in the right direction, and that there’s a real good chance that he’s going to come on board on with us,’’ Franke said. “Nothing is finalized yet, but we’re close to getting something done with him.’’

A first-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 1996, Larocque, 28, has played most of his career in the International and American hockey leagues. He also played five games for the Lightning in 1998, and played for Komets coach Pat Bingham with Wheeling of the East Coast Hockey League in 2003-04.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience of being on the same team and pulling in the same direction with Mario,’’ Bingham said. “I think he’s a great team guy. He’s always trying to give the team what it needs.’’

The Komets acquired the rights to Larocque in the United Hockey League’s dispersal draft after Danbury folded. Originally, the Komets felt they weren’t going to be able to afford Larocque who wanted similar pay to what he received in Danbury. The Trashers folded after it was revealed they spent nearly three times as much as the UHL salary cap last season, causing the league to adopt a hard cap this summer.

“Mario came down on his demands, and we just explained to him where we were at money-wise with this hard cap,’’ Franke said. “This is where he’d like to play and if we can get it done we’re going to get it done.’’

Part of Larocque’s decision is because of whom the Komets already have signed. He’s good friends with and a former teammate of player/assistant coach Bruce Richardson, has been a teammate with forward Daniel Goneau and he knows defenseman Guy Dupuis and goaltender Kevin St. Pierre. In fact, this week Larocque is working out with Richardson and Goneau at Richardson’s pre-season camp on Montreal.

“When I signed here, I think that started to make sense for Mario,’’ Richardson said. “I talked to Mario the other day, and he said, `I guess we’ll probably play together again this year.’ I think Mario respects me, and by me going there, he knows we’re not going to have a lousy team. I think he put it all together, and it was a no-brainer.’’

Franke said the Komets are currently working on a couple of other deals which may be announced late this week. He said that as the Oct. 2 opening of training camp gets closer, more players are starting to return his calls.

“It’s getting a little late for players, and it’s time for guys to make up their mind and decided I they want to play or sit,’’ Franke said. “I think more players are going to decide they’d rather play.’’


55 Responses to “Here you go”

  1. JC Says:

    Finally! This should settle the toughness complaints down. Good work by the K’s to get this guy to sign.

  2. Tony E Says:

    Very interesting. He, Richardson and Morency should provide enough “toughness” that the Komets will not be pushed around as some feared.

  3. FWKRTJ Says:

    Welcome aboard if it turns out to be…

  4. randy Says:

    I thought this was going to be important.

  5. dnl Says:

    Just what the Komets needed. Big guy, defenseman, and can actually play. Hopefully not too much money was spent on this. We still have a few other holes to patch up for this team, but this is a big one! Thanks Blake for staying up and posting for us.

  6. Steve Says:

    Boy are you guys gonna be dissapointed…..

  7. dnl Says:

    Dissapointed Steve? This coming from a Flint fan? If he is, he won’t last on the team.

  8. Steve Says:

    he takes alot of bad penalties, wont drop the gloves, real cheap shot artist.

    What does this have to do with me being a Flint fan?

  9. Tony E Says:

    Steve based on what I remember of him when he was with the Vipers I disagree to a point. He did have Andre Roy desease at times (dumb penalties at bad times) but he DID drop the gloves on a fairly regular basis.

  10. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    Will he take the body and clear the front of the net? That is what I want. Who the heck cares if he drops the gloves all the time. Just play tough, check, play the body, and be mean out there in a smart way. That is the toughness we want to see. Don’t confuse that with boxing. Drop the gloves when needed, yes…but give me the physical play first and foremost.

  11. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    Goal-scorers next please. Give us some guys that are proven snipers. That #2 line needs some scoring punch and some muscle.

  12. Tony E Says:

    Hit if that is what you want I think you will like him

  13. Jungle Monkey Says:

    Considering all the hate being tossed his way from other teams fans, I already like Super Mario. Sign him.

  14. Greg Says:

    JM-There’s only one Super Mario;-). Larocque can be Mario Jr.

    If he’s signed then welcome, but so far they’re saying it’s close (I know it means it’s probably a done deal, but you never know)

    I think after Mario called around he found he wasn’t going to get what he asked for and since the Komets had his rights…

    I will be interested to see if Blake can find out who’s been returning the Komets calls and who starts falling throught he cracks from the higher levels.

  15. ilovehockey Says:

    I agree Greg. I think that Mario has finally realized that nobody else was going to pay him what he wanted anyway. It sounds like Richardson might have helped him along. If he signs, great. Now I’m thinking about a couple guys that we lost from last year. What a team we might have had with them too. I’m not saying it doesn’t sound good so far. I’m happy with the signings as of now, as long as they perform.

  16. ilovehockey Says:

    What’s the deal about Mario not wanting to play for a lousy team??? Hopefully, he wasn’t putting the K’s in that equation.

  17. chuckitt Says:

    hopefully this will come to fuition. it is what we have been asking for, a briser who will clear the crease and hit, fight when needed, but crunch all the time! now i can sit back and wait for camp and dont have to wonder out loud for awhile! skate, what are your thoughts on mario?

  18. scoops Says:

    Nice pickup….. As long as Chuckitt and Hit are happy….I’m happy.

    Now I’d like to see us shore up that 2nd line combo.

  19. ilovehockey Says:

    It’s official. He’s signed. Just got my Cyber Komet.

  20. Greg Says:

    It also on the K’s website as well as two rookies. Welcome to all.

  21. Jungle Monkey Says:

    Rookie Martin Aubin is a left wing that is 6’4″ and 235 with a few games in the LNAH… might we be looking for a rookie….dare I use the word…. enforcer?

  22. paulsy Says:

    Martin Aubin Left Wing
    Born Apr 9 1985 — Laval, PQ
    Height 6.04 — Weight 235 — Shoots L

  23. paulsy Says:

    Looks like the “beef” is starting to show up.

    Where’s KW????? Must be in the Men’s Room at Meijer looking for his next update

  24. Greg Says:

    I would get to excited about the rookies just yet. My thinking is to bring some of them in to see what they can bring, but I bet Bingham and the Frankes will pay attention to the other leagues camps to see who drops out. There might be someone we can pick up.

  25. Greg Says:

    Sorry, that should say, “…I would not get excited about the rookies just yet”

  26. paulsy Says:

    I think the last time we had two bigger forwards that could bang and drop “em were Bruce Ramsay and Steve Parsons. Parsons was moved to forward from D, but he could get down low and create problems for the opposing D men.

    At least they’re looking at some “potential” talent and not relying on ECHL/AHL waivers to fill all the gaps.

  27. chuckitt Says:

    dont get too excited. aubin is 6 4 235lbs not no scoring and very few penalty min hopefully he is an improving project that we might be able to use. the other guy is a goal scorer, not too big and hdb has nothing on him.

  28. Hoss Says:

    I’m starting to get very excited about this year!!! Not that I wasn’t already…

    Blake, do you know when we will see this years jerseys? I thought they might show them off early while the iron’s hot to try to get the sales up.

  29. Tony E Says:

    Two quality young players. You get 10 guys like this in camp and maybe one or two work out, maybe none do. But this is how both this team and the league in general will go about replacing some of the has-beens and wannabees that have left for “higher paying” pastures.

  30. chuckitt Says:

    today was a great day and i hope camp is real competitive. i use to go to camp and watch cause it was always interesting back in the days of the i. now i think for the first time we might have a camp with actual jobs on the line. still looking for the sniper maybe bresner can fit that role. good call blake! conehead is still asleep!

  31. Greg Says:

    Hoss-typically the Komets hold off on showing the new jerseys until the first game of the season.

  32. blake Says:

    There’s no reason to get nasty with Justin. He’s nailed me on more than his share over the years. He was probably out of town on another assignment.

  33. Greg Says:

    Just an FYI-former Komet backup Kelly Shields to play in the Netherlands this coming season.

  34. Steve Says:

    Aubin is a pretty good pick up, he is a tough kid that needs some work.

  35. dnl Says:

    Interesting rookie pickups. Martin Aubin is a big guy who was picked up for a few games in the LNAH. On the downside he only had 1 point in three years of hockey. With only 1 point as a forward concerns me, but obviously another part of his game must be there that allows him to keep playing. David Besner is almost on the opposite side of Aubin. Last season he played (which according to hockeydb was 04-05) he racked up an incredible 105 points in 45 games. This also concerns me as to how decent his defensive skills really are. I guess we’ll find out within a month or two on both of these guys.

    Is it just me or do the rookies thus far picked up by the Komets look to be a bit more promising than the rookies we’ve been bringing in in the last handful of seasons?

  36. joseph Says:

    I wouldn’t look at 105 points in 45 games and be scared about defensive play. Scorers score wherever they play. Maybe he just knows how to put it in the net.

    Here’s a 2004 article

    Says he played with Fabien Laniel (Flint) Here’s his hockeydb. He’s a dman

    So, looks like Laniel can score (as a dman). I bet Besner can play but we’ll see.

  37. Greg Says:

    Personnaly, if a line is so good ofensively that the other team can’t get the puck then I think defense is moot, but, If I remember correctly, Bingham did say that his team would be defense first and use a transition game. So that means Besner would have to be able to play some D.

  38. IndyKomet Says:

    In junior hockey the Defense isn’t that great. Lots of sloppy play and alot of scoring.

    Welcome to the K’s

  39. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    3 pickups today that sound good. Hope they work-out the way we all dream they will. I am definitely hockey starved at this point and I actually can’t wait until the first pre-season game against Port Urine.

  40. IndyKomet Says:

    Its weird how hockey fans can’t wait until preseason games but NFL fans and players hate the preseason.

  41. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    In our case though, we have no clue what our team looks like until we see them play. Plus we are half crazy being Komet Fans…ok all the way crazy.

  42. Blake Says:

    No don’t court yourself short, Hit.

  43. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    I am crazy…I have no idea what Super Fan just said?

  44. Skate Says:

    I was hoping that Larocque would fill out to more than just 210. Oh well….

    Now, if only Bingham will let them play and not put skirts on all on ’em….

    Maybe, just MAYBE ….

  45. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    I am just short enough to be a physical presence on the 2006-2007 Komets. Although the tide is starting to turn on that rant. Us 5-foot something guys are well represented so far this off-season. Are they measuring these guys with or without their blades on? I still might be under 6 foot with. I mean…I know I am.

  46. Skate Says:

    You don’t amass the kind of penalty minutes Larocque has by NOT dropping the gloves.

    Although Chaulk went ovwwer 100 PIM last year with 3 fights.

    You think HE didn;t take some unnecessary penalties? Was’t he like third in th eleague in minrs last year?

  47. Skate Says:

    SCOUTS! And every one with a contract in their pocket!

    They came here tnoight to scout the CHIEFS! The toughest team in the Federal League.

    Not this bunch a …………. pansies.

    (Commercial TV version)

  48. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    I hope he like….Larocque’s The Jungle… like the Frankes were advertising all dang summer long…..MAN!

  49. Steve Says:

    Laniel was a forward and did not play one shift on D last year in Flint. Laniel has a really promising future if he can rid the injury bug.

    Depending on Besner’s size, im sure he will a big time player for the Komets.

  50. Flying V Says:

    Remember this knucklehead

  51. Flying V Says:

    Remember this knucklehead

  52. IndyKomet Says:

    For immediate release
    September 13, 2006


    Fort Wayne, IN — The Komets announced Wednesday the addition of veteran right winger Bogdan Rudenko to the preseason roster.

    Rudenko celebrates his 29th birthday today and hails from Novosibirsk, Russia. The veteran winger will be entering his 10th pro season this year and 4th in the UHL. Rudenko previously skated under the direction of Komet head coach Pat Bingham in 2000-01 with the UHL Eastern Conference Champion Asheville and advance to the 2001 UHL finals with a team second-best 8 assists and 13 points in 11 playoff games. Rudenko also skated in the UHL during the 2002-03 season registering a team fourth-best 34 goals and 65 points in 74 games with Adirondack. The Russian native skated juniors in the Ontario Hockey League from 1995-97. He made his rookie debut with Quad City in the UHL in 1997 and was voted to the 1997-98 UHL All-Rookie Team.

    Last season Rudenko appeared in stints with Florida and Pensacola scoring 7 goals, 15 points and 67 penalty minutes in 37 ECHL games.

    The Komets have also invited to camp goaltender Daniel Ljung. Ljung, 26 (la-JUNG), is a native of Sweden and played 4 seasons of collegiate hockey at Lawrence University (NCAAIII) in Wisconsin from 2002-2005. Ljung also was a member of the Capital District Selects of the Eastern Junior Hockey League during 1999-00.

    With the additions of Rudenko and Ljung the Komet’s preseason roster grows to 22 players including 13 forwards, 6 defensemen and 3 goaltenders.

    Komets open camp Oct. 2…..head coach Pat Bingham opens a 2-week training camp Monday, Oct. 2 at the Coliseum. Three exhibition games, 2 at home and 1 on the road, are planned. The Komets will host Port Huron in a preseason tilt at the Coliseum Wednesday, Oct. 4. Then the Komets will face Kalamazoo in a home-and-home exhibition series starting at Fort Wayne Friday, Oct. 6. Saturday, Oct. 7 the Komets face the Wings at Wings stadium in the final pre-season tune-up. The Komets start the season on the road Friday, Oct. 13 at Rockford and will skate their 55th home opener Saturday, Oct. 21 against Quad City at 7:30pm. -2006-07 Komet schedule-

    2006-07 Season Tickets on Sale…..2006-07 Komet season tickets are on sale at the Komet office at 1010 Memorial Way in Fort Wayne. Fans may call the Komet office for information at (260) 483-0011 or make inquiries via email at Season ticket information is also available at

  53. Greg Says:

    Welcome to both; however, after looking at Rudenko’s Stats, it seems he has a problem either staying healthy or being in the dog house because he hasn’t played a lot of games in the last couple of years. I don’t expect him to stick around.

  54. blake Says:

    Wrong, Greg. Check out the bottom of my latest post.

  55. chuckitt Says:

    blake, according to the hockey data base he does have a hard time playing a full season except for the seasons you mentioned

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