Komets Re-Sign Lacasse And Maione, Add Daniels

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Komets announced Tuesday that three defensemen have been added to the roster for 2014-15. William Lacasse and Matthew Maione have each re-signed for a second season with Fort Wayne while Drew Daniels has agreed to terms and will join the Fort Wayne lineup, completing a trade for future considerations made last season with Utah.

Lacasse, who will turn 27 in August, began last season playing six games with Bloomington in the SPHL before skating 60 games and posting a third-best +13 with the Komets (9a, 10pts, 61pim). The Saint-Pie, Quebec native made his pro debut in 2012-13 appearing in ECHL stints with Greenville, Idaho and San Francisco. 2014-15 will be the defenseman’s third pro year and has accumulation ECHL totals of three goals, 15 points and 83 penalty minutes in 93 career ECHL games.

Maione, 23, made his pro debut with Fort Wayne last season scoring three assists in 11 games before dishing four assists in 11 playoff games. The Toronto, Ontario native completed four seasons with the University of Prince Edward Island (CIS) last year and led the Panthers with 16 assists and +7 while topping defensemen with 19 points in 28 games.

Daniels, 25, started last season with Cincinnati skating 44 games (6a, 7pts) before finishing the year appearing in 13 games with Utah. The Suffern, New York native was selected by San Jose in round seven of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and subsequently appeared in three seasons with Northeastern University (Hockey East) before making his pro debut in 2012-13 with Allen in the CHL. Daniels helped Allen win the 2013 CHL Championship appearing in 12 playoff games.

Tuesday’s additions push the 2014-15 Fort Wayne roster to five players. Forwards Kaleigh Schrock and Mike Embach were announced Monday.

The Komets also announced Tuesday that they have extended qualifying offers to six players from the 2013-14 roster. The players are Ben Meisner (G), Scott Fleming (F), Brandon Marino (F), Aaron Clarke F), Christian Ouellet (F) and Dean Ouellet (F).

Players who had already signed a contract by June 30 did not need to receive a qualifying offer.

Each team was entitled to reserve the rights to a maximum of eight qualified players. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four could be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the upcoming 2014-15 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until Aug. 1 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.

A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player will retain the rights to that veteran until Aug. 1. After Aug. 1, if the veteran player is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.

If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by Aug. 31, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

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