FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Komets announced Tuesday that veterans Matt Krug (D) and Paul Crowder (C) have agreed to terms and will be in the Fort Wayne lineup when the puck drops on the 2014-15 campaign.
Krug, 29, is a five-year pro after leading Evansville defensemen with 12 goals, 25 assists and 37 points while topping ECHL defensemen with a career high 231 penalty minutes last season. The 6-foot, 212-pound blueliner will begin 2014-15 with ECHL totals of 17 goals, 58 assists, 75 points and 555 penalty minutes in 208 games.
The Livonia, Michigan native helped Muskegon capture the 2009-10 IHL regular season title during his first full pro year. Krug also led IHL defensemen with career highs of 14 goals and 47 points in 75 games and earned the league’s Best Defenseman Award.
During 2010-11 Krug made his ECHL debut sharing most of the season with Gwinnett (39 games) and Elmira (21 games). He also skated one AHL game with Chicago before finishing the season in Fort Wayne appearing in three regular season games and eight playoff tilts.
“Komet fans will really enjoy having Matt back in a Komet uniform,” Fort Wayne’s general manager David Franke said. “He will bring hard-nosed physical play as well as the ability to contribute offensively. Last year in the ECHL he was one of the top 10 of all scoring defensemen. Matt also had 19 major penalties which was second in the league.”
Crowder (CROWD-er), 29, is also a five-year pro and skated 64 games with Cincinnati last season leading the Cyclones with 32 assists and ranking third with 16 goals and 48 points. The center also logged four games with Milwaukee in the AHL. “Paul Crowder was heavily recruited by Gary Graham and myself,” commented Franke. “We both feel that Paul will be a major contributor to the team. We have played against Paul for the last two seasons and always had a lot of respect for his play. He is the centerman we have been looking for.”
In 2005-06 Crowder finished four years of juniors winning the BCHL Championship with the Burnaby Express. In 2008-09 he completed a three-year collegiate career with the University of Alaska-Anchorage where he was a three-year letter winner and scored 80 points (32 goals, 48 assists) in 107 WCHA games and was named to the All-Academic Team. Crowder also made his pro debut skating 11 games with Hartford in the AHL.
Crowder served his first full season as a rookie with Hartford in 2009-10 registering an AHL career best 12 goals and 26 points in 79 games. The Victoria, British Columbia native split the 2010-11 season between Utah and Wheeling in the ECHL, leading the Nailers to the Eastern Conference Finals serving as team captain while scoring a career playoff high 15 points (4 goals, 11 assists) in 17 games.
In 2012-13 Crowder played six games overseas in Austria before spending most of the year in the ECHL leading Wheeling with career highs of 23 goals, 39 assists and 62 points in 68 games. The skater also appeared in seven AHL games with Wilkes-Barre Scranton (2gp) and Milwaukee (5gp).
“Matt Krug and Paul Crowder will give us a solid veteran presence in our locker room, which is vitally important”, Franke added.
The Fort Wayne preseason roster of 18 includes 11 forwards, six defensemen and one goaltender.
Forwards: Brett Beebe, Paul Crowder, Mike Embach, Angelo Esposito, Eric Faille, Thomas Frazee, Alex Hudson, Christian Ouellet, Kaleigh Schrock, Shawn Szydlowski, Greg Wolfe. Defensemen: Ian Barteaux, Drew Daniels, Matt Krug, William Lacasse, Matthew Maione, Cody Sol. Goaltender: Pat Nagle.
Preseason home games
Friday, Oct.10, Evansville IceMen at Fort Wayne Komets, 8pm
Saturday, Oct. 11, Evansville IceMen at Fort Wayne Komets, 7:30pm
Monday, Oct. 13, Kalamazoo Wings at Fort Wayne Komets, 7:30pm.
AHL exhibition game at Fort Wayne
Saturday, Oct. 4, Lake Erie Monsters vs. Grand Rapids Griffins, 7:30pm.
•For the Monsters-Griffins AHL exhibition game, the Komets will have a special three-day pre-sale of tickets for Fort Wayne season ticket holders Sept. 2, 3 and 4. The pre-sale will offer season ticket holders a chance to purchase their seats before tickets go on sale to the general public.
•Tickets to all exhibition games and Fort Wayne regular season individual home game tickets will go on sale at the Coliseum Ticket Office and online at TicketMaster Sept. 5. Prices of all exhibition game tickets, including the AHL exhibition game, will range from $8.00 to $15.00.
Saturday, Oct. 18, Indianapolis Fuel at Fort Wayne, 7:30pm.
•Season Tickets for 2014-15 continue to be on sale at the Komet office at 1010 Memorial Way in Fort Wayne. For information visit Komets.com or call the Komet office at 260-483-0011.
See Komets schedule