FORT WAYNE — Defenseman Brent Henley, whose four seasons with the Komets were marked by two championships, physical play and off-ice charity work, was traded to the Florida Everblades for an undisclosed amount of cash Wednesday.
Henley, 32, had one goal, 10 points and 145 penalty minutes in 42 games this season with the Komets. But he had been a healthy scratch the last two games because the return of captain Colin Chaulk gave them five veterans, one more than they can play in games.
Henley first skated for the Komets in 2006-07 and helped them to the IHL championship in 2008. He returned to the team last season and, after leading the CHL with a plus-29 rating, shared the team award for top defenseman with Frankie DeAngelis and helped Fort Wayne capture the CHL title.
“It was pretty much that, having five vets,” Komets general manager David Franke said. “They all deserved to play. If we would have kept all five, somebody would have had to sit out every night. It wasn’t fair to them to do that. We looked at what all the players brought, the total package, and we felt we would be able to part with Brent. We worked on it for two or three days and he’ll go down there and start another chapter.”
Henley also won the Bud Gallmeier Community Service award last year for his efforts on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
He totaled five goals, 37 points and 709 penalty minutes in 199 games with the Komets in the regular season and playoffs, combined. He also served several suspensions because of his physical brand of hockey.
This season, Henley skated five games with the higher-level Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League.
But the Komets are 26-26-2 and six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, with 18 games remaining in the regular season.
“We won championships with Brent,” Franke said. “He’ll forever be a legend in Fort Wayne hockey. People will remember Brent Henley and his exploits for years to come.”
Franke said, as it stands now, there aren’t more trades in the works. He believes help is on its way from the parent clubs, Anaheim of the NHL and Norfolk of the AHL.
Franke also said forward John Dunbar (ankle) won’t return to the lineup this week, as had been expected, nor will forward Mike Hoban (shoulder).
The Komets want to get at least one more defenseman – more likely two – before Friday’s game against Cincinnati at Memorial Coliseum.