FORT WAYNE – Frankie DeAngelis, 27, one of the top defenseman in minor league hockeys AA level, announced his retirement Friday after playing three seasons for the Komets.
He will pursue a career in the insurance industry.
Hockey has been a part of my life since my parents put me on the ice at 3 years old, DeAngelis said. It was a difficult decision to walk away from the game that you have been playing for your whole life, but I feel that is the best thing for me. Everything seemed to fall into place during the offseason, and I was given an opportunity in the business world that I couldnt turn down.
The Komets had been trying to re-sign DeAngelis for their first season in the ECHL.
Frankie was a great Komet and even a greater person, general manager David Franke said. We will miss him in many ways, but once a Komet, always a Komet.
DeAngelis was named to the all-CHL team last season. He had career highs in goals (18) and points (46). He had four goals and 14 points in 18 playoff games, helping the Komets win their fourth championship in five years.
I was honored to be a part of the organizations winning tradition and honored to wear the Komets jersey every night in front of 10,000 of the best fans in minor hockey, and I thank them all for their support over the years, DeAngelis said.
I want to thank my teammates and the training staff for everything, it was a great feeling to lace up the skates with them every day and be a part of two championship teams.
DeAngelis, who never skated for another professional team, was on the IHLs All-Rookie Team in 2010 and played in the 2011 CHL All-Star Game. He was picked as Komets Defenseman of the Year in 2011 and 2012.
The Komets open training camp Sept. 29, giving them three weeks to find a replacement for DeAngelis.
DeAngelis was expected to be the teams top defenseman and a special-teams contributor.
Franke said the team has been prepared for this contingency and has been talking with other players. The Komets also have an affiliation with the NHLs Anaheim Ducks that could provide defensemen.
More players could be available if there is a lockout in the NHL.
In the meantime, the Komets top offensive defensemen are Daniel Maggio, who has 15 games of professional experience, and former Arizona captain Tyler Butler.