Will Petschenig and the Komets have parted ways and the defenseman released a statement afterward today in which he alleges his signature was used without his knowledge on a document used to place him on injured reserve last month.
“The team excused this breach of my trust by explaining that it was a necessary decision to not lose another rostered player – an action to help achieve their goals at my expense,” Petschenig wrote. “Ultimately, my signature was placed on this document without my consent, something that is both unethical and illegal.”
Petschenig had injured his ankle during a fight with Indy’s Craig Wyszomirski on Feb. 14 and was consequently put on injured reserve. He was in the lineup last weekend.
Among the signatures on the injured reserve forms are those of a doctor, an athletic trainer, a coach or general manager and the player.
“The reason I have decided to go public with this information is solely to protect myself, my teammates on the Fort Wayne Komets, and other players so they do not find themselves in this situation,” Petschenig wrote on Twitter. “I want it to be known that my teammates have supported my decision at this difficult time, and I wish everyone in the organization nothing but the best going forward.”
The Journal Gazette was unable to reach ECHL commissioner Ryan Crelin or the Professional Hockey Players’ Association.
Komets president Michael Franke said: "All I’m going to say is this: We followed the league protocol completely and, outside of that, we have no additional comment."
The Komets do have electronic signatures of all their players, sources confirmed, so it would seem this boils down to whether Petschenig knew his signature could be used on the injured reserve form.
Petschenig, 25, had played in 26 games with the Komets and totaled two assists and 25 penalty minutes.