The Penguins made a low risk, high reward move this morning in inking forward Mike Comrie to a one year deal worth a reported $500,000.
Comrie, who broke into the league with the Edmonton Oilers during the 2000 season, has posted 359 points (167G – 192A) in 568 career games with Edmonton, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Ottawa and the New York Islanders. Comrie has played in 32 playoff games in his career and posted 10 (4G – 6A).
At first glance, one might assume that Comrie was being brought in to center the third line in a reconfigured Penguins line-up, however reports out of Edmonton are saying something different. Dustin Nielson of Edmonton’s Team 1260, who originally broke the Comrie signing this morning via twitter, has stated that Comrie is slated to play with Sidney Crosby.
@nielson1260: Will play with Crosby, Crosby phoned him
@nielson1260: Comrie on LW with Crosby
Nielson was able to corroborate most of this info on his radio show this morning when Rich Winter, Comrie’s agent, appeared as a guest. Winter confirmed the signing and talked about some of the specifics such as the money aspect of the contract.
@nielson1260: One year deal for less money then last year with the Oilers
@nielson1260: Comrie took less then the Penguins originally offered…should be a good fit on the top line in Pittsburgh
As I stated above, Comrie give the Penguins some options at a very low risk cost. Investing $500,000 in a player who is a proven NHLer and still possesses the ability to notch 20+ goals is never a bad thing.
This takes a bit of pressure off of the youngsters, as now they don’t have to focus on BEING a top liner, so much as going out and working towards becoming one. If Comrie falters, you still have the option of slotting in someone from the system.
Overall, this makes for a good move, albeit an interesting one…
* * * * *
Here is the official release from the team…
PENGUINS SIGN FORWARD MIKE COMRIE
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Mike Comrie to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
The contract is for the 2010-11 season and is worth $500,000.
Comrie, 29, has played nine NHL seasons with Edmonton, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Ottawa and the NY Islanders. In 568 career games, he has posted 167 goals, 192 assists, 359 points and 48 power-play goals. Comrie has appeared in 32 postseason contests, totaling 10 points (4G-6A).
Comrie (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) has scored 20 or more goals five times in his career, and twice hit the 30-goal mark. The Edmonton, Alberta native, who broke into the NHL in 2000 with his hometown Oilers after the club drafted him in the third round (91st overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, set career highs with 33 goals and 60 points (tied) in 2001-02.
Comrie, whose uncle Fred Comrie was drafted by the Penguins in 1973 (eighth round, 119th overall) but never suited up for Pittsburgh, has represented Canada in three World Championships (2002, ’03 and ’06). He helped his country earn a gold medal in the 2003 tournament.
Comrie starred in two seasons with the University of Michigan. He totaled 43 goals, 60 assists and 103 points in just 82 collegiate games. In his second and final season as a Wolverine, Comrie led the team in goals (24), assists (35) and points (59). His 59 points ranked fifth (tied) in the NCAA, and he was named as a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the best college hockey player.
Comrie helped Michigan win the Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoff championship as a freshman. He was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team, CCHA First All-Star Team and CCHA Rookie of the Year after posting 44 points (19G-25A).