When Jets 2013 2nd rounder Eric Comrie was signed by Winnipeg to a one-year deal worth 750K on Tuesday night it seemed to be a signal that the team would be comfortable using him in a backup role for next season. Given the team’s cap situation they wouldn’t have a lot of money for a backup which is why today we saw Laurent Brossoit, who had spent the last three seasons as the backup in Winnipeg, leave for Vegas on a two year deal worth 4.6 million dollars.
When the Brossoit news broke I suggested on twitter that this would appear to confirm Comrie as the backup which brought a lot of goalie “experts” out of the woodwork who felt it was Mikhail Berdin‘s spot next season. Of course I suspect (and suggested as much) that many of these same “experts” hadn’t actually watched Berdin who had an up and down season for the Moose.
While I suggested there could still be competition in training camp it is worth noting that both Berdin and Jets 2017 6th rounder Arvid Holm, who Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet reported last week is expected to play in North America next season, are waiver eligible whereas Comrie is not.
When Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff spoke today he was asked about committing to having Comrie as the backup:
“Eric’s earned his time. His time has come. This player has worked hard, he’s gone through the trials and tribulations of being a top end American hockey league goaltender and trying to push past some of the veteran people that were in front of him. He’s a great partner for Heli. There’s a real strong chemistry between the two. Heli had a good say in this as well from a standpoint of who he felt comfortable having as his backup. Wade Flaherty is real comfortable that Com’s is the guy that can take that next step. So again, it’s one of the players that earned the opportunity to be there.”
Considering that Comrie and Hellebuyck spent time together with the Moose during the inaugural season in Winnipeg (2015-16) and both are represented by the same agent it does make sense that there is a level of comfort and connectivity between the two.
Having some security should do wonders for Comrie as he has an opportunity to focus on hockey and not whether he has cleared waivers. After what he’s been through the last two seasons that will probably go a long way.
Speaking of Eric Comrie he will be joining us tonight at 9 PM to talk about his new contract, this opportunity and more on the Illegal Curve Hockey Free Agency wrap-up show (which starts at 8 PM) on our YouTube channel.