Good thing Mike Comrie married well. Then again his family owned a major national furniture chain in Canada which means he wasn’t really hurting financially before he hitched up with singer/actress Hilary Duff this summer.
Besides, Comrie has had a few multi-million contracts during his nine year NHL career, which began with much promise back home in
Edmonton as a member of the Oilers, so money isn’t necessarily an issue to the 29-year-old forward. And that’s a good thing since he really had little choice other than taking a minimum wage deal in order to continue his NHL career.
Comrie signed a one-year, $500,000 deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins, cheap insurance for a team that has Stanley Cup aspirations and Jordan Staal’s recovery from a foot injury going slower than expected. Comrie should be able to handle Staal’s third-line center role if necessary to start the season, and could grow in to an even bigger role by being around the talents of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and others in the Penguins lineup.
Truth is Comrie should be in the prime of his career right now. He has shown flashes of big offense at times with two 30 goal seasons and three more with at least 20, but Comrie’s numbers having been heading south in recent years. Enough so that the Oilers, who brought him back last season after Comrie spent time in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Ottawa and Long Island and have plenty of cap space, decided that he wasn’t worth the $1.25 million they paid him last year.
But the Oilers weren’t very good last season, and neither were most of the last few teams Comrie played for, and he often seemed to be playing down to their levels. He’ll have to keep up in Pittsburgh and if he does, he could turn out to be a steal for the Pens. At the very least, he is a worthwhile gamble for them.