The Winnipeg Jets have signed a restricted free agent… Just not the one of the two you were maybe hoping for. Saturday morning they announced they came to an agreement on a two year deal for 24 year old goaltender Eric Comrie.
#NHLJets have agreed to terms with goaltender Eric Comrie on a two-year contract.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) September 7, 2019
The deal carries and AAV of $700,000 and is interesting in how it’s structured. Year one of the deal – this season – sees the contract as a two-way deal, while the second year of the contract is a one-way deal. This provides some needed financial protection for the Jets this season as Comrie’s AHL salary dips to $200,000 and gives the Jets half a million dollars in salary relief. The second year being a one way deal makes sure that Comrie is paid $700,000 regardless of where he is within the Jets system.
Due to Comrie’s age and experience, he is not waivers exempt meaning any move to the AHL from here on out would mean he would have to be placed on waivers. At the end of the two year deal, he’ll still remain a restricted free agent, but will have arbitration rights.
Comrie – who at one time was seen as a future franchise goalie – has seen his stock fade a bit over the last two seasons due to the emergence of Connor Hellebuyck as the Jets number one goalie, the surprising play of Laurent Brossoit (who just signed a one year deal of his own earlier this summer) of last season in locking up the number two goalie spot behind Hellebuyck, and the rising star status of Mikhail Berdin who had a very respectable first pro season.
While Comrie’s AHL numbers are respectable – 47 games played for the Manitoba Moose last season, posting a .917 save percentage and a 2.69 goals-against-average – his five career NHL starts spread out over the last three seasons haven’t done anything to give the Jets a glimpse of promise as he’s posted a pedestrian 2-3-0 record with an even more worrisome save percentage of .870. His work in the last few pre-seasons haven’t even given the Jets much to go off of if they were looking to see if he could compete for a backup spot on the main roster.
We have speculated here that Comrie may be a prime candidate to be traded at some point this summer or even into next season. The contract signed here is team friendly enough that if there is an NHL club looking to pick up a goalie, they might be able to take a flyer on Comrie, especially with his two-way contract status this season.