Jul 5, 2011

News: Blake Comeau Files For Salary Arbitration

Credit: New York Islanders
According to Katie Strang, New York Islanders forward Blake Comeau has filed for salary arbitration. The Islanders retained the 25-year olds rights by offering him a qualifying offer before free agency. The Islanders and Comeau's camp still have the opportunity to strike a deal before arbitration, but if they are unable to, the arbitration hearing will occur sometimes towards the July/beginning of August.

Comeau had 24 goals and 22 assists last year in 76 games.

CH: Comeau had his most productive year in the NHL to date last season, so it makes sense that he will want a substantial raise over his qualifying offer, which is approximately $880,000. Hopefully the Islanders and Comeau can settle on a multi-year deal before arbitration starts. That said, this probably lowers the trade value for Comeau since whoever would take on his rights would only have Comeau on a one-year deal. So if the Islanders were shopping Comeau before, they may have to come to an agreement for 2-3 years before they trade him. Even so, the Islanders can not afford to ship out a 24 goal scorer without getting very good value in return.

If this case does get to arbitration, I would look for a verdict somewhere in the $2-2.5 million range. Similarly, if Comeau signs a longer-term deal, he'll probably earn around that amount as well. All this really tells us is that unless he is traded for a top-4 defenseman, Blake Comeau will be a New York Islander next year. So that is good news.

AT: As a 3rd line winger with the underwhelming Josh Bailey as his center most of the time, I think his stats last season as a growing player were pretty solid. Comeau has always shown great potential, just a lot of inconsistency which he seemed to be working on this past year. I have very little doubt Blake won't hit his 24 goal mark again, and I feel with the proper motivation could hit 30. I have a feeling this doesn't even make it to arbitration and ends up much like the Moulson deal did with Comeau signing just before the hearing. Hope to see him back unless trading him lands us a great D-man, in which case I'd be all for it.

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