Flames Claim Blake Comeau

Kent Wilson
November 25 2011 10:19AM

 

Word is coming down on twitter that the Flames have claimed Islanders forward Blake Comeau. The 25 year old forward is coming off of a 24-goal, 46-point career season for the Islanders.

Some likely wonder why he was available on waivers then. Unfortunately for Comeau, he has been one of the unluckiest players in the league so far - his on-ice SH% at at even strength is a single, round number - 0. That's incredibly unlikely and probably the reason he fell out of favor on the Island. If the team never scores when a guy is on the ice, the perception of the player is going to south.

So this is definitely a buy-low proposition for the Flames. Comeau is a 2.5 million ticket (although he's down to about $1.875M since we're a quarter of the way through the season) and he's a pending RFA so no real risk there. The Flames will likely have to demote one of their kids to make room (or Stajan. Or PL3...etc) but that's a minor issue.

For the stats-heads, Comeau's underlying numbers this year are underwhelming. He's middling at best in terms of possession, hasn't faced the heavies and starts about 50% of the time in the offensive zone. On the other hand, he had better numbers last year in tougher circumstances, so a deeper inquiry is required to really get a handle on what kind of player he is.

Overall, I don't mind the move. Comeau is young and may improve. He's not terribly expensive and can be jettisoned in the summer if he doesn't work out. This isn't a move that will change the Flames fortunes or anything, but it's one with little associated risk a moderate upside. It never hurts an org to make these sorts of bets.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Colin
November 25 2011, 10:27AM
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So we are all wrong, the demote Byron???? Make a good move, cancel it out by making a stupid one, well gotta love this management.

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#2 Chris
November 25 2011, 11:12AM
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Calgary is becoming a team laden with retreads and discards from the league's cellar-dwellers. While you can find the occasional one of those who benefits from a change, having a bunch of them is really a red flag. For every one that's let go (Hagman), we find another (Comeau).

If this keeps up, expect the Flames to have a "crash year" like the Oilers did a few years ago, where everything fell apart and the team finished with 50 points. Not necessarily this year, but it's coming.

If we ever lose Kiprusoff to a long-term injury, watch out...

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#3 RexLibris
November 25 2011, 11:47AM
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Scott wrote:

Awesome news! When I heard that he was going thru waivers I hope the flames would pick him up. To me this is a no brainer. Good bye P3L! And probably looking at another winger most likely a 3rd or 4th liner being moved around as well.

Good stuff! Now Let's hope his percentages and luck rebound to score us 15 goals.

Edit: Trade offer: Stajan for a bag of peanuts and new dancing iggy .gif

Roasted Peanuts? or unshelled? Because that could make or break that deal.

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#4 Shredder
November 25 2011, 12:10PM
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You guys all want to fire Sutter and yell at Mngmt...how else are you going to get Nail Yakupov?

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#5 Colin
November 25 2011, 10:21AM
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I was gonna say, how are they gonna fit him, I know cap wise they can, but people wise????

They already sit one of Morrison, Stajan, PL3 and whoever else on a nightly basis and thats just the Forwards, now you have to make room for another guy?

PL3 is most likely getting the demotion, thats a good bet, but I wouldn't count out a trade just yet, me thinks someone is gonna go for a trade.

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#6 Scott
November 25 2011, 10:23AM
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Awesome news! When I heard that he was going thru waivers I hope the flames would pick him up. To me this is a no brainer. Good bye P3L! And probably looking at another winger most likely a 3rd or 4th liner being moved around as well.

Good stuff! Now Let's hope his percentages and luck rebound to score us 15 goals.

Edit: Trade offer: Stajan for a bag of peanuts and new dancing iggy .gif

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#7 T&A4Flames
November 25 2011, 10:26AM
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Yes!!! Low risk with good upside; love it. Best case scenario, he picks up his game from last year and becomes a 20 goal scorer or better. This could create more tradable assets come the deadline.

Does anyone know how many contracts we are at? I believe we are maxed out now.

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#8 Robert Cleave
November 25 2011, 10:28AM
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The easy thing in the very short term was to demote Byron, at least until Feaster figures out what he wants to do with a few other guys. Keep in mind that if he waives someone tomorrow, they wouldn't clear until Monday. Once the dust settles, though, they really should waive PL3. Keeping Stajan isn't a cap issue at the moment, and as mediocre as he and Morrison have been, they're better players than PL3 by several orders of magnitude.

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#9 ville de champignons
November 25 2011, 10:32AM
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@T&A4Flames

Contracts sit at 50 now. Not a bad move by Flames, potential for some upside I guess.

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#10 Robert Vollman
November 25 2011, 10:33AM
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I like it because it's a very low-risk move.

It's great to see the Flames stock up on younger talent, especially those without long-term contracts.

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#11 Kevin R
November 25 2011, 10:34AM
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Curious how the process works on the waiver wire, who gets first crack, is it based on the current standings or first one to strike?

May be an OK pickup. A little concerned by taking on his cap hit whether that handcuffs us on maybe a more important trade down the road where we may need that unused cap space for something bigger & better. Who knows, on the face of it it's looks low risk.

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#12 schevvy
November 25 2011, 10:35AM
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Good move by the Flames, Comeau is a very low risk pick-up, worst case scenario you just dump him off at the end of the year. So is it confimed that they sent down Byron because of this? If it is I guess that's the easiest option, because he wouldn't have to clear waivers.

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#13 ville de champignons
November 25 2011, 10:46AM
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On second thought, look for Comeau to be part of a larger deal sooner rather than later.

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#14 RossCreekNation
November 25 2011, 10:48AM
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No-brainer move to me. Glad to see it. Unfortunate that Byron was the guy to go, but as RC points out, that was probably the easy decision in the short-term. Hopefully he's back soon - PL3 or trading/waiving a guy like Kosto.

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#15 T&A4Flames
November 25 2011, 10:48AM
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ville de champignons wrote:

On second thought, look for Comeau to be part of a larger deal sooner rather than later.

Yep, that wouldn't surprise me. Turris, anyone?

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#16 Robert Cleave
November 25 2011, 10:48AM
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Kevin R wrote:

Curious how the process works on the waiver wire, who gets first crack, is it based on the current standings or first one to strike?

May be an OK pickup. A little concerned by taking on his cap hit whether that handcuffs us on maybe a more important trade down the road where we may need that unused cap space for something bigger & better. Who knows, on the face of it it's looks low risk.

Standings, from worst to first.

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#17 Colin
November 25 2011, 10:50AM
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Well thats good to hear that Feaster is gonna make another roster move to bring Byron back up. Byrons been a nice player for us, bringing a spark and some needed speed as well. Hopefully that move comes in the form of a trade, but will most likely be in the form of a waiver, and PL3 the most likely victim.

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#18 xis10ce
November 25 2011, 10:53AM
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I also personally like this move, recently a friend of mine compared Comeau to Hagman, we shall see...

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#19 Super_Gio
November 25 2011, 10:53AM
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Change of scenery for the kid, hopefully it pans out for him here.

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#20 Jayamania
November 25 2011, 10:56AM
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Panic move. That is all.

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#21 xis10ce
November 25 2011, 11:00AM
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Jayamania wrote:

Panic move. That is all.

Where is WBC when you need him? PANIK!!!!

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#22 Domebeers.com
November 25 2011, 11:02AM
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I dont like the move. To me, it shows the team is being stubborn about it's prospects for winning. Team should be shedding salary, not adding it.

I like the suggestion that we might be able to get him going and then flip him at the deadline, but you all know that isn't what is going to happen. If he does get hot, King will probably extend him, and then give him an NTC that protects him from being traded, ala Babchuk.

IDK, team should be shedding salary and trading players, getting worse and getting a better pick. Im all for improving the club, but to me, adding another bottom six forward isn't about improving the club, its about trying to change what the newspapers are talking about.

His corsi rels arent great.

07-08 0.5 (middling on his team) 08-09 -2.8 (second last on his team) 09-10 2.7 (middling on his team) 10-11 2.8 (fourth last on his team)

If you want to say his career -46 is misleading, I dont see how. he seems to be a middling to poor player possesion wise on the Islanders.

Honestly, he looks like a white Rene Bourque to me. Although even that is a stretch.

SOGS: From Yahoo

2007 - 67 2008 - 78 2009 - 133 2010 - 182 2011 - on pace for about 100 shots.

While those numbers are going in the right direction, they also show he has never cracked the 200 shots a year mark, which is very worrying to me, especially because he shoots around 10%. Why are they going to give ice to a guy who gets scored on, when his potential offense is, if we are being nice, 20 goals?

I get he played in the WHL, and for that a certain section of the fanbase is going to go gaga. But whatever, this guy looks like he may be outta the league pretty soon to me.

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#23 Scott
November 25 2011, 11:10AM
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@Domebeers.com

I don't think your necessarily wrong. But I don't see this as improving the team If you moved stajan or Bmo for Comeau, your not really adding goals or having more scored against you, but what your doing to continuing the shift to a younger team. Yes its about media manipulation, but if they continue this trend of speaking about winning now, but making moves to prepare for the future, for the rest of the year, than I am okay with that.

Mind you, this theory only works if Byron gets called up very soon (ie monday), and someone older gets moved out.

Byron has scored 2 goals in 6 games. If you extrapolate that to 20 games, its about 6 goals, and he is one of the scoring leaders on the team. I think he is ready to play in the NHL

EDIT: My theory also requires Ken King to not be in a position to give out contracts at the end of the year. ( ie he's out riding horses on Dutter's ranch)

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#24 SmellOfVictory
November 25 2011, 11:25AM
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Colin wrote:

So we are all wrong, the demote Byron???? Make a good move, cancel it out by making a stupid one, well gotta love this management.

To be fair, Byron has been a weak link in the NHL. Of all the guys up so far, he's the one who could benefit most from another year in the AHL. I'm sure we'd all rather see PL3 hit the road, but that's just not happening; they need their pugilist, apparently.

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#25 Kevin R
November 25 2011, 11:25AM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

Standings, from worst to first.

Thanks man, so we were pretty close to the front of the line on this one. I am also disconcerted about Byron being sent down. The only thing is, there definitely interest from other clubs in him & for any prospect of the Islanders as many feel a chance out of the Wang gong show on the Island is worth the roll of a dice. Could be a useful trade piece in a couple months & who knows, maybe we get pleasantly suprised & the kid plays for a 3 year deal for next year. Still breaks my heart on Byron, him, Horak & Stemper had a chemistry going & were one of our more consistent better lines. I think I'm going to go get an expensive bottle of wine to drink tonight.

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#27 RKD
November 25 2011, 11:32AM
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Look at Comeau's profile, he is injury prone. He's never played a full season, in fact last season was the first time he has only played more than 75 games. He better produce if they sent Bryon down.

I would have kept Byron up here, if a team is dumb enough to take Hagman off waivers then there has to be a team willing to take Stajan.

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#28 Jayamania
November 25 2011, 11:34AM
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@ Kent Wilson

What if Comeau does produce at his last year levels? The fans will want him signed for sure. Feaster will sign him to a long term contract with a no trade clause. But the catch is, he's an RFA so he has to be offered a minimum of 2.5 million.

Then next season, he'll be the next goat in the city with a terrible contract and a no trade clause.

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#29 Colin
November 25 2011, 11:35AM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

To be fair, Byron has been a weak link in the NHL. Of all the guys up so far, he's the one who could benefit most from another year in the AHL. I'm sure we'd all rather see PL3 hit the road, but that's just not happening; they need their pugilist, apparently.

He's the weak link??? THIS WHOLE TEAM IS A WEAK LINK!

Byron hasn't been the best in the NHL, but he has definatley earned a spot IMO, unlike some other players he has actually showed some consistent effort night in and night out.

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#30 Kevin R
November 25 2011, 11:37AM
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RKD wrote:

Look at Comeau's profile, he is injury prone. He's never played a full season, in fact last season was the first time he has only played more than 75 games. He better produce if they sent Bryon down.

I would have kept Byron up here, if a team is dumb enough to take Hagman off waivers then there has to be a team willing to take Stajan.

In the future picture, why eat another 1/2 salary to the tune of about 4.0mill & carry a 1.75 cap hit for the next 2.5 years when we have a much better chance of moving him for a mid round pick this summer because his salary of the remaining contract of 5.0mill is lower than the 3.5mill per year cap hit. We are just screwed this year with Stajan short of any miracle at the trade deadline.

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#31 Bruins
November 25 2011, 11:43AM
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If you want some good hockey the Bruins are playing Detroit on TSN

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#32 Scott
November 25 2011, 11:51AM
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@RexLibris

Well I guess it really depends who they are going to. Are they handing them out to the fans as they enter the arena for the next game, or is it an Expresspost delivery to Feaster's office. Because in that case, I don't think it would matter. However, I'd much prefer roasted peanuts if they hand them out to the fans :)

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#33 Vintage Flame
November 25 2011, 11:51AM
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@RKD

I would have kept Byron up here, if a team is dumb enough to take Hagman off waivers then there has to be a team willing to take Stajan.

Problem with that is if he was claimed on re-entry waivers like Hagman, Calgary is stuck with half his contract until 2014. Not a favourable debt to carry.

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#34 RexLibris
November 25 2011, 11:52AM
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@Kent Wilson

What Kent? When have they ever moved picks for a Ste....oooohhh. Yeah.

Are the Flames actually talking rebuild now? I know the fans and bloggers are, but I haven't heard anything from the front office about it. Or is this a case of not so much planning for winter as just waking up and accepting that it is already here?

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#35 RexLibris
November 25 2011, 11:56AM
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@Kevin R

Comeau would have to put up some pretty good numbers to be moved for a pick at this point in his career. He was just waived and made it past the bottom three teams before being claimed. If he were offered by trade to another, higher ranked team, why wouldn't they just wait until the Flames waived him again? Or at best offer a token 6th or 7th rounder? Unless, as I said, he came up with another 20 goal season, in which case I strongly doubt Feaster lets him go. If he comes on well he'll probably be looked at by management in the same light as players like Rene Bourque and Curtis Glencross.

Just my thoughts.

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#36 RexLibris
November 25 2011, 11:58AM
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Scott wrote:

Well I guess it really depends who they are going to. Are they handing them out to the fans as they enter the arena for the next game, or is it an Expresspost delivery to Feaster's office. Because in that case, I don't think it would matter. However, I'd much prefer roasted peanuts if they hand them out to the fans :)

THAT MANY PEANUTS! For Stajan! Forget it, I was thinking, maybe a bag's worth. You're crazy! Next thing you're going to say is that Kotalik should have been worth a can of Macadamias.

;)

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#38 Scott
November 25 2011, 11:59AM
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@RexLibris

I beleive King came out yesterday and said that management felt this team was better in the offseason, and have now realized that they were wrong.

I beleive they have moved towards a rebuild for next off season but still want the media and fans to talk about this season so they still sell lots of tickets and merch this year.

I think they are planning for some major things next offseason. Probably for a one year rebuild, but at this point, its better than nothing.

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#39 Scott
November 25 2011, 12:02PM
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@RexLibris

Hahaha. Dreamers can dream I guess! If airlines can give out free peanuts, I would think an NHL could do the same. Although, as I say that maybe it should be buy stajan for an iggy gif and we will throw in 20,000 free bags of airline peanuts!

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#40 RossCreekNation
November 25 2011, 12:15PM
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Quite surprised by the negativity here about this move. At some point, bodies are going to be moved out of here & its nice to be able to add a 25 yo 20g scorer to the middle-6. There's some familiarity there with Brent & they have the 1.5 ish they saved from Hagman to cover most of the additional cost. Zero risk. No-brainer.

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#41 Gange
November 25 2011, 12:26PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Quite surprised by the negativity here about this move. At some point, bodies are going to be moved out of here & its nice to be able to add a 25 yo 20g scorer to the middle-6. There's some familiarity there with Brent & they have the 1.5 ish they saved from Hagman to cover most of the additional cost. Zero risk. No-brainer.

There's just a whole bunch of people disillusioned and angry about it I guess.

The Comeau move, though almost guaranteed not to be a homerun, isn't a bad pick up. People that really hate it are generally looking for a full scale rebuild. Jay and co are making enough changes to have my curiosity piqued. I have no massive complaints, although Babchuk is a deal I have always disliked.

On the subject of full scale rebuild, there are no guarantees that a first round pick will work out. See Patrick Stefan, or Rico Fata. Right now there's a great deal of effort being devoted to scouting and player selection and even with a middling team they can end up with someone that might end up being a gem, note Sven Baetschi.

Take the Comeau pick up for what it is and don't get your emotions wrapped up in what you think it means. You just don't know.

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#42 RossCreekNation
November 25 2011, 12:27PM
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For anyone not following along on twitter, agent Ritch Winter has said he believes it will take anywhere from 5-9 years before Calgary is an elite team again. And I heard him say a similar thing about the Oil 3 years ago, saying it would be 5-7 years before they would be elite. He feels Calgary is even worse off than the Oil were.

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#43 the-wolf
November 25 2011, 12:37PM
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A great move as far as I'm concerned.

Age (25), speed, size/strength, plays physically, plays a 200' game.

Only signed to 1 year - if he doesn't work, nothing lost. If he does and re-signs then you're laughing.

Good job by Feaster.

Now let's add Nail and whatever we get for Iggy, etc.

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#44 Gange
November 25 2011, 12:50PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

For anyone not following along on twitter, agent Ritch Winter has said he believes it will take anywhere from 5-9 years before Calgary is an elite team again. And I heard him say a similar thing about the Oil 3 years ago, saying it would be 5-7 years before they would be elite. He feels Calgary is even worse off than the Oil were.

I think those prognostications are wildly speculative.

Teams could turn around much quicker, or slower, based on moves that are made from this point on.

Thank you for you $0.02 Rich.

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#45 SmellOfVictory
November 25 2011, 12:59PM
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Colin wrote:

He's the weak link??? THIS WHOLE TEAM IS A WEAK LINK!

Byron hasn't been the best in the NHL, but he has definatley earned a spot IMO, unlike some other players he has actually showed some consistent effort night in and night out.

He's definitely shown effort, but he's been bad at it. Lot of giveaways, some very questionable defensive play, etc. He's got the drive, but he might need more time to become an actual performer. Right now he's a liability.

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#46 KingJafi
November 25 2011, 01:15PM
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Bargain bin savings that aren't really savings at all. Good work King and Feast.

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#47 Colin
November 25 2011, 01:27PM
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RKD wrote:

Look at Comeau's profile, he is injury prone. He's never played a full season, in fact last season was the first time he has only played more than 75 games. He better produce if they sent Bryon down.

I would have kept Byron up here, if a team is dumb enough to take Hagman off waivers then there has to be a team willing to take Stajan.

Up until 2008-2009 he was also up and down from the minors, so I wouldn't say injury prone, don't know how many games he was a healthy scratch either. So the fact he played 77 games last season is a good thing, not a bad thing, the year before when he played his 61, some of those could be healthy scratches.

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#48 ChinookArch
November 25 2011, 01:44PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Quite surprised by the negativity here about this move. At some point, bodies are going to be moved out of here & its nice to be able to add a 25 yo 20g scorer to the middle-6. There's some familiarity there with Brent & they have the 1.5 ish they saved from Hagman to cover most of the additional cost. Zero risk. No-brainer.

I completely agree. The tone is negative because that's how fans are feeling about team. Kent put it well - let's judge this on it's current merits, instead of expecting the worst from the player and team.

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#49 Nolan Moore
November 25 2011, 02:21PM
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Smells of desparation if you ask me.

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#50 Nolan Moore
November 25 2011, 02:25PM
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Everyone says, low risk. Why not keep Byron and say no to a wash up? Byron was starting to grow on me, playing well beyone what i thought he would. Just shows you that if you are a "vet" you'll play and rookies will sit. Dumb move, save the money for later in the season when you could take on an expiring contract to get rid of one of your bad contracts.

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