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.