Blake Comeau Contract is a Good Bet

 

 

Mostly lost in the Wideman discussions yesterday was the fact that Jay Feaster played the Blake Comeau situation perfectly this summer. As we’ve previously discussed, Comeau was bad value at $2.5M+, which is what he woud have cost via his qualifying offer.

Which isn’t to say he wasn’t worth retaining. As predicted, Feaster did the right thing – he chose not to qualify Comeau and then signed him as a free agent at about a 50% discount. So not only do the Flames get the player on a much cheaper ticket this season, but in all likelihood they will get the benefit of a bounce back season as well.

3% Gets you a 50% Discount

The Flames snagged Comeau off of waivers after the Islanders gave up on the former 20-goal scorer. He had a 12-game scoreless streak to open the season so NYI decided the 24-year old was probably done for good (never change, Snow and Wang).

Comeau’s luck didn’t change drastically in Flame colors, although a few pucks eventually did go in for him. As was investigated in depth by Rob Luker a couple of weeks ago, Comeau is a strong candidate to rebound this season:

Outside of his decent possession metrics, the rest comes down to everything involved with shooting the puck when Comeau was on the ice. He managed a 3.6% personal shooting percentage this season, when his prior career average was approximately 11.7%. Sure, that is probably part regression from the 2010-11 career high 13.2%, but I’m going with mostly bad luck.

One final reason Comeau should be able to bounce back: his on-ice teammates shooting, which only changed by a +0.03 margin from his career year to last season. Meanwhile, his on-ice shooting% dropped almost by half as I mentioned above. The only conclusion that I can come to is that Comeau, outside of shooting 27% less than his career year of 2010-11, had just a brutal year when it came to variance (which his PDO of 97.9 reflects).

In plain speak, it’s unlikely Comeau and whoever he plays with will continue to shoot blanks indefintely, even if you have a limited faith in his abilities as a sniper. Comeau caught a lot of flak near the end of the year for constantly fumbling or missing out on scoring chances, but he’ll seem like a lot better player if a few more of those start going in.

Not that he needs to regain 20-goal form for the Flames to get value out of his deal, which is why this contract is such a good bet. At $1.25M, Comeau merely has to be a competent 3rd line player to be worth his dollars. Anything above that will be a bonus.

Conclusion

Comeau flashed some tools during his stint in Calgary: he’s fast, he can crash and bang somewhat and he managed to drive possession and scoring chances pretty well against other middle rotation forwards. As a guy in his mid-20’s, Comeau’s also in the right age bracket, so he should be nearing his peak effectiveness.

He doesn’t have the best hockey sense or vision, but the club won’t be asking him to become Pavel Datsyuk for a million and change anyways. The Wideman deal is going to invite controversy for awhile, but there’s really no arguing a no-risk, modertate-upside signing like Comeau’s.

 

  • Graham

    Apparently the Flames offered a two year deal, but Comeau himself wanted the one year deal to ‘prove’ himself. A great deal for both sides, and the contract put the emphasis on Comeau to produce, and earn himself a higher valued contract the following year.

    A win win deal for both sides, no real downside, and who knows, Comeau might return to form and chip in some offense. Good contract!

    • MattyFranchise

      I was just about to say the exact same thing. I really like that he turned down term to prove himself. Frankly, if he chips in 12-15 goals this season he will have more than paid for himself. I had also posted over at M&G that I would be happy if he was resigned for 1 or 1.5 so his price tag of 1.25 suits me just fine.

  • Call me cynical, Im guessing his agent told him (quite rightly) to turn down the 2 year deal because he’d be leaving money on the table. Not that he doesn’t want to prove himself – just that the decision was at least partly financial.

    What’s encouraging is that Feaster OFFERED the 2 year deal…means he understand the value he’s getting out of bringing Comeau on cheaply and tried to double up.

    • Stockley

      Surely their PUCKS system should be able give them that Kent. That being said sometimes one has to read between the lines (look at comparables and what not)

      Speaking of which since hes now signed again might be a good time to run a comparables on him 🙂

    • MattyFranchise

      Why you gotta be a downer man? He’s gonna play well to prove himself and have a bounce back season! Money had nothing to do with it!

      Just give me something to hold on to…

    • Emir

      I dont think your being cynical I thought your being realistic. Everybody, including himself, know that since the goals arent there his value is low. Thats why he wouldn’t want to sign a multi year dear, he loses himself. The exact logic applies when a free agent gets a 5+ year deal with the NMC. Value is high so you know you can get over paid, so maximize on it.

      Good value contract all around and I hope blake really goes on a tear this season.

  • Stockley

    I’ve always liked Blake Comeau. He can be a very effective 3rd liner and I’ve never read or heard anything about him being a bad teammate or anything else. Any offence out of him might be a bonus.

    Much like Cervenka, what do the Flames have to lose? If he doesn’t work out and offers more of the same or regresses they can just let him go next summer.

  • everton fc

    This is an “obvious” signing. You have a young player here in a professional rut, whose wife has family here… So there’s dual motivation to produce…

    He wants to be here, likes the city, seems to be a good kid, decent person… Will play tough, gritty minutes… Good things…

    I think we can do better at RW on the 3rd line, though… We shall see. This signing tells me we are probably not going to see Stempniak back here.

    And I’d still rather see Moss on the RW than Jackman.

    I’d take Comeau on 4th line RW over Jackman.

    Bouma-Jones-Comeau/Moss

    If Bouma doesn’t have a good camp… This would be an interesting 4th line:

    Prust-Jones-Comeau/Moss

    Again… “Concepts”…

  • everton fc

    You know… If Bouma doesn’t pan out in camp… Thre 4th line LW’s I’d take a look at:

    Dane Byers (has offencive upside; a project, but is also tough only 26)
    Matt Kassian (he can actually skate; tough as nails, 25 years old. Apparently has decent hands)
    Mike Angelidis (26-27… Gritty… Can score…)

    Just thinking out loud…

    Also – what’s the pricetag for Parenteau? Thoughts?? And the more I look at that gaping hole on end line RW… The more I am intrigued by Jagr. Let’s face it – this organization is still in the “win-now” mode.

    • Emir

      I wouldn’t say we are in win now mode. Id say we are more in a lets be competitive mode. When you give up your first round pick to get a player, that is when your in win now mode.

      I don’t mind the approach either. Really, when your team sucks, who wants to be drafted by it or sign there?

      Id say this team has a goal of making the second round of the playoffs. While its a high order, I think its a fair goal.

      I’m curious if Jagr would come here. Likes his east coast hockey. But if we signed Jagr i’d probably be running around with my shirt off in excitement lol.

  • everton fc

    Emir – Meant “be competitive now”.

    Outside Jackman… And Iggy when he’s ticked… We lack true grit.

    I am not on the old-school bandwagon that you have to have a goon on the roster. Makes no sense these days…

    But I do believe you need a few guys willing to throw off the mitts, and capable od doing the business when need be, once the mitts are off. Which is why I threw out the names above. Jackman serves this purpose, though he can’t score. Not really. It’s also why I was high on Desbiens… Though he seems to be out of the picture in Abby…

    Again… “thinking out loud”…

    Off my topic… Anyone think Anahiem would move Ryan for JBO? In some sort of package?? They seem to be lookign for a veteran d-man….

  • Emir

    I dont see that trade happening without us giving up a good prospect or a 1st rounder. JBO’s contract devalues him too much to make that deal straight up. I also think us making that move would be just plain bad as well. We need the back end and we lack good defensive defenders in my mind. JBO isn’t perfect but I don’t see how we can replace him at this time.

  • Looks like Jokinen has been told by the Flames he won’t be resigned. This is according to Eric Francis. So, everyone breath a sigh of collective relief, we won’t be signing him to a $25M contract too.

  • BurningSensation

    I’ve thought all along that the J-Bo + Backlund being on the trade block was an attempt to land one of Nash/Ryan/Staal.

    I bet Feaster takes a good run at Parise too, but I’m hoping we settle for Semin on a short term deal.

  • RKD

    Jokinen isn’t coming back because he wants a five year Tanguay deal. The Flames have to find someone to replace Jokinen’s offensive production, like him or not he was our center. Cervenka has not played one NHL game, Baertschi looks great but he’s only played 5 games.

    Chris Stewart and Peter Mueller are two guys the Flames could be looking at.

    Someone mentioned Iginla was offered two contract extensions and he turned down both. First off Iggy can’t sign until July 1, secondly they may not talk extension until later.

    • 5 years for Jokinen is madness. At least the Flames sidestepped that land mine.

      Also, Chris Stewart is a poor overall hockey player. He has some tools – shots, size, etc – but he’s lost on the ice. He bleeds shots and chances against. He might get you some points, but he’ll give it all back and more.

  • @ RKD

    If it’s true that Iginla has turned down extensions, that leads me to think he doesn’t believe the Flames can win the Cup. At least with him around. Perhaps at the deadline, Feaster and co. will finally see that and ship him out.