The Arizona Coyotes have traded goaltender Eric Comrie to the Detroit Red Rings in exchange for defenceman Vili Saarijarvi.
The Saturday afternoon deal came into play after the Coyotes claimed Comrie off Waivers from the Winnipeg Jets in late September. The former second round selection of Winnipeg (59th overall in 2013) was seldom used as a Jet, more often then not relied upon in call-up situations throughout his four-year stay in Manitoba, never quite finding his way into a permanent place on the Jets’ roster.
After being picked up by Arizona, the Coyotes did not start Comrie, but rather kept him around the team in the backup and third goaltender position during times of injury. As he would have still had to pass through Waivers, the Coyotes waited before finally sending him to Tucson of the AHL. With the Roadrunners, the 24-year-old went 4-0-0, compiling a 2.75 goals against average and a .900 save percentage, while stopping 99 of 110 shots faced.
An exceptional four-year Western Hockey League career with the Tri-City Americans led to an early NHL draft selection, where Comrie impressed many with his poise and net coverage, considering his size (6-foot-1, 180-pounds). In line to take over duties following the retirement of former Jet Ondrej Pavelec, 2012 fifth round pick Connor Hellebuyck forced the hand of GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, ultimately earning the right of passage to the Jets’ crease in 2016.
Although called upon at various times throughout the past three NHL seasons, Comrie has only started five games for Winnipeg, in which he has two victories to his name. His career 4.20 goals against average and .870 save percentage is based upon a very small sample size (2-3-0).
In four seasons with the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose, the former Los Angeles Selects bantam star has a 75-84-14 record with eight shutouts, a .910 save percentage and a sub-3.00 goals against average. Comrie has had a winning record in each of his past two AHL seasons, going 25-20-2 in 2018-19, with a .917 save percentage and a 2.69 goals against average.
In early September, Comrie signed a two-year deal, in which he will make $700K if spending the season with Detroit at the NHL level. If he plays the coming year in the minors, Comrie will make $200K. In 2020-21, Comrie’s deal will shift to a one-year style contract, in which he will make $700K, regardless of where he plays out the season. Despite riding a two-way contract, the Jets were required to place Comrie on Waivers for the purpose of a preseason minors assignment.