For the first time in multiple attempts, goaltender Eric Comrie has cleared Waivers. The Winnipeg Jets have successfully assigned the 24-year-old netminder to the Manitoba Moose.
For Comrie, the assignment should bring some solace, as the run-around first half of the 2019-20 season has seemingly finally calmed down.
After rightfully negotiating and proudly signing a two-year deal this past offseason that rewarded Comrie by featuring a one-way structure on his second year, the three months following that contract signing have featured a rollercoaster of flights, new teammate introductions, re-assignments, Waiver claims, trades and press box seats.
The 1995-born netminder from Edmonton was placed on Waivers for the purpose of being sent to the AHL in late September. GM John Chayka and the Arizona Coyotes jumped at the opportunity to add the former second round draft pick to their roster and claimed the five-year pro.
Despite owning two solid reminders in Antti Raanta and Darcy Kuemper, Arizona kept Comrie around, waiting in the wings… err, press box. Although property of the Coyotes for exactly two months, Comrie did not get a start in goal. He finally was sent down to the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners, where he posted a 2.75 goals against average and .900 save percentage winning all four of his games.
With regular netminder Jimmy Howard banged up with a soft-tissue injury, the Detroit Red Wings came calling shortly after. The Coyotes sent Comrie to Hockeytown for a defensive prospect Vili Saarijarvi on November 30, where he filled the backup role to Jonathan Bernier between the pipes.
Comrie returned to Winnipeg with the Red Wings on December 10, where he was given his first start, to go along with a first period video tribute on the jumbotron in recognition of his time within the Jets’ organization.
“It was a lot of fun seeing that,” Comrie reflected after the game. “Just how welcoming they were and how much the guys were giving me a lot of stick taps and all that stuff. It was awesome.”
Then, following just two starts (both losses) and one relief fill in, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound goaltender was placed back on Waivers by Detroit, prompting the suggestion that Winnipeg could re-acquire his services for no charge.
The Jets did just that, taking the bait while bringing the 187-game AHL veteran back to the club. With starter Connor Hellebuyck and backup Laurent Brossoit both in fine health, Comrie found himself in the press box once again, before being exposed to Waivers one more time.
Now finally in his rightful place in the AHL, Comrie will be able to provide some depth and stability with the Moose alongside Mikhail Berdin in Manitoba’s crease. The two minor league netminders have each earned their right to play for the starter’s role, with Berdin actually holding the upper hand as the No. 1 for the major part of the 2019-20 in Manitoba thus far.