Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Comrie stays on the Island

Sources say the Islanders and centre Mike Comrie have agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal to keep the Edmonton, Alberta native in Long Island.

In 63 games this season, Comrie leads the Islanders with 27 assists and 45 points.
Comrie's been a pretty important cog for the second lowest scoring team in the league, leading the power play and providing some offence despite the cast he's had around him. After bouncing around a bit, from Edmonton to Philadelphia to Phoenix to Ottawa, he's finally found a home.

He's played close to 20 minutes a game for the first time in his NHL career, and they haven't been easy minutes. That's led to a team-worst minus-20 rating, but a ton of those minuses have come as shorthanded goals against.

Most importantly, Comrie's well liked by coach Ted Nolan, something that can't be said for many of his NHL bench bosses to this point.

"Mike Comrie has been everything we could have asked of him in his first season as an Islander," said general manager Garth Snow. "He's been our top center, on the first unit of our power play and he has contributed in so many ways. He's also been a great teammate and a first-class pro, on and off the ice. We are delighted that he wanted to remain an Islander and we were able to work out a contract for next season."

If anyone can get him to become a defensively responsible No. 1 centre, it just might be Nolan.

"I'm extremely happy to have reached an agreement with the Islanders for the 2008-09 season," said Comrie early Tuesday morning. "I love being an Islander and wanted to stay. The management and the coaches have shown great belief in us as players and I am honored to be a part of this organization. I would like to thank Garth Snow and my representative, Ritch Winter, for making this a deal that both sides are comfortable and happy with. I look forward to the rest of this season and I'm thrilled to be an Islander for at least another season."

Comrie was going to be a UFA on July 1 and was one of the Isles' names rumoured to be on the block.

UPDATE Islanders blogger Mike Schuerlein is in the Blog Box at Nassau Coliseum early this morning and will be talking to Snow at about 10:30. Check in with him for any Isles-related news today.

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