The New York Islanders have signed center Mike Comrie to a one-year contract extension. According to published reports, the deal is worth $4 million. Comrie was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. The extension makes it highly unlikely that Comrie will be made available to other teams at the trade deadline, which comes at 3:00 PM this afternoon.
“I’m extremely happy to have reached an agreement with the Islanders for the 2008-09 season,” Comrie said in a statement released by the club. “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, Rich 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, 27, joined the Islanders as a free agent this summer. By signing on Long Island, he was given the chance to become the Isles’ number one center, a position he had long coveted. The results have been mixed this season as Comrie has been inconsistent. He leads the Islanders with 27 assists and 45 points and is second on the club to Bill Guerin with 18 goals scored in 63 games.
Isles’ GM Garth Snow was pleased with the deal. “Mike Comrie has been everything we could have asked of him in his first season as an Islander,” Snow said. “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.”
Comrie has accumulated 141 goals and 166 assists for 307 points in 449 career NHL games. He has played for Edmonton, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Ottawa before joining the Islanders. He helped the Senators reach the Stanley Cup Finals last spring. Twice in his career, the Edmonton native has topped the 30-goal mark in a season.
According to published reports, Snow was looking to sign Comrie to a longer deal but for second line center money. Comrie was seeking to keep his long term options open with the hopes of obtaining a first line center pay day. This year, Comrie is earning $3.375 million according to the NHL Players Association Web site so the new deal comes off as a compromise.
Comrie joins Trent Hunter as players the Islanders signed to contract extensions before the trade deadline. Hunter signed a five-year extension last week to keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer. That leaves Miro Satan, Josef Vasicek and Ruslan Fedotenko as the most likely Islanders to be dealt before the trade deadline if Snow cannot reach an agreement on a contract extension before then.