Will Blake Comeau Underwhelm Next Season?


September is finally here, and with it, the arrival of training camp and the preseason. Blake Comeau is a new acquisition for the Colorado Avalanche, and as such is subject to questions and suspicion. Amongst this suspicion lies another questionable contract signing by the Avalanche, and a desire to know whether or not it was really worth it. Comeau has had a shaky career since his last season with the New York Islanders in 2011-12, which is why he is going to underwhelm next season.

Blake Comeau’s Career

When looking at Blake Comeau’s career, it is clear to see that he’s had some pretty respectable years, but he’s never been better than a third line scorer, with 46 points being his career high.

Furthermore, in recent years he’s switched teams quite frequently, starting in 2011-12 when he opened his season with the New York Islanders on a -11 and 0 points bid in 16 games. He was promptly placed on waivers, (keep in mind that’s a 2.5 mil a year waiver send) and was acquired by the Calgary Flames where he picked up 15 points in 58 games.

He had nothing to prove to the Flames, so he underperformed with middling quality in 33 games with only 7 points, and was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets right before the trade deadline in the 2012-13 season. However, during the 9 games he played with the Blue Jackets, he was able to register 5 points.

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So, the Blue Jackets held onto him during the 2013-14 season, but once again he failed to prove that he could shoulder the load, and wound up with 16 points in 61 games. Hence why the Blue Jackets didn’t sign him, and let him go to free agency, where the Pittsburgh Penguins signed him to a one-year contract worth $700,000. That’s prove it money folks, and he did just that, registering 31 points in 61 games during last year’s campaign*.

*All career stats taken from NHL.com.

However, the Penguins didn’t have the cap space to sign Comeau to another contract, and they hardly need him with the acquisition of Phil Kessel. Cue the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche needed a bottom-six winger in a bad way after trading Jamie McGinn to the Buffalo Sabres.

Blake Comeau; The Unproven

So, during free agency the Colorado Avalanche jumped at the opportunity to sign Blake Comeau, and even signed him to his longest contract since his entry-level contract, and his second-most lucrative one since his 2.5 mil one-year contract in 2011-12 with the Islanders. He’s slotted to make 2.4 mil a year over the next three years in Colorado.

All the other contracts he’s ever signed with teams have only been one-year contracts with the exception of a two-year contract after his ELC (entry-level contract)*. I attribute this to the fact that teams are not convinced by his play, and thus sign him to one-year “prove it” deals.

*All contract facts taken from GeneralFanager.com.

So, what were the Avalanche thinking when they signed Comeau to his three-year deal? It’s obvious that he is capable of putting up the numbers “expected” of him during years when he feels like he has something to prove, but then will quickly regress into a less than capable bottom-six winger in the year’s after.

Blake Comeau will come into the season and struggle to find chemistry with any of his linemates, he will not play with determination, and he will get injured early and often.

Sure, giving him a one-year contract worth NHL-salary minimum is worth the risk, but signing him to a three-year contract that pays him the most money he’s had in awhile is certainly more than a calculated risk. Now, he’s got nothing to prove because even if he has a bad year, he’ll get his pay. And, even if he gets traded he’ll still get his pay.

That’s not to say that the Avalanche shouldn’t have signed him because they definitely needed a “dependable” bottom-six winger, but trusting him with the responsibility to live up to a 2.4 mil/year, three-year contract is certainly unnecessary.

What Will Comeau Offer?

As such, Blake Comeau will come into the season and struggle to find chemistry with any of his linemates, he will not play with determination, and he will get injured early and often. Players that rely on one-year contracts later in their careers are hit or miss, and can either provide a team with a much needed punch and jazz, or fizzle out like a sparkler on fourth of July.

The Colorado Avalanche took an unnecessary risk when they signed Blake Comeau to a three-year deal, and will certainly feel the effects next season.

We’re all hoping that next season is not going to be like a bad hangover from last season, and linger around all year, but it’s probably the most likely scenario. The Colorado Avalanche once again signed less than consistent contracts, and took unproven risks in an attempt to fulfill glaring holes in the roster.

It’s impossible to know what will actually occur, but Blake Comeau’s history points to inconsistency and reliance on short contracts to prove his worth and use on a roster. Since the Avalanche signed Comeau to a three year deal with good pay, they can expect an underwhelming performance from him that borders on uselessness, and possible demotions to the fourth line and maybe even the AHL.

What’s your opinion of Blake Comeau? Will he underwhelm next season, or he will he prove that he was worth the contract and turn in respectable numbers when the season takes a close? Let us know in the comments! 

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