Nov 7, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Blake Comeau (14) carries the puck in the second period of play against the New York Rangers at Nationwide Arena. New York Rangers win 4 to 2 over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Comeau An Interesting Piece To Penguins' Puzzle

While Christian Ehrhoff and Patric Hornqvist are probably the Pittsburgh Penguins’ biggest additions this summer, Blake Comeau is an underrated signing.

Inked to a one-year, $700,000 deal in early July, Comeau is intriguing because of what he can do.

A former 20-goal scorer with the New York Islanders, Comeau has been rostered on some bad/inexperienced teams, and perhaps being on Pittsburgh will reignite the production he’s lacked over recent seasons.

Over the past five seasons, Comeau’s compiled 16 goals in just 177 regular-season games due to various ailments, which is eight goals shy of his total in 2010-11 alone (24). However, now that Comeau’s on a team that has no shortage of firepower, and for once, because he’s on a club that’s developed to win a Cup now, could he be a Jussi Jokinen?

Jokinen, who scored 30 goals in the 2009-10 campaign with the Carolina Hurricanes, tallied just 37 altogether through his following three seasons, which resulted in him being dealt to the Penguins. Although he struggled slightly in the little time he had with Pittsburgh in 2013, Jokinen bounced-back in a big way, registering 21 goals and 51 points last season.

This is in no way suggesting Comeau is going to be the next Jokinen, but he’s capable of boosting the secondary scoring if he generates 10-15 goals. Which case, it’s certainly plausible. And if he’s on the fourth-line, Comeau and Marcel Goc could feed off each other, killing two birds with one stone for the Penguins.

If something should happen where Nick Spaling isn’t re-signed, Comeau’s third-line slot will then be a thought, but for now, on the fourth pairing, he’s got a shot to be the spark Pittsburgh’s lacked in that group. If the Penguins wise up and scratch Craig Adams in favor of, oh, I don’t know, maybe Jayson Megna, they could wind up having a formidable fourth-line scoring pair.

Yes, there’s a chance Comeau could become just another version of Matt D’Agostini, or Taylor Pyatt. However, neither of them really have had much success in the NHL in general. At least with Comeau, you know he’s able to put up sufficient numbers.

But Comeau’s usage is very flexible as well.

We still don’t know who will become Sidney Crosby‘s right-winger, and there’s no clear-cut idea of who Evgeni Malkin‘s wingers will be either. They’re expected to be Beau Bennett and Hornqvist, but with so many new faces, it’s really hard to judge where each player will fit. And with the way Pens’ players get injured, Comeau could see time everywhere.

The point is, Comeau’s value is overlooked because of what he’s done recently, and where he’s projected to line up. Yet, the thought of him coming in resurgent, ready to go, makes me think he’s in for a solid year.

Now it’s just a matter of, can he stay healthy?

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