Pittsburgh Penguins Offseason Grades: Blake Comeau Plots His Redemption Tour


When the Pittsburgh Penguins signed Blake Comeau, the thought was simple and seemed perfect. A gritty, fairly physical forward that has offensive upside who can come in and play third or fourth line minutes. Comeau was a veteran that had fallen off of most NHL GM’s radar, and came quite cheap at $700,000.

More from Penguins News

Comeau didn’t exactly make waves with the Pittsburgh Penguins faithful when he signed. It was seen as a depth move that had little impact on the overall roster makeup considering his low salary and even lower production expectations.

That was until injury launched him onto the second line to play alongside Evgeni Malkin, and it actually worked out really well. Beau Bennett began the season with a shot on the second line, but after looking mediocre at best and suffering another long-term injury, Comeau took over and never looked back. Well, until he was struck with the injury bug as well.

Blake Comeau finished seventh on the Pittsburgh Penguins in points this past season in only 61 games played. His sixteen goals were sixth on the team, right behind Chris Kunitz and his 17 goals. But, Kunitz played thirteen more games than Comeau this season.

When you have a player that contributes the way Comeau did, while making near the league minimum in salary, it’s invaluable to a team that is so tight to the cap ceiling and strapped with expensive veterans. His production was very unexpected, but also very welcomed, of course.

Grading Comeau for 2014-15 is easy. I can’t quite score him as high as Kris Letang or Marc-Andre Fleury, but considering what we thought we were getting with him and the product that actually showed up on the ice, he isn’t far behind.

I’ll give Comeau a B for his performance last year. He lacked consistency in his possession numbers, but he produced points. He was a great example of how you can’t simply judge a player by analytics. You have to consider their on-ice performance and point production as well.

What’s next for Comeau and the Pittsburgh Penguins?

It has been rumored that the Pittsburgh Penguins would like to lock him up for next season sooner rather than later. They don’t want him testing free agency if possible. But, what kind of raise is he going to warrant? He’ll clearly need more than his previous $700,000. I didn’t include Comeau in my rebuild, unless they can sign him for $1 to $1.5 million. If he’s going to fetch more than that, it’s time to let him move on.

Whether he is with the Pittsburgh Penguins or not next season, it was surely a breath of fresh air seeing a depth player contribute as he did. The Pens haven’t had that luxury for quite some time.

Next: Will the 2015-16 Pens Be Contenders or Pretenders?

More from Pens Labyrinth