With NHL free agency officially starting on July 1st, teams only have 13 more days to resign their players before they are open to bids from other teams. In the next 13 days, we will look through the unrestricted free agents the Columbus Blue Jackets have this year, and preview what we could expect once free agency starts.
Today we’ll take a look at CBJ winger Blake Comeau.
2013 Cap Hit: $1,000,000
2013-14 Stats: In 61 games played this season, Comeau scored 5 goals and 11 assists for 16 points. He racked up 36 penalty minutes and finished the season -2. Through six playoff games he had 10 penalty minutes, no points and was -2 in the post-season as well.
Summary: As far as points go, Comeau was the least productive left wing on the Jackets’ roster this season. The Jackets have Nick Foligno, R.J. Umberger and Matt Calvert at left wing also, and the least of those, Calvert, put up 24 points this season. (By least of those I only mean the player with the least amount of points this season).
With that said, only Calvert had a lower cap hit than Comeau, and that is because his contract is entry-level. Even then it is only slightly lower than Comeau’s. Calvert’s cap hit in 2013 was $988,000 and his salary was $850,000. That puts his cap hit at only $12,000 less than Comeau’s.Comeau’s cap hit is less than a fourth of Umberger’s $4,600,000 and a third of Foligno’s $3,083,000. He’s pretty cheap, relatively speaking. If the Jackets do resign him, they will probably look to keep his cap hit and salary close to where it is, because it’s a pretty good deal for a left wing who’s contract isn’t entry-level. That seems reasonable, though, since he contributed significantly less than Umberger’s 34 and Foligno’s 39 points this season.
The biggest threat to Comeau is the Jackets’ prospects. They have plenty of talented forwards in the minors who will be vying for a spot on the Jackets’ roster this coming season, and if they outperform Comeau he might be let go. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him go into free agency, and I doubt the Jackets will offer him anything big. He simply isn’t that important to the future of the team, so if he goes into free agency and gets a better deal from another team, we might see him leave Columbus.