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09-20-2003, 04:56 AM
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Comrie's Trade Value

It's been an interesting read in the last few days in regard to what young Mike Comrie might fetch in a trade. I have to admit to being somewhat shocked by some suggestions (Kovalchuk) and underwhelmed by others.

One of the problems with getting a fair idea of his value is that Comrie is constantly called things like "a solid #2 center" which implies he's at the very best the NHL's 31st best centerman.

Not so. Even last season when he was injured, Comrie's totals put him 89th in league scoring, 34th among centermen (this according to McKeen's definition of centermen. There are likely some guys who play on the wing more often, but we'll go with that). Among the centermen ahead of him were Mike York (88th), Daymond Langkow (86th), Chris Drury (81st), Radek Bonk (80th) and Scott Gomez (77th).

I think it's fair to say that Mike Comrie is a top line centerman by the strictest definition. He's among the 30 best players in the league at his position. Agreed?

Okay, so if we can agree on that, where do we peg his value? Is he better than ALL of the players listed above? Let's take the list above and go through it one by one.

Is he better than Mike York? Hmmm. Comrie's best season (33-27-60) and York's finest (20-41-61) are fairly similar, and York has more dimensions to his game than does Comrie. If there was an expansion draft, and they were both available, I'd take York.

Next up is Daymond Langkow. He's three years older, and bigger. Langkow has been discussed so often on this forum it seems like he's an Oiler at least in spirit. He's had offensive seasons that wouldn't look out of place alongside Comrie's, and has blossomed the last 4 seasons. Still, Comrie's offense is a little stronger, and Langkow is at an age where he may have peaked. I'd call this a draw too.

Chris Drury is a more versatile player than Comrie, but Comrie has a little more ability with the puck imo. Drury's best offensive seasons (24-41-65 in 00-01) are about where Comrie is, but Drury hasn't stepped forward since that season. We don't know that Comrie will, but it's a bet I'd take. So, considering that Drury has more tools, we'll call this a draw.

Radek Bonk is 4 years older than Comrie, and making a whack of cash (3.2) by Oilers standards. Still, when compared to Comrie, Bonk's wide range of skills exceeds Comrie's abilities imo. Bonk is a big man, is very smart without the puck and has been known to get physical. His PPG totals over the last three seasons (.77,.85,.80) are better than Comrie's (.74,.73,.54). Of the players on this list, Bonk is clearly the best imo.

Scott Gomez is the same age as Comrie, and although bigger he's no tiger. Gomez has fallen off as a scorer since Alex Mogilny left, and is probably not quite Comrie's equal as an offensive player. He, like Comrie, doesn't have alot of secondary skills that add value to his game. I'd say Comrie is a touch better.

So, by my estimate, Comrie is not the equal of Bonk, but is a better player at this time than Gomez. He's on par with Drury, Langkow and York, although York has a slight edge.

Is that fair? If you picked up the paper and saw that Comrie had been dealt for Daymond Langkow or Scott Gomez, would that be out of whack?

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