Mike Comrie: do over?

Robin Brownlee
August 19 2009 07:52AM

comrie-and-duff

Not once since Mike Comrie left this city after the Edmonton Oilers traded him to the Philadelphia Flyers in December 2003 have I thought to ask him if he'd ever consider playing for the Oilers again.

I didn't think to ask during his tenure in Philadelphia, or during his time with the Phoenix Coyotes, the Ottawa Senators or the New York Islanders in the six seasons since he played here.

I didn't think to ask in any of the off-seasons along the way. Or the other day, when I ran into Mike down the street from my place at brother Paul's house. It didn't dawn on me at the K of C Arena during an interview we did Monday. And why would it?

Given all the ill-will I remember in the months leading up to Comrie being traded -- a nasty bit of business involving Mike, agent Ritch Winter and then-GM Kevin Lowe that came to an ugly head when Lowe queered a deal with Anaheim by asking for $2.5 million to complete the trade -- you'd have to be nuts to even ask, no?

Well, apparently not. The question of whether Comrie might be a fit for the Oilers right now was discussed by Dan Tencer and Bob Stauffer on 630 CHED Tuesday night. Really.

God Almighty, Steve Tambellini, in the name of sweet mercy make a move of some kind before everybody is completely insane. I can hear Hillary Duff screaming at the top of her lungs now, "Noooooooooooooooooo."

I hear you, girl.

Second time around

I'd be the first to suggest Tambellini be fitted with a rubber mouthpiece and a jacket with extra-long arms if he even considered inking Comrie, who is a UFA and is bunking at his brother's house while awaiting a contract offer.

I'm not sure if Tencer, who I'm guessing was barely out of high school when the Comrie fiasco unfolded, was just filling air time, floating a trial balloon or fell down the stairs and hit his head before going on the air, but there's nothing about the first time around I didn't understand.

Now, there's no indication whatsoever from anybody I know the Oilers are even considering talking to Comrie. I'm taking the discussion to be nothing more than a what-if bit of radio filler.

While Comrie, now 29, is good enough to play in the Oilers top six and could be had for a discount rate, like maybe $2 million in a one-year contract, it's a profoundly bad idea on so many levels I don't even know where to start. But, hell, let's try.

Let’s get real

-- Comrie didn't enjoy the attention he got as a home town boy while playing for the Oilers his first time around, and he's not going to be spared the spotlight now on a team that's missed the playoffs three straight years.

-- While Lowe has been bumped to the background in favour of Tambellini, the fact that he's president of hockey operations means he still has a say in player personnel. He's the head of hockey ops.

Forget what made it into the papers back in 2003 when things got ugly -- the best stuff that conveyed the depth of the bad feelings between Lowe and Comrie never made it into  print, and I can tell you that because I knew most of it. I don’t see the passing of six years healing that wound.

-- Comrie and Winter never did go public with the reasons they wanted out of Edmonton, despite suggesting the "real story" would come out at the appropriate time and fans would understand their position.

While I don't see a need to sift through that pile of dirty laundry, Comrie and Winter never did deliver the dirt. All fans know, without the reasons why, is Comrie took a pile of bonus money and turned his back on his hometown. They haven't forgotten.

-- The last thing the Oilers need right now is another five-foot-something forward to join the ranks of Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson and Patrick O'Sullivan. Where's the fit? Where's the cap room?

No cigar

Look, I've got no beef with Comrie. As you might recall, I was accused by some of being in Comrie's camp throughout the whole mess back in 2003. Maybe, in some ways, I was.

I never thought he owed it to fans here to stay if he was unhappy, whether he went public with his reasons or not. I was sympathetic to his position. It was criminal how some people tried to smear Comrie with the allegation he slept with Tommy Salo's wife. That was bogus.

For those who don't know, when it looked like the deal with Anaheim was done -- before Lowe asked for some bonus money back -- the Oilers had a going away party at Comrie's house. Salo was there. So was captain Jason Smith, who, according to somebody's fantasy, had roughed up Comrie for bedding Mrs. Salo. Again, bogus.

Be that as it may, any flights of fancy about Comrie returning here will crash and burn when he signs with Ottawa, Philadelphia or New Jersey, Maybe even Los Angeles, if Ms. Duff has any pull around the Staples Center. But here? No way.

I'm not even going to ask him.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#151 Travis Dakin
August 21 2009, 08:52AM
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OvenChicken8 wrote:

I wouldn’t say that is the case. You have to give the guy credit. He works his tail off, because he knows how fortunate he is to be in his situation. Hell half of the time I hear him on the air at random spots through out the day covering for “X” who is on vacation. He’s clearly dedicated to his job, imo.

HAHA sticking up for you boy I see, you know he was damn fortunate an lucky to land that gig. But seriously I have zero problem with the guy. I actually really enjoy listening to his show and I think he has a great voice and presentation. I've seen and heard vast improvements from him since he's started. The man has one hell of a sweet job but a very tough one too. Of course it is just a sense of jelousy from everybody that rips him. The only time I can be heard saying something bad about him is when I wish I had his job which is pretty much all the friggin time (wishing I had his job I mean). It's like that in all areas of life when you see someone succeeding or advancing in enviable positions. Like Robin said, If you don't have the substance, you won't last. Tencer will be fine. He's good now and when the experience and time comes he will be great.

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#152 Travis Dakin
August 21 2009, 08:55AM
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Batman34 wrote:

That still is not old,you are old when you are 65 and over.you are still considered young by 30 in technology speaking. Usally in psychology a young adult is a person 18-39,a middle age is a person 40-54,old/elderly is a person 65 and up.

So you're saying I still have time before I am old? my saggy noots, grey nose hairs and inability to eat anything I want anymore beg to differ. I've still got 6 months till 30. I'm going to enjoy them. Once I hit 30 though, I'm packing it in.

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#153 Robin Brownlee
August 21 2009, 09:01AM
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@ Travis Dakin: Almost 30? Fossil . . .

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#154 Travis Dakin
August 21 2009, 09:31AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

@ Travis Dakin: Almost 30? Fossil . . .

I have a belief that 30 is the hardest age to get to. It's when you officially are no longer young. When you start to look like you are trying to be who you once were. When after 10 years of looking like a thirty year old because of the receeding hair line you started at 18, your age finally cathes up. When you look at your old highschool yearbook and look at all the chicks you used to think were hot and see them now and wonder where it went wrong for them. When you realize that the guys getting drafted were born after the Oilers won their last cup. When you realize that the dream is truly over and you'll never make it to the NHL. When you hear them say things like "Shawn Horcoff is 30 and in the downslope of his career." When you go to a concert and its all teenagers and you feel like that guy you used to make fun of and all you want to do is kick a kid in the a*s. When you drive by your old high school and realize that you were way too old five years ago for even the oldest girl in the school and so now you have to avoid making eye contact for fear of being a creep. HAHA After thirty you get to spend the rest of your life fighting the slow onset of death.

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#155 bingofuel
August 21 2009, 09:35AM
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@ Travis Dakin:

Wow, who sh*t in your cornflakes? That's about the most depressing thing I've heard. And just like I refuse — REFUSE! — to believe Horcoff is in the downslope of his career (because, really, what does such a reality mean for the team's fortunes this season?), I refuse to believe being almost 30 is the end of the world you think it is.

Now where are my epsom salts?

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#156 Travis Dakin
August 21 2009, 09:41AM
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And when they say that guys hit their sexual peak at 18 and girls do at 30 so now all the 30 year old girls are looking at the 18 year ols guys! hahaha what the hell?

@ bingofuel: HAHA I'm actually quite happy. As it gets close I am more and more at peace with it. Try telling me that Birthday you just had wasn't a little sobering for you. You looked at those candles, felt the roaring flame on your face and realized that next year, you have to switch over to the numbers for candles....

HAHA damn I am depressing.

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#157 Robin Brownlee
August 21 2009, 09:45AM
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@ Travis Dakin: The sad thing is it won't be long until you'll be wheezing like hell after trying to blow out those two numbered candles.

You have to avoid eye contact?

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#158 Travis Dakin
August 21 2009, 09:47AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

You have to avoid eye contact?

Or wear sunglasses. That's the key.

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#159 Batman34
August 23 2009, 01:38AM
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@ Travis Dakin: I do not make this stuff up.It is usally how you take care of yourself that is important.Your example of Shawn horcoff going downhill is funny because alot of people think players around 26-30 are in the prime.I think you are making a big deal out of turning 30 .You are getting older but you need to start taking care of your body more when you are getting older.You are still young but you are no spring chicken either.

As I said you are young until you are 39.

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#160 Mike Comrie signs with the Oil? - OilersNation.com
August 27 2009, 03:22PM
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[...] won’t pretend that we know better than Brownlee who told us back on August 19: “While Comrie, now 29, is good enough to play in the Oilers top six and could be had for a [...]

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#161 Mike Comrie signs with the Oil? - OilersNation.com
August 27 2009, 03:22PM
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[...] won’t pretend that we know better than Brownlee who told us back on August 19: “While Comrie, now 29, is good enough to play in the Oilers top six and could be had for a [...]

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#162 Dick
August 28 2009, 11:44PM
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I would love to see Mike back here, if we were lucky enough for him to consider it after they way he was treated. He is more physical than our small forwards and perhaps that would rub off and bring our grit level up. You do not have to be big to have grit as I have experienced in other sports such as football (think Dan Kepley or Willy Pless) Mike was always quick to deflect praise to other teamates instead of taking all the glory, when interviewed during his Edmonton days and I always admired that. I also admire the competive drive that runs in that family and wish other could get past their jealousy and admire them as well.

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#163 Erin
September 10 2009, 02:43PM
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Hmmm... And your thoughts on Comrie signing to Edmonton NOW?! :)

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