Red Wings acquire Eric Comrie, potentially goalie of future, from Coyotes

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Eric Comrie

Detroit — The Red Wings may have acquired their goaltender of the future.

The Wings acquired Eric Comrie Saturday from Arizona in exchange for defenseman Vili Saarijarvi.

"I don't know too much about him," coach Jeff Blashill said before Saturday's game. "Steve (Yzerman) mentioned to me this morning he was making this trade. But I don't know a lot about him as a player."

Blashill said Comrie is on an NHL contract, so he would have to clear waivers if the Wings wanted to start him at Grand Rapids. That's not likely, though all Blashill would say Saturday is that Jonathan Bernier was starting and Calvin Pickard was the backup against the Capitals. 

"Comrie will fly in here tonight and we will go from there," Blashill said.

Comrie, 24, was claimed off waivers by Arizona from Winnipeg on Oct. 1. He has yet to see NHL playing time this season, but in four games with Tucson (AHL), Comrie (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) won all four games with a 2.75 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.

In five career NHL starts with Winnipeg, Comrie is 2-3-0 with a 4.21 goals-against average and .870 save percentage.

A former 2013 second-round draft pick of the Jets, Comrie is 81-83-20 with a 2.88 goals-against average, .910 save percentage and eight shutouts in 187 AHL games.

With Jimmy Howard not signed beyond next season (and currently injured) and Jonathan Bernier signed only through next season — and no clear-cut option in Grand Rapids yet as Filip Larsson is struggling (2-5-0, .843 SVS) — Comrie has an opportunity to crack the NHL soon.

Saarijarvi (5-10, 180 pounds) was a 2015 third-round pick who never rose above the AHL.

In 13 games this season, Saarijarvi had one point (an assist) with a minus-5 rating.

Saarijarvi’s stock had fallen behind the likes of Filip Hronek, Dennis Cholowski, Gustav Lindstrom, Oliwer Kaski and Moritz Seider over the last couple seasons and arguably needed a start in another organization.

Ericsson sent down

Prior to Saturday's game the Wings assigned defenseman Jonathan Ericsson to Grand Rapids. Defensive Patrik Nemeth was expected to return to the lineup.

Twitter: @tkulfan