On Tuesday night, a few minutes before 9 p.m., Blake Comeau and the Islanders agreed to terms on a one-year deal; Comeau's signing prevented an arbitration hearing on Thursday.
“I’m really excited,” Comeau said. “I think (arbitration is) something that both sides don’t like to do if there’s a resolution you can get to before the set date. Like I said, I’m excited that it’s done. I’m excited that I can move forward and look forward to this season. Long Island is where I want to be.”
A native of Meadow Lake, SK, Comeau feels a strong connection to Long Island because he’s been part of the organization since he was drafted by the Islanders in the second round (47th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and made his NHL debut at 19 years of age.
“I’ve been a part of the whole rebuilding phase,” Comeau said. “I’m really excited about the talent that we have on the team. It’s nice to be back and still be a part of that process. I want to help the team as much as I can to make that next step, to be a playoff team and ultimately a Stanley Cup contender.”
In his fifth professional campaign, Comeau established career highs in goals (24), assists (22) and points (46) last season, finishing fourth on the club in goals and fifth in points.
While he hasn’t set personal goals for this coming season, like his teammates, he has his sights set on the postseason.
“I think everyone’s goal is to make the playoffs,” Comeau said. “It seems like last year we were kind of bitten by the injury bug a little bit, but I think if we stay healthy, there is no reason why we can’t be a playoff team.”
Comeau added, “We have a great chemistry in the locker room. We have some talented forwards, great goaltending, great defensemen and some veterans as well. So it’s a great combination and I think everyone is really excited to get the season under way.”
This offseason has been busier than usual for Comeau. In addition to his new contract, Comeau married his long-time girlfriend in early July.
“The wedding went really well,” he said. “My wife did a great job of planning everything and not making it too stressful for me. It was a lot of fun.”
What was special about the experience is that eight of Comeau’s present and former teammates made it to Kelowna to watch him tie the knot.
“Almost all the guys that made it to the wedding are from out on the east coast,” Comeau said. “So it wasn’t an easy travel for them to come all the way (to Saskatchewan), but obviously I was excited that they all made it for their support, for me and Lacey.”
He added, “I think that just shows what kind of a group of guys we have in the locker room and how everyone gets along with everyone supporting each other. I think that’s going to pay off on the ice.”