WINNIPEG – It’s almost as if Winnipeg and Eric Comrie
were destined to find each other.
“I’ve been so fortunate to play with so many great teammates from Winnipeg on the Tri-City Americans. We have a long past of drafting guys from Manitoba. I have a long list of friends from here: Adam Hughesman, Justin Hamonic, Mason Wilgosh, Brendan Shinnimin. They’re all from Winnipeg, they love it here,” said Comrie, the goaltender taken 59th overall by the Winnipeg Jets
in 2013. “To understand the culture and know some people from here, really makes a big
Comrie’s adjustment to the Manitoba capital has been an easy one. But the 20-year-old doesn’t just want to live in Winnipeg. He wants to become part of it the only way he knows how, and that’s by helping out.
In November of 2012, while Comrie was backstopping the Tri-City Americans, he teamed up with Second Harvest Tri-Cities to launch Comrie Saves Hunger campaign. For every save he made at home that season, he donated 50 cents out of his own pocket. The Tri-City Americans matched
“I always like to come home to a hot meal. I’ve been very fortunate to come home to a hot meal, and I feel like, my day just gets better after it. You can spend time with family, be around everyone, and not everyone has that privilege,” said Comrie. “For myself, to be able to give back to people
like that for a greater cause is something I take a lot of pride in.”
So much pride, in fact, that after he was drafted in 2013, he upped his donation to a dollar per save. Then came the night of his final WHL game. Comrie turned away 66 shots in a 5-4 overtime loss to Kelowna… at home.
Despite the fact that loss eliminated Tri-City from the WHL playoffs, Comrie had to smile a bit.
“I was really happy. Every time you see another save go up there, it adds a bit more excitement. Not only are you helping your team out, but you’re helping a greater cause, something bigger than the game, and something that’s more important than just hockey,” he said. “It’s a really big thing, not only for me, but for the Tri-City Americans as a team. We had a very big community based team,
and we made sure we always gave back to help out those who needed it.”
It’s a program Comrie would like to bring to the Manitoba Moose this season, and the idea is already gaining some traction.
“I really want to (bring it back). I’ve already talked with some staff about it at development camp,” he said with a smile. “Maybe add a bit more money since it’s pro now, and just really help out the most I can. It’s an unbelievable cause and I’m really happy that people get an opportunity to
have those meals.”
The only feeling that comes close to that happiness for Comrie, is the knowledge his professional career is about to begin.
“I’m just so happy to be here. To see how many people come out for a pre-season training camp is unbelievable,” he said. “The culture around here really makes you live and breathe hockey. It’s an exciting atmosphere to be around.”
– Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com