BELLEVILLE ON - After an 8-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Friday night, Pascal Vincent received some welcome news following the Winnipeg Jets' practice. Goaltender Eric Comrie is back for another two seasons after signing a contract extension that was made official Saturday morning.
"Really happy. He's an outstanding human being, a great guy in the room and I'm really excited for him," said Vincent.
"I haven't spoken to him yet. I will, but I'm very happy."
Comrie was the Manitoba's number one goaltender for the majority of the 2018-19 season in the AHL going 25-20-2 to go along with a solid 2.69 goals against average and .917 save percentage.
The second year of Comrie's new deal will pay him $700,000 whether or not he plays in the NHL or the AHL.
"We believe in him," said Vincent when asked what the second year of the contract means.
"I think it says there is some hope and it's up to him to grab the opportunity."
Video: ROOKIE CAMP | Pascal Vincent
Vincent has coached Comrie the last three seasons and clearly knows the 24-year-old better than everyone outside of goaltending coaches Rick St. Croix and Wade Flaherty.
"He competes really hard and he's really hard on himself. But I guess all great athletes or successful people, that's what they do," said Vincent.
"He learned to manage his intensity cause it's not we had to push him, we had to slow him down. That's the kind of guy he is. Great person. Really smart, I think he's grown a lot and he's a good player."
The Edmonton, Alberta product has played at least one game in the NHL the last three seasons and has gone a combined 2-3 in his five starts with the Jets.
As for the Jets that are in Belleville for the 2019 Rookie Showcase Tournament, they are trying to forget about the opening 8-1 loss to the host Ottawa Senators. Vincent put the team through a 35 minute practice that was based on one-on-one battles.
"I thought the guys responded well. Guys were receptive," said Vincent.
"I wonder what their opinion (was). I want to know what they see and what's their solution. They were all on board. I think we had a good practice and the guys responded well today. We will see tomorrow."
A couple of positives from Friday's game were from forward James Phelan (who scored Winnipeg's lone goal) and defenceman Jacob Cederholm. The Swedish d-man was a physical presence and whenever the Sens tried to intimidate the younger players on the Jets, Cederholm was there.
"I thought Cederholm was one of our top three defenceman last night," said Vincent.
"(Cederholm) was physically strong and that's what we have expected from him in the past and we talked about it. I feel like he's becoming a man now. He was a physical guy and he didn't back off."
Cederholm bounced back and forth between the AHL and the ECHL (Jacksonville) quite a bit last season. The young Swede is pushing to be more of a leader with his younger teammates.
Video: ROOKIE CAMP | Jacob Cederholm
"Doesn't matter if its vocal or leading by example," said Cederholm.
"If I can lead by example or be vocal out there to help my teammates to do whatever they need to do, I'm up for it."
The Jets return to action at 6 PM CT on Sunday against the Montreal Canadiens before wrapping up the tournament Monday with a rematch with the Senators.