GAME: Edmonton Oilers (15-18-7-1) at Philadelphia Flyers (20-7-10-5).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.
A bitter contract dispute with the Edmonton Oilers left restricted free
agent Mike Comrie looking for a new place to play.
The Philadelphia Flyers were happy to give him one.
Comrie faces his former team for the first time since being dealt to the
Flyers when Edmonton visits Philadelphia.
Edmonton offered Comrie the minimum raise allowed entering this season,
which he rejected. The Oilers would not negotiate and Comrie asked to be traded
after posting 20 goals and 31 assists in 69 games for the Oilers during the
The Oilers thought they had a deal in early December to send Comrie to
Anaheim, but it was held up by Edmonton general manager Kevin Lowe, who wanted
Comrie to pay the club $2.5 million first.
Philadelphia moved in and acquired the rights to Comrie on Dec. 16 for
former first-round pick Jeff Woywitka and two draft picks. Comrie signed a
one-year deal with the Flyers four days later.
He played his first game for Philadelphia on Dec. 27, and has three goals
and three assists with a plus-2 rating in seven contests for the Flyers.
Comrie assisted on Jeremy Roenick's goal that gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead
in the first period against Florida on Thursday, but the Flyers couldn't hold
on and lost 4-3 in overtime to the Panthers at the Wachovia Center.
Philadelphia is winless in three contests since a three-game unbeaten
"It's frustrating," Flyers forward John LeClair said. "If you look at the
last two games we felt like we played more than well enough to win. We've got
to find a way to be better and make our shots count."
Edmonton began its season high-tying six-game road trip with two straight
wins, but then went on to lose its next two contests. The Oilers fell 3-2 to
the New York Islanders on Thursday and saw their point streak end at four
Against New York, Cory Cross scored at 17:18 of the third period to tie the
game at 2-2, but the Islanders scored the winner 1:24 later.
"It's frustrating, especially to tie it late and then to lose it," Oilers
forward Mike York said. "We have two games left on this road trip and we have
to learn from this game and move forward. We can't afford to slack off."