The Pittsburgh Penguins announced the signing of centre Mike Comrie to a one-year, $500,000 deal Friday, adding a veteran scorer who will likely shift to left wing for the team.
Comrie, who will turn 30 in one week, is a bargain for the team. Typically a centre, he said he was looking for a role on a winning team with a shot at a Stanley Cup, and was willing to sign for the league minimum to earn such a spot.
"I think the biggest thing for me is that I'm excited to join a team like that , that has some great players. Hopefully I can come in and complement them and be a guy that can help score and create some depth," Comrie told The Globe Friday.
"I'm excited. it was definitely a hockey decision. I think that, you know, there's times in your career where you make a decision about - depends, every guys situations is different... for me this was, I wanted to go to a great team and be a part of an organization like Pittsburgh and be able to compete for a Stanley Cup."
Comrie's agent, Ritch Winter, had made it clear to contenders that money would not be a factor in Comrie's decision. He is believed to have entertained interest from other teams, including Detroit, Los Angeles and Anaheim, before agreeing to a deal Thursday evening. Comrie acknowledges that "yeah, there were others," but declined to name them.
"I could have got more money in other places, but this just seemed like a great fit," he said.
Comrie is a two-time 30-goal scorer who began his career in Edmonton. The Penguins will be Comrie's sixth team.
"This year, I kind of waited to see what teams did," he said. "I think it has to be the right situation, with the right opportunity. I think every guy feels that way."
News of the deal comes three weeks after Comrie, who lives in L.A., married long-time girlfriend, Hilary Duff.
Last year, Comrie returned to the Oilers after a bitter split with the team seven years ago. However, he only played 43 games after battling illness, and Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe said in an interview last month that that team, which finished last in the league and is in a rebuilding phase, would not re-sign the centre.
Comrie's uncle, Fred Comrie, was drafted by the Penguins in 1973. Comrie's older brother, Paul, also had a brief pro career before being sidelined by concussion problems.