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Arizona Coyotes claim goaltender Eric Comrie off waivers

Eric Comrie #1 of the Winnipeg Jets watches a replay after letting in a goal while making his NHL debut during the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 6, 2017 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Entering a season in which the Coyotes are billed to have a formidable goaltending duo, Arizona has claimed goaltender Eric Comrie off waivers from the Winnipeg Jets.

The 24-year-old Comrie has five career games of NHL experience with the Jets and was picked in the second round (59th overall) of the 2013 draft. He’s spent most of the last four seasons with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose.

Last year, with Manitoba, Comrie recorded a .917 save percentage in 47 games. He only played one game at the NHL level in 2018-19, allowing five goals on 28 shots on the road against the Minnesota Wild in April.

“I think it goes as deep as he’s a good young goalie that we’ve tracked for a number of years and worked to acquire in the past,” general manager John Chayka said. “There was an opportunity to get him on waivers. We’ll have a roster spot that we can utilize to spend some time with him and get a first-hand look.”

After the Coyotes announced their opening night roster on Tuesday and Chayka foreshadowed some moves to come, it appeared the team was going to carry 20 skaters. That left room for three goaltenders, getting to 23 allotted players. 

That’s good, because Arizona has to keep Comrie on the NHL roster or put him on waivers again. He is not waivers exempt, which means he must clear waivers in order to be reassigned to the minor leagues — that’s presumably why Winnipeg put him on waivers in the first place.

The Coyotes already have Antti Raanta and Darcy Kuemper in net, and Chayka told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Tuesday that despite Raanta being day-to-day for part of training camp with a lower-body injury, Raanta skated on Monday and felt 100%. Still, it sounds like he needs some more work:

“Obviously Antti hasn’t played a lot of games in the last 10, 11 months,” Chayka said. “So as he’s getting up to speed and getting back to where we know he can get to, this just gives us another option.”

In the pipeline, the Coyotes have Adin Hill, Ivan Prosvetov, Merrick Madsen, Eric Kallgren and others at the goaltending position.

Acquiring Comrie puts the Coyotes at 46 of 50 allotted contracts in the organization. According to CapFriendly, Comrie’s cap hit is $700,000 as he has this year and next year remaining on a standard contract.

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