LOS ANGELES — All things considered, Mike Comrie has been productive for the Edmonton Oilers when he’s actually been on the ice.
The local product scored his 11th and 12th goals of the year on Saturday in a 4-3 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings.
At this pace, had he been healthy for the entire year, Comrie could have broken the 20-goal barrier.
“You always wonder a little bit what could have been,” Comrie said. “But that’s part being in the NHL. If you’re able to stay healthy, obviously your numbers are going to be a little better. At the beginning of the season, I thought I could be on pace to score 20 or 30 goals this year. Unfortunately that didn’t happen.”
A bout with mononucleosis cost Comrie 30 games this season. He’s also been the odd-man out on occasion, sacrificed for youth in the lineup once the playoffs were no longer a possibility.
Yet, without a contract for next season, Comrie is literally playing for a job, trying to prove to the organization it would be a good idea to bring him back.
“I think that’s something that we’ll deal with in a couple of weeks,” said Comrie. “It’ll depend on the direction the team wants to go. Personally, I’ve had a great experience here coming back. But, I think that everybody’s going to evaluate things and I’m sure nobody is going to rush into anything.
“Being back here has been a lot of fun, it’s a great group of guys. Everybody is excited to be able to get a high draft pick, try to stay healthy and hopefully have a good year next year.”
Whether he’s part of the group moving forward has yet to be determined. Saturday, however, Comrie made a strong case for himself.
“There is no question about Mike’s intellect when it comes to getting to loose pucks,” said Oilers head coach Pat Quinn. “He made a great play to jump in the middle of the ice on his first goal, and then he protected the puck well because he was caught from behind and he found a way to put it in. It was a great play by him.”
As a guy who can put the puck in the net, Comrie could be a valuable commodity regardless of what situation the Oilers find themselves in.
“Throughout my career I’ve always kind of been a guy that can create chances and chip in,” Comrie said. “It’s tough when you go through injuries. But I think if you can be a guy that be in that 20- to 30-goal mark percentage-wise, that means you are doing things creatively for your team.”