FHL: The Newest Senator

Updated: January 9, 2007, 4:00 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com
Though the Ottawa Senators find themselves ranked fifth in the league in goals per game (3.23) today, it was an inevitability that before long, they'd make a deal to add some offensive punch. Though the numbers didn't show it, things hadn't entirely clicked on offense throughout the season's first half, and with the team's power-play unit only middling in the rankings and No. 2 scorer Jason Spezza shelved until the All-Star break with a knee problem, it was clear the team had to add some forward to help out.

So in comes Mike Comrie, a 30-goal, 60-point performer last season, an experienced power-play performer and a pending free agent after the season -- hence the reason for his availability. He was acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes last Wednesday in exchange for Alexei Kaigorodov, a top prospect who refused to report to the team's AHL affiliate. Comrie helps fill the void in Spezza's absence, but, more important, even after Spezza's return he should help deepen the offense, which thinned out a bit after Martin Havlat departed during the offseason.

The Senators have Comrie skating on the second line with Chris Neil and Peter Schaefer for now, which isn't going to change his scoring numbers much, but it's his standing on the first power-play unit with Spezza sidelined that should make him appealing in the short term. Comrie notched two power-play assists in his Ottawa debut, and if he can keep up that kind of pace, he could be a 15-goal, 35-point performer the rest of the year.


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