Blake Comeau Agrees to 1-Year Deal with Islanders, Avoids Arbitration

Per a team news release, the Islanders have agreed to terms with Blake Comeau on a one-year deal, avoiding the arbitration hearing scheduled for Thursday. Newsday's Katie Strang reports it's for $2.5 million (check her reporting for quotes later, I'm sure), which is right in the expected salary range we discussed last month.

This is probably ideal for both sides (unless Comeau was hoping for a "core" length deal). Comeau is coming off a career year; he has another season to prove it's repeatable before either side wades into something more lasting. Meanwhile, if he's pushed for ice time from the young prospect forwards, then both sides will have a better idea of where he fits next year at this time, when he'll be eligible for restricted free agency again.

For those still fretting the cap floor, this one puts the Islanders within a few million, still not counting Josh Bailey's pending new deal nor if a bonus baby like Nino Niederreiter makes the team.  The only selfishly bad news I see: Now my post topic for tomorrow morning is scuttled. But sheer laziness this is why I wait until the day before the hearing to really dig into the details.

As an odd footnote to this, the only NHL case this year to go all the way to an actual arbitration hearing is Shea Weber -- and his was a team-elected arbitration, which is all the rarer. The arbitrator has 48 hours to deliver Weber's prize.

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