Robert Nilsson or Mike Comrie?

Mike Comrie?

Mike Comrie?

Recently, there’s been speculation that the Oilers management might be considering signing Mike Comrie to a value contract somewhere between $1.3-$1.5 million cap hit.  At this point, the potential signing rumor of Mike Comrie definitely seems to have some legs at least.  What could this potential signing mean to the fate of Robert Nilsson?  Given the current logjam of small, skilled, 2nd line(ish) players on the Oilers roster, signing one more could spell bad news for Nilsson.  Last night, Dan Tencer on his 630 CHED radio show, asked who would you rather have on the roster, Nilsson or Comrie?  To answer this question, I’ve staged a mock 4 round bout between the two ‘contenders.’

Tale of the tape:

Robert Nilsson:  Age 24 yrs, 185 lbs, 5’11”

Mike Comrie:  Age 29 (in a few days), 185lbs, 5’10”

Round 1 —  ‘Best Career boxcar stats’

Nilsson —  71gp 10g/31a/41 pts /plus- +8 in 2007       [0.58 points/game]

Comrie —  80gp 30g/30a/60 pts /plus- +2 in 2005     [0.75 points/game]

  • Comrie wins round 1 based on best season of point production–though it was back in 2005 and he’s had the benefit of a longer NHL career.

Round 2 Last Season Analysis

Comrie vs. Nilsson

Comrie vs. Nilsson

What do the number tell us? Well, the boxcar numbers for Comrie and Nilsson were all incredibly similar last season save for the glaring difference in plus/minus numbers which favored Nilsson.  Nilsson was slightly less effective at even strength when comparing the 5v5/60 numbers, but he was also much more effective on the powerplay than Comrie (5v4/60).  Comrie’s Corsi number was far lower than Nilsson’s, but he played with lower quality of linemates vs his opposition–unlike Nilsson who benefited from having weaker opposition than his linemates.

  • Nilsson wins round 2 by a slim margin with his powerplay effectiveness and edge on plus/minus as well as Corsi giving him the edge.

Round 3 Future Potential

Nilsson is 5 years younger than Mike Comrie which is quite significant.  Nilsson is still young and is likely still developing and improving his game while Comrie seems to be on the downward slope of his career.

  • Nilsson wins round 3!

Round 4 Value/Versatility

If Mike Comrie actually does sign for around a $1.5 million cap hit, then this is where he hits Nilsson with a low blow while the ref was looking the other way.  On this basis, Comrie could be priced in at a cap savings of $0.5-$0.7 million dollars relative to Nilsson.  On top of that, Comrie is more versatile in that he can play either wing or center which gives the Oilers the potential of using him in a 3rd line checking center role–a hole that’s the size of the grand canyon on our roster.  I could continue, but it’s already clear that Comrie wins round 4 assuming that the speculated contract amount is correct.

  • Comrie wins round 4

Well, so far this leaves us with a split decision which means that we’re going into an extra round to make a decision.  For the extra round, we’re going to compare the career shoot-out records of these two players.

Shootout Career record

Mike Comrie:  6 goals / 17 shots = 35.29% shooting pct

Robert Nilsson:  7 goals / 14 shots = 50% shooting pct

Robert Nilsson wins this bout and here he is celebrating the victory:

Nilsson wins?

Nilsson wins?


Obviously, I’ve only done this as more of a fun comparison with the mock 5 round fight between these two players.  To be a successful team in the NHL, it’s clearly competitive and you have to make sound roster decisions that make sense.  Does signing Comrie make sense?  Well, that really depends…  On the one hand, any time there’s any opportunity to get a value contract, you have to take notice.  Comrie at $1.5 ish would be considered by many including myself to be a value contract for a legit NHLer.  Yet on the other hand, Comrie being a small, skilled player doesn’t really fit any of our particular roster needs.  If we were to sign Comrie, we can only hope that some other roster change would ensue to relieve our log jam of small skilled players.  In truth, I would prefer that Tambellini address our need for a gritty checking 3rd line center who can win faceoffs.



6 thoughts on “Robert Nilsson or Mike Comrie?

  1. Pingback: Mike Comrie signs with the Oil? « Low On Oil

  2. Nice analysis, Noob! It’s a tough call, for me, as to which player I’d rather have on the team. But I think the long term value of a guy like Nilsson makes him the more logical pick. He’s still a guy though that I have a tough time seeing here for the full season, unless we have 3 scoring lines. He won’t crack our top six unless he wrongfully pushes one of the players out of it. And I’ll be choked if that happens! No more of this Cogs on line 3 b.s. 😉

    I’m really torn on this whole Comrie thing though. I think it’s only intriguing to me because it’s a change. I have a tough time believing he’s any better than the other 2nd line, small skill players we have here. Yah he’s scored 30 goals twice before. Maybe he could do it again, maybe he couldn’t. I guess I’m going to have to say I’m indifferent to the idea 😉 The only thing that I find appealing about the idea is that it might improve the team’s PR a bit. But a co-worker of mine said today “can we still boo him?”. lol If people are still thinking about booing Comrie, then forget the PR boost 😉

  3. Hey Racki, yeah I think we’re on the same page with this one.

    I honestly got really excited when I heard the Comrie rumors. I wasn’t particularly excited about Comrie himself though. I was more excited because I didn’t think that we’d actually sign Comrie unless there were some roster changes to follow. As for the PR, that could play out either way if we do sign Comrie. If the fans show that they can let bygones be bygones, then it would help our image. On the other hand, if he gets booed for an entire season, that would just make things worse, lol.

    Cogliano’s recent interview is certainly cause for some enthusiasm for next season. It sounds like he realizes that he will have to step up this season along with some of the other kids (really I’m probably too young to call them kids–I must be spending too much time at Lowetide’s site).

    Well, I am really looking forward to this upcoming season in spite of some initial disappointment that I had over the lack of roster changes.


  4. Just to add more fuel to the ol’ rumor, I posted up some videos today in which Comrie confirms that he and the Oilers have had discussion (I’m not sure why Tambellini keeps it so secret though, it must be for the sake of players that could get bumped out by Comrie signing here).

    Also… holy smokes, new layout! 😛

  5. Racki, the new banner is just sick! Absolutely sick! Damn, you’re an absolute wizard with Photoshop. Thanks so much for this crazy banner!

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