clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Should the Hurricanes claim Mike Komisarek off waivers?

The Canes need physicality on the blueline. Could Komisarek be the answer?

Mike Komisarek says hello to Andreas Engqvist of the Montreal Canadiens in a game last season
Mike Komisarek says hello to Andreas Engqvist of the Montreal Canadiens in a game last season
Richard Wolowicz

The Carolina Hurricanes are in desperate need of a body or two at the blueline. Joe Corvo has been out with a lower body injury and now Justin Faulk, who leads the defense in ice time, is out for two to four weeks with a sprained MCL.

While he is back for now, Joni Pitkanen has been in and out of the lineup with issues.

But even putting aside the injuries, since the loss of Bryan Allen to free agency last season, the Hurricanes have been in need of a more physical presence in their own end. While Allen had some short comings, he did provide a big body which blocked a lot of shots and he was physical.

Last season, Allen led the team with 188 blocks, an average of 2.3 per game. Jay Harrison was next with 153 and then came Tim Gleason with 112.

This season, Harrison leads the team so far with 63 and Gleason has 37, which is pretty much the pace of where they were last season, but no one has made up for Allen's numbers.

Once upon a time, Mike Komisarek was a prolific shot blocker and a physical presence, but those days seem to be behind him now. Since signing a five year deal with the Maple Leafs, he has missed a ton of time due to a variety of injuries and has pretty much been a bust.

Mike Komisarek

#8 / Defenseman / Toronto Maple Leafs



Jan 19, 1982

2012 - Mike Komisarek 4 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 1

Here are some of his numbers:

This year he has 11 hits and six blocked shots in four games. He also has zero points and is plus/minus (+2). The defenseman has been healthy scratched for much of the season.

Last season he had 104 hits and 80 blocked shots in 45 games with five points, (1G 4A) and a plus/minus (-13).

Recently, I asked @JPNikota, one of our friends at Pension Plan Puppets for his opinion, and this is what JP had to say.

As a Leafs fan, I would love it - LOVE IT - if someone took Mike Komisarek off our hands. I would feel somewhat guilty selling someone on the idea though, because Komisarek has been terrible ever since he arrived in Toronto. Maybe a fresh start would help, but at this point, I rather doubt it.

Here's the thing: he was good when he played alongside Andrei Markov, but since being removed from an all-star player's side, has seen his skating exposed in a BIG way, and his big hits, while fun, only leave him further out of position, and his defensive awareness isn't great to begin with.

When we look at his advanced stats, they don't paint a pretty picture, either. His Corsi numbers are poor, even relative to his other defensively suspect teammates. He's never had great zone starts, but that still doesn't compensate for the terrible overall picture that his numbers paint. Oh, and did I mention he brings almost no offence whatsoever to the table?

Look, maybe a change of scenery would help. Maybe he could regain some kind of form. I just wouldn't bank on it.

Komisarek brings Allen type size to the table. He is 6'4, 240 lbs, but does the 31 year old, former first rounder, have any more life in him?

The Hurricanes have had good luck with other Toronto castaways. The Leafs let Jay Harrison go before the Canes signed him as a free agent and also traded away Jiri Tlusty for Philippe Paradis, pretty much giving up on their one time very promising first rounder.

One more important factor about Komisarek though, and perhaps the most important factor is his contract. He has one more year on his deal that will pay him $3.5 million next season. (The cap hit is $4.5 million). While there are some options to get out of next year's contract, (an amnesty buyout), that makes him a very expensive gamble.

What do you think? Should the Hurricanes roll the dice?