Oilers' Comrie must pay for trade

Whether or not the Edmonton Oilers trade Mike Comrie is now up to Mike Comrie.

Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe confirmed Wednesday that he was prepared to ship Comrie to another NHL team, presumably the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Naturally, Lowe wanted comparable value in return so, when he didn't receive it, demanded Comrie make up the difference out of his own pocket.

"I think we're fairly close with a team," Lowe told the Edmonton Sun.

"In our minds, it's not fair market value, so we asked Mike Comrie to top up the deal.

"This particular deal. Not all deals or any deals, but this particular deal, so we could get to a point where we felt we had something that addresses our needs this year and in the future."

Reports suggest Lowe agreed to send Comrie to Anaheim for prospect Corey Perry and a first-round draft pick, but only if the forward cut Edmonton a fat cheque.

He supposedly asked Comrie to pony up $2.5 million US to complete the transaction.

"If he was willing to do that, fine," Lowe said. "If not, we'd sit and wait until we felt we got the deal we needed.

"Unfortunately, this wasn't meant to be public. But agents have a great ability to get this stuff out.

"The reality is we're more than happy to sit and wait until the best deal is possible. It's not about vindication.

"It's all about getting a deal ... that addresses today and tomorrow."

Comrie, 23, has yet to suit up for the Oilers this season after recording career highs of 20 goals and 51 points in 2002-03.

And unless Lowe gets what he wants, it appears Comrie's situation will remain unchanged.

"In a perfect world, you get a deal done so that a player can move on and the team can get what they need," Lowe said. "I think that really spurned us on to request this.

"I felt the deal, standing alone by itself, wasn't enough to address, perhaps, the way the team is going right now or maybe our needs for the whole season."

"This wasn't a hope thing," Lowe continued. "This was a thing to help get it done, to help get Mike to where he wants to be.

"And help the Oilers get to where we hope to get."

with files from CP Online