The AHL‘s Hamilton Bulldogs announced Wednesday that veteran NHL defenseman Mike Commodore has been signed to a professional tryout contract.
As the lockout has now forced the cancellation of regular season games through Dec. 14, Commodore may be the first of many veteran players to drop into the AHL and stay in game shape with the hopes of catching on with an NHL team after the lockout ends. A free agent who spent last season with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, Commodore has appeared for seven teams in an 11-year career. He won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, and has scored 23 career goals and 106 points. He has also played for the Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils, Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames.
The Red Wings inked Commodore to a one-year deal in 2011, but he ended up playing just 17 games with the club, often finding himself a healthy scratch. He was dealt to the Lightning in February for a seventh-round draft pick, and appeared in 13 games there. He managed just two assists and 38 penalty minutes in his 30 games last season, and would have to be considered as a player on the bubble of making an NHL roster again if the lockout continues much longer.
The Bulldogs are the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, and Commodore will join a defense corps that includes prospects Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi. Hamilton hosts the Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado Avalanche) on Sunday, and Commodore will likely make his season debut.