Flames Bring Back Cammalleri

January 12th, 2012 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Remember, it’s MM and LL.

As a writer certain names are easy to spell regardless of the name’s length or complexity, and others the exact opposite; quite simply impossible to learn no matter how many times you correct yourself.

Mike Cammalleri (I really think he should drop an M) is back in the Flame’s fold as the National Hockey League team essentially exchanged their problem for another team’s problem during play on Thursday night.

The deal goes down as follows; Montreal trades Cammalleri, goaltender Karri Ramo and fifth round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft to the Flames for forwards Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland a second round pick in 2013.

Lets break it down component by component.

Roster Players
As long as the notion of a hockey trade has existed the cliche “the team that gets the best player in the trade always wins the deal” has been walked out in short order soon after a transaction. In this one the Flames get the better player in Mike Cammalleri. Rene Bourque is bigger and more intimidating on the ice, but Cammalleri is more consistent and more dynamic as a goal scorer. The Habs add cap space as they save 2.7M in the process, and the Flames essentially do the opposite of the Robyn Regehr trade of the summer by giving said cap space away. A fan could pretty much line up the two deals side by side now and make a call on the total as this deal wouldn’t go down if the Buffalo trade hadn’t already happened.

Non Roster Players
David Holland was an interesting prospect and a player I hate to see moved. He had really developed since being taken in the 7th round by the Flames three years ago and looked to be on his way to the NHL in the next few seasons. However, you need to put perspective on things and Holland wasn’t the Flames showiest horse in the stable. Sven Bartschi and Max Reinhart are one two for young forwards, and the recent push by Michael Ferdland had made Holland not expendable, but less painful to lose in a deal.

Karri Ramo was a 2004 pick by the Lightning and currently plays in the KHL for Omsk. The guy has amazing stats and Feaster suggested he’s currently the best goaltender in Europe. Where he fits, whether or not he’s planning on coming over, or how long that would take is clearly up in the air. As is his place in the Flames pecking order with Irving and Karlson. This one is a mystery for now.

The Picks
A year apart on the calendar but the Flames turn a 2nd round pick in 2013 into a 5th round pick in 2012, something this writer hates to see from a team that needs to rebuild. The team does have time to recoup the pick however.

Bottom Line
Overall I like the move for a few reasons.

1. They get rid of Rene Bourque’s contract, something that looked to be difficult to do. The player was clearly struggling and wasn’t well liked by Calgary media or fans; his contract would have been a tough ride.
2. They bring back a popular player in Cammalleri, a player that is entertaining and will help the team’s powerplay immensely.
3. The cap hit doesn’t worry me as I have worried about the team struggling to make the cap floor this summer and signing stiffs to get that done. A big ticket on a player like Cammalleri is not a bad thing at this time.

Either way interesting to see Jay Feaster’s first big move in Calgary. He’s now put his stamp on the hockey club.

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