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Montreal Canadiens Trade During Game

Michael-Cammalleri

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The Montreal Canadiens’ strange season keeps getting more bizarre. In a rare event, the team pulled Cammalleri out of tonight’s contest against the Boston Bruins in the middle of the game as the rumors of him being traded during the game flared. Well, it turned out that indeed Cammalleri was trade and it did happen during the game.
The Habs sent him and a package of one pick and a prospect to the Calgary Flames for Rene Bourque, a pick and a prospect. Why was Cammalleri traded? Well, there is speculation that he may or may have not called his teammates “losers” and we all know that this can speed up the trade process very quickly.

Cammalleri’s last night as a member of the Habs certainly ranks as bizarre. He played through two periods of action before Montreal kept him in the locker room during the final frame. He was then sent back to the team’s hotel in a cab, eventually informing him of the move.

That’s about as odd as a departure gets, although maybe we should steal a line from Peter Laviolette by calling it “Montreal typical.”

So now why not break down the trade and see which team made out like bandits? Well, I think I will indulge in such now and we can come to our own conclusions as to which team wins in such a bizarre trade.

Flames receive:          Canadiens receive:

Cammalleri                         Bourque
Goalie Karri Ramo           Forward Patrick Holland
2012 fifth-round pick     2013 second-round pick

The On-Ice Impact:

The wash out portion of this trade comes in the form of Karri Ramo and Patrick Holland. Most will end up forgetting that these two were traded along with Cammalleri and Bourque. You cannot totally ignore a nice upgrade in draft picks, but ultimately this trade will most likely be viewed as Bourque for Cammalleri.

Cammalleri has two 30+ goal seasons and two more 20+ goal seasons as he’s in the middle of his ninth NHL season (seven of which could be considered “full”). He’s a point-per-game playoff performer (32 in 32 games), with his heroics in the 2010 playoff run providing the most compelling evidence. Cammalleri also has familiarity with the Flames franchise; he produced a career-best 82 points in 2008-09, his lone campaign in Calgary.

Bourque has produced at least 21 goals in his last three seasons including two consecutive 27-goal outputs. He hasn’t shown the same total points ceiling, however; Cammalleri has two 80+ point seasons while Bourque peaked at 58 in 2009-10.

The Contract Hits:

Cammalleri carries a $6 million cap hit through the 2013-14 season. His salary matches his cap hit this season while he’ll be paid $7 million in the following two seasons, Cammalleri is 29 years old.

Bourque’s $3.33 million cap hit expires after the 2015-16 campaign, Bourque is 30 years old.

SportsRantz Take:

The Flames, hands down, have acquired a more talented player and likely extinguished any thought that they might go into a rebuilding mode soon. And Cammalleri has proven to be an elite sniper on the ice and this may just be the spark that the Flames most desperately need.

Bourque makes the Canadiens a bigger team and represents a significant price cut for a roster soaking with bad decisions. From a hockey standpoint, this seems like another shaky move, but at least this one holds the rare distinguishing point of saving them some money…unlike the trade for Gomez.

GM Spinoff: 

Habs GM Pierre Gauthier shrugged off the idea that Cammalleri’s comments were a catalyst for the trade, instead emphasizing that the team needs to score “harder goals” rather than fancy ones. Gauthier explained that part of the reason the trade was made tonight was because Bourque is closer to concluding his recent suspension. There might be some fact to both general managers’ claims that the trade has been discussed, but you’d have to be naive to assume that Cammy’s critiques had nothing to do with this.

Flames GM Jay Feaster provided this press release:

“Mike Cammalleri is a dynamic player who enjoyed great success playing in Calgary,” stated Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. “We believe Cammalleri will help our offensive production, solidify a second scoring line, bolster our power play, and bring another strong veteran voice to our room. We are confident that a return to Calgary will be good for Mike and good for our continued pursuit of a playoff berth.”

SO, it looks as if the Calgary Flames may have won in the trade but its at the risk of their bank account and that risk is huge.  I acknowledge the urge to say that both teams lost – to some extent, that’s true – but if you had to choose a winner, which GM made out better?

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