Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cammalleri for Bourque

2011/2012 StatsContract Details
To CalgaryPositionAgeGPGAPYears
Cap Hit
Mike CammalleriForward2938913224$6 million
Karri RamoGoalie2500000RFA
2013 5th Round Draft Pick
To MontrealPositionAgeGPGAPYears
Cap Hit
Rene BourqueForward3038133165$3.3 million
Patrick HollandForward2000000Unsigned
2013 2nd Round Draft Pick

A very quick and decisive move by the Montreal Canadiens management after some negative press from interviews on Wednesday night. The Habs decided to deal Mike Cammalleri, in a package, to the Calgary Flames for a package, which included Rene Bourque.

Cammalleri used a poor choice of words to describe his team's lack of desire to win and/or play better and it obviously struck a chord with the franchise, its fan base and the surrounding Montreal area, as he was pulled out of the game against the Boston Bruins and told to go to the hotel to await further instructions, obviously with a trade pending, and the deal was struck.

On the flip side of the coin, Bourque was not getting much for positive press after his second suspension of the season, to which he is still serving at the moment, and there was some hints at being unhappy with his situation with the Flames. So, quick to jump on the obvious shopping around being done by Pierre Gauthier and the Canadiens, Jay Feaster made his club available for talks and the deal was done.

For a quick overview of the trade, the Flames give up a piece that wasn't really working well for them at both ends of the ice, a prospect that may still be another year or two in development and what could be a very good pick in the 2nd round of the draft for an underachieving winger, a goalie that has not excelled in North American club play and a filler pick to even the deal.  The Habs will get a guy that will give them some size, but hardly any more work ethic, a prospect that doesn't exactly have a great deal of size and a pick that they can work with for a player that wasn't a fan of how his team was playing, a goalie that would likely never suit up for the team and a pick that is as much of a gamble as anything else.

Frankly, the Flames take this, because they can do more with Cammalleri than the Canadiens can do with Bourque and a 2nd round pick... in theory.

Salary CapThe Flames will be hard up for salary cap space at this point, likely moving Alex Tanguay, Derek Smith, Henrik Karlsson and David Moss to the Long Term Injured Reserve, which would open up quite a bit of space and would give the Flames some breathing room to manoeuvre through this situation.  these four players would save the team some pretty good space, especially if they are out of the line-up for a little bit longer than expected.

The Canadiens are expecting to save a lot of money in this deal (or cap space, if you will), so there is a lot of good being made in this deal financially.  I have my doubts that this deal will have any real impact on how the team will be put together before the end of the year, but it will certainly save them a lot of cap space years from now.

ImplicationsYou bet there are implications in this deal to the draft and it could be quite significant.  The best player in the deal, Cammalleri, belongs to one of the money teams in the pool, Stacey C., and he could have a great improvement on his hands.  Cammalleri enjoyed playing in Calgary with Jarome Iginla, so reuniting the two may be the spark that Stacey's team needs to climb back in the race for 1st place.

Bourque belongs to the basement dwelling team of Darren S., who isn't going to see much daylight in this deal.  Bourque hasn't been playing well and he is going to a team that isn't playing well.  This cannot add up well for him.

I said it as soon as the news broke that Cammalleri was pulled out of the game against Boston, the Canadiens are likely going to get swindled in whatever deal they find tonight... and I don't think I was wrong.  I believe the Flames took a bad situation in Montreal, managed out of an ugly situation of their own, dressed it up with some Francophone goodness and said, let's make a deal.  To me, this deal is Cammalleri and the pick for Bourque and the pick, with the two other players, no matter how good Ramo is doing in the KHL, being inconsequential.  If Holland or Ramo somehow become everyday players for their new club, it may be worth re-visiting, but at this point, roster players and picks... Calgary wins by a landslide.

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