Fallout from the Mike Cammalleri trade…Jason Spezza leads the Senators over the Rangers…Evander Kane acknowledges his coach’s criticism…Ryan Nugent-Hopkins only Oilers representative at ASG…Leafs have a great opportunity to make the playoffs…Canucks down Blues to retain first overall in the West.


Did Montreal or Calgary win the Mike Cammalleri trade?

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens get bigger and cheaper by shipping Mike Cammalleri to the Calgary Flames for Rene Bourque.

CALGARY HERALD: By bringing back Cammalleri, the Flames are trying to make a run for the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers are trying to suggest this deal is a good one for Montreal because Bourque has better offensive numbers since 2009-10 than Cammalleri. They overlook the fact the latter played in fewer games owing to injury. They then try to excuse that away by saying it’s better to have a bigger, healthier winger in Bourque on the Habs than a small, injury-prone Cammalleri. That only works if Bourque can use his size and skills to better use on a more consistent basis as a Hab than he did as a Flames. Cammalleri, when healthy and not playing musical linemates, is a proven offensive commodity, especially in the post-season. His decline is due  not just to injuries, but to the circus that the Canadiens have deteriorated  into this season. The only good thing I can say about this move for the Habs is they clear nearly $3 million in cap space, and got a second round pick out of it. Unless Bourque suddenly turns into a dominating power forward with the Canadiens and Cammalleri continues to struggle offensively over the next couple of years, I don’t see how this deal makes the Canadiens a better team. If Cammalleri regains his scoring consistency with Calgary, and Bourque continues his inconsistent play, this will rank as a horrible trade for the Canadiens.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Jason Spezza scored twice as the Senators blanked the NY Rangers 3-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big win for the Senators over one of the league’s top teams. That should provide a significant confidence boost for them into the second half of this season.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets forward Evander Kane agreed with head coach Claude Noel’s criticism of his recent performance.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the only Oiler invited to this year’s All-Star Game, though linemate Jordan Eberle also would’ve been invited had he not been sidelined by injury. Nugent-Hopkins is among 12 rookies who will attend the skills competition only.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons examines the number of faltering teams in the Eastern Conference, suggesting this season could be the best opportunity in years for the Maple Leafs to make the playoffs.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks move into first overall in the Western Conference with a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues.

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31 Responses to NHL Canadian Corner – January 13, 2012.

  1. Casey says:

    Perhaps this makes the Canadiens a better team because Cammy is so freaking miserable in Montreal. Perhaps Pleks will wake up with a new winger. The salary dump is enough for me, frankly.

  2. habsolutely416 says:

    maybe the habs could have got more for cammy elsewhere but clearly things werent working for him in montreal. hes a fringe player and montreal has too many of those right now. RB will bring in some much needed size and grit and some cap relief. probably more trades to come…

  3. Bob says:

    I doubt this will be a “horrible” trade. It may not be great but it won’t be horrible. Those that see Cammalleri as an elite player are wearing rose colored glasses. This is just more of Gauthier cleaning up the mess that Gainey handed to him.

    And you can’t look at a trade in isolation; you have to consider the domino effect. This gives the team more leeway in signing impending UFA’s and RFA’s as well as the cap room to perhaps acquire a player that would contribute.

    Finally, it became apparent that Cammalleri was a selfish player and he didn’t hesitate to tell the world. I’m sure that doesn’t sit well in the room and it is reflected on the ice.

    Maybe not a great trade, but horrible? C’mon.

  4. JoeBoo says:

    Guys, Spector’s a Habs fan so I’m sure he’s the last person that wants this to be a lopsided trade, but as like any trade with star players, it always has the potential to be lopsided.

  5. juicebox says:

    Knee jerk trade….the 2nd rounder the Canadiens got will end up as the determining factor in this one.

  6. Ian says:

    I don’t agree with you Spector about the comparison between Cammalleri and Bourque. Cammy may have played less games, but the proof is in the goals per game. Cammy’s GPG is slightly higher than Bourque’s.

    Bourque has been tagged as a streaky player, and despite his streakiness, he still manages to maintain numbers equal to those of Cammalleri – and I think that says a lot.

    I think this is a great trade for Montreal, because of the second pick, because of the salary they save, and because the will get a similar goal scoring production out of Bourque… Furthermore, they removea known selfish player out of the dressing room, and add grit to a team still rich in fast, skilled players. This is a great trade for both teams.

  7. habsolutely416 says:

    @joeboo -no stars were traded.

  8. Shaun says:

    I think Cammy was right though perhaps he should not have said it but then again … a lot of media have been saying that the Canadiens are playing tentative hockey and lack confidence. It does not help when your administration is making mistakes, your coach is (was) intractable, and the media is a pack of jackals. With largely the same core lineup over the past three seasons, the Habs have been wildly inconsistent. Injuries have played a part but this team appears to be in a mental rut as much anything else.

    Trading Cammy was not the answer. Dealing with the Gomez issue and giving solutions an actual fair term of time to work out would have gone a long way to improving the club’s moral.

    Being a fan, I hope Bourque works out and that his arrival lights a fire under the team. But is it likely that Bourque can do more for any NHL team than Cammy can do? I don’t think that is likely at all.

  9. Daveyboy says:

    I guess the lunatic fringe will be happy, the Habs added a francophone. at the same time, in Rene Bouque’s interview on Sportsnet, his ” I’m happy to be going to Montreal” bit was far from convincing. He sounded like a kid who had just lost his dog.

  10. JJB says:

    I personally think it was a fine trade. I realize Cammy plays less and that Bourque can be inconsistent, but we’ve also seen people trade and ignite and the change fixes him. There are more playmakers in MTL that can help Boruque and inconsistent or not they need his size. I also like that the Habs shed the salary and get a prospect (probably depth) and a pick.

    For CGY if Camma can get back to the guy he was when he player there then maybe they see a playoff berth. I don’t like that the Flames gave up prospect/pick and added an extra $3 million in cap though. They also sit in 12th, though 3 points out of contention. Camma better spark a solid 2nd half and serious scoring or this was adding another aging vet with a high price tag IMO.

  11. NikK says:

    Anyone trying to justify tis trade by any means from a Habs persepctive needs to consider this:

    You traded a 1st line player for a 3rd line player.

    That would be like trading Perry for Versteeg becasue he has more points.

    Complete disaster.

    It would have been better to get a bunch of prospects and pics rather than a 3rd liner who is signed at an expensive contract for 3 more seasons. But I guess they wanted to add to Cole and Kaberle and handcuffs moving forward.

  12. Leavoy says:

    i don’t see how canadiens fan can get excited about this trade…who is rene bourque anyways? atleast cammy was good at some point, but aside from his 1 good playoff year hes done nothing special in montreal. its a bum for a bum and montreal clears cap space and maybe is starting to realize they might actually have to start a rebuild. hope bourque can be what you guys expect him to be, but i wouldn’t get my hopes up.

  13. rabbie2x says:

    @Daveyboy Rene Bourque is from Alberta and DOES NOT speak french, he even said so in his interview. He just has a french name which is misleading everyone, maybe even Gautier?? Oopps, the french media/fans are already planning the riot!!!

  14. Frank Brophy Lives says:

    @ DaveyBoy

    Rene doesn’t speak French

  15. Casey says:

    Canadiens fans can be okay with this trade because we have been watching Cammy all year… and it has not been pretty.

  16. Habs1st says:

    I don’t think its too bad of a trade…. Hopefully Bourque (who is from AB and not Francophone) will work out well. I realize that Cammi, at his best, is better than Bourque, at his best – but Cammi has not been playing his best has he? Or at least he hasn’t been scoring. The knock on Bourque is that he his inconsistent. Isn’t Cammalleri “inconsistent” right now? He’s not scoring, not playing up to his potential this season. And exactly how long should we wait and see before he picks up his game? It makes me wonder whether or not this situation could have turned into a similar problem that the Habs have with another, small, big name, currently injured, highly overpaid player. At least we (or maybe just me?) haven’t heard problems with Gomez’s ego and that he is a problem “in the room” (if the reports can be believed about Cammi).

    We’ll have to wait and see who wins this trade, and maybe Montreal will be the big losers in this trade, but maybe Gauthier just saved himself (and/or his successor) a major headache down the road.

  17. Ranzeir says:

    Did Gauthier know he didn’t speak french before the trade? Sounds like there’s an annulment coming… lol

  18. SmielmaN says:

    Whoevers been watching Canadiens games all year knows that Cammy has been frustrating to watch. I loved the guy, have his jersey, etc, but I hate seeing everyone else go hard to the corners and net (making less than half the money he makes) and getting some points and he just floats around the circles. Goes to the corners with one hand on the stick and peels off when the guy turns. It was infuriating. He will always have his heroic two playoff years, but heroic playoffs don’t matter if your not in them. I hope this works out for Calgary because I’m a fan of theirs too, but they just took a huge cap hit for some one who doesn’t bring physicality and has scored virtually the same amount of goals. Realistically, I think that this trade has no immediate winner or loser. The Canadiens are already losers according to Cammy. Next up is burying Gomez for next year. As long as the Canadiens aren’t moving any of their players under 26 yrs old I’m fine. Let’s get rid of this GM though because Cammy should have fetched a 1st rounder just based on playoff performance. Top five pick is on the horizon and the last one of those they got has worked out well (Price). Ultimately, I’m not a happy habs fan, but I also wasn’t happy with Cammy. Three guys not earning their keep was Gomez, Markov, Cammy. Can’t trade hurt guys I guess. Go habs go, but if you must keep sucking then fail habs fail and get that kid nail. Lol

  19. TearsforColtonOrr says:

    Whatever Cammalieri’s shortcomings have been, he’s a true first shot scorer and this makes him worth five Bourques. If Bourque plays at his best though, Montrealers will be happy. He does have some real gamebreaking potential in spurts.

  20. Daveyboy says:

    @ Frank
    He may not speak french, but his name looks good in the program! (Does Gauthier know?)

  21. chaas says:

    At least Gauthier made the local media happy. And isn’t that all that matters?

    The Rangers played terribly last night. No effort from the top two lines. It was pathetic and they ought to be ashamed.

  22. Ranzeir says:

    chaas, either that or maybe the Sen’s are a better team than anyone thought.

  23. deuce6 says:

    Sorry, Spec..I have to disagree..

    Cammalleri is a one trick pony..If he isn’t scoring he’s a liability..Bourque is effective in both ends of the rink…

  24. gravitymike says:

    Those of you commenting on whether either team got fair value are missing the larger point. Apparently other GMs had no idea he was on the market. Strike one- no competitive bidding. Last night, the Habs started 11 forwards and 7 d-men, and in a one goal game, with the team working hard, you pull a forward off the bench and send him to the hotel. Strike two. If the deal was imminent, why start him, he might have gotten injured. If not, why not wait til the end of the game. You can’t even get Bourque on the roster til he finishes his suspension. What was the rush? Somehow it was better to essentially shorthand your team for a full period and distract the other players at the same time. Mike Johnson reported the players were asking him where Cammy was going. Lastly, so the Habs free up cap space and get a 2nd rounder. The third strike is that it appears Gauthier will be the guy utilises these advantages. That my friends is the third strike. I haven’t seen management this bad since Milbury left the Islanders. In one season, this team has gone from one goal from defeating the eventual Stanley Cup Champs to a complete clusterf**k. You think you had problems attracting valuable players before this, you haven’t seen anything yet.

  25. Old_Soldier says:

    I know the media is saying Calgary won the trade, based on career stats, but I am going to disagree for a few reasons. First of all, basically 2 potential 30 goal scorers were traded for each other, one older, smaller and proven. The other bigger, younger and streaky. To me that is a wash. But looking at the deal strictly from a Calgary perspective. This is a team that has been wallowing in the 8 – 11th spots for years. Everyone agrees that a rebuild is needed, so what does the General Manager do? Trades a lesser contract (Bourque is 2.2 mil cheaper), and 2 second round pics, one from last year and one from next year. They get in return a larger contract, a KHL goalie, and a fifth round pic. Everyone has screamed that Feaster needed to rebuild and this seems to signal the opposite. Another year of fighting for 8th, a bigger cap hit, and 2 fewer prospects. Lastly, besides an injured Tanguay, who is going to feed Iginla(shooter), Camalleri (shooter), Jokinen(shooter first), Glencross(shooter). Sorry but I think Montreal won this one, definately in the long run.

  26. Captain Ahab says:

    Bourque is also French and that might help GM Gauthier calm a “little” of the media storm.

  27. Habsfan1 says:

    Okay folks, can we please drop the francophone remarks, they are getting old with regards to Bourque. How something a little original like ‘Gauthier thought when he was trading for R. Bourque, he was getting Ray Bourgue instead….”. The fact is politics do not seem yo play into PG’s team descisions as he hired a unilingual Anglo as interim coach.
    The value of this deal will come down to the 2nd and Holland, although I am NOT expecting much from him.
    Gravitimike: You are spot on about other GM’s not knowing…to me that is unthinkable for a GM to not really shop around. I also think they could have gotten a little more, like a 1st from a Cup cotender or at least a better prospect from Calgary. And tell me why they did not at least go for a centerman prospect with size comparable to Holland? If you are going to accept a throw in at least let them be something you are sorely missing.

  28. HABS_FTW says:

    Cammy was playing horribly for the team this year and was a zero factor on the ice for the most part. We have the worst PP in the league for gawd sakes where he was no help, never mind his defensive zone coverage was brutal.

    Yes Montreal is a circus this year, but if you can’t get past that to collect your 6 million dollar / year paycheck to do your job……

    Although I respect your opinion Spec.. your if this and if that statement at the end of the paragraph could go the other way to. IF Cammy keeps playing like he has.. that’s a lot of salary to carry for 2 more seasons for that kind of production.

  29. ICELIZARD says:

    Ribeiro for Niniima was a horrible trade… Cammalleri for Bourque is not in that same category. Cam’s is a better fit in Calgary since he is surrounded by bigger players… In Montreal, his linemates were players like: Plekanec, Gionta, Desharnais, Gomez, etc. All of whom are under 6′ tall… I’m not a Gauthier suppoter but I do believe this trade was forced upon him by ownership and did OK with limited time.

  30. MURRAY says:


  31. Rog 64 says:

    Management didn’t like Cam’s comments and wanted him out. Hence, the “go to the dressing room, pack your bags and wait at the hotel.” They wanted him out, as fast as possible.

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