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How the Habs Won and Lost the Cammalleri Trade

Posted By Corey Krakower On Jan 13 2012 @ 9:46 am In Montreal Canadiens | 1 Comment

On the surface; the Mike Cammalleri-Rene Bourque swap is a push. Both players were struggling on their respective teams this year and will likely be better off with a fresh start elsewhere. Cammalleri is a more skilled and dynamic player than Bourque, but over the past few years, their production is virtually the same in terms of goals. The difference between the two is how they score their goals. Cammalleri’s goals are often “skill” goals from the perimeter, whereas Bourque’s are not as pretty. Both are also known for stretches of invisibility, as was seen this year from the two of them. I can go and on, but essentially, this trade could be equally beneficial to both teams in the short term. The fact that Montreal gets a 2nd round pick and a prospect (Patrick Holland) is a bonus; and they save approximately $2.7M against the cap. On that level, they did win the trade.

Having said that, I feel they lost this trade because the return that they got doesn’t properly address what they need. Pierre Gauthier can try to spin this into a positive all he wants (how is Mr. Markov doing by the way?); but the Canadiens are not a playoff team this year – they were not before the trade and they are not after the trade. Accept that. They need to rid themselves of some veterans, get younger and go through a quick rebuild as they already have some good young assets in place. If I was told two days ago that Mike Cammalleri was getting traded tomorrow, I would have hoped they could get some NHL ready prospects who could finish the rest of the year with the Canadiens and be ready to make an impact next year. Instead, they replaced a 30 year old on the decline with a 30 year old on the decline.

If it had to be a trade with Calagry, they should have asked for some combination of TJ Brodie, Greg Nemisz, Sven Baertschi, Mikael Backlund. That would have been a better move in the long run. All Pierre Gauthier really did was take a step sideways.

Speaking of Gauthier, his handling of this was disgraceful. I didn’t think it was appropriate to trade someone in the middle of a game like that, and him going on record saying “I’ve been working on this for a month” is equally disrespectful. How would you feel if your boss fired you, and tells you “oh by the way, I’ve been working on getting rid of you for a month.” It may be true, but no one wants to hear that.

The end was sour for Mike Cammalleri, especially being booed in his last game at home, but in only two and a half years he gave a lot to the Canadiens franchise. He elevated his game when it mattered most and he was fun to watch. He also did some charitable work, most notably his “Cammy’s Heroes” initiative of inviting two war veterans to every home game.

Good luck Mike and thanks for all you did for the organization.

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