Pierre Gauthier has not acknowledged that a rebuild is under way but how else are we supposed to interpret this move? Mike Cammalleri has been shipped off to Calgary in exchange for Rene Bourque. Both players have been underachieving dramatically this year so neither party really benefits in terms of acquisition alone. Montreal does clear up some cap space and that must have been what the Canadien’s GM was looking to do rather than to acquire yet another player who is performing below expectation. For an excellent article dissecting the trade in great detail, please see Lisa Fiorilli’s contribution of January 13 http://awinninghabit.com/2012/01/13/mike-cammalleri-traded/.
I do not believe that the move was sparked by Number 13’s recent public comments about the Montreal Canadiens adopting the mindset of losers rather than winners. Nor was this the result of his complaints about dwindling icetime. If such had been the case, then Andrei Kostitsyn would also have been moved after an August interview with Belarusian press in which he indicated that the relationship between himself and then coach Jacques Martin was strained.
Whether Gauthier becomes a full-fledged seller by trade deadline or makes a desperate attempt to tweak his current lineup in an attempt to secure the eighth and final playoff position remains to be seen. One thing that is for certain however is that he must have more moves up his sleeve because this roster change in and of itself is not remotely likely to make one iota of difference as far as the eventual place occupied by the Habs in the standings.
It is notable that Cammalleri’s departure, combined with injuries to Brian Gionta and to Scott Gomez, currently leaves the Habs without the services of either of the three major acquisitions related to the Great Overhaul of 2009. Be careful what you wish for folks, you just might get it!! Gionta is likely out for the remainder of the season after undergoing bicep surgery on January 11th while Gomez’s return is apparently imminent (so was Markov’s by the way). Factor in the loss of recent additions Dominic Moore, Glen Metropolit, Jeff Halpern, Alex Auld and the Habs are merely a shell of the team that we thought we were just getting to know.
Oddly enough, this move seems to have been formalized during the Habs vs. Bruins game as Cammalleri was told just prior to the commencement of the third period that he was to speak to Pierre Gauthier who delivered the news. Rumours abounded, jokes were made and when the dust settled Montreal had added Rene Bourque and Michael Cammalleri found himself headed back to Calgary where he once thrived.
I, for one, will miss Number 13. Despite his dropoff in production it is clear that he can be an elite sniper to be feared by the opposition. I will also miss this version of the Montreal Canadiens which by all appearances is about to be dismantled and i would like to publish an official Thank You For The Good Times before everyone is too far away to be shown some gratitude.
As for the matchup itself, the Montreal Canadiens, did put forth a solid effort in a 2-1 loss to a team that seems very much destined to repeat as Stanley Cup winners this season. Boston now leads the regular-season series by a 3-2 margin. There is no shame in that. The only real shame lies in the fact that a season filled with so much confidence, with so much hope, with such great expectations has gone terribly and inexplicably awry. Sports psychologists should be able to cash in on the devastating downfall of this once proud and glorious hockey mecca.
The next step for Montreal, apart from adding some more touches to the facelift that this team is about to undergo, involves back-to-back weekend games against two red-hot teams, namely the Ottawa Senators and the New York Rangers. The Habs remain in 12th place, 7 points behind 8th place Washington Capitals.