2009 NHL Free Agent Preview: Michael Cammalleri
It’s common knowlege that the Rangers needed scoring help this year and they just might find it from a Flame. Michael Cammalleri of the Calgary Flames, is a UFA this year that will probably draw quite a bit of attention. Although currently it would seem that the 26 (27 June 8th) year old winger/center is flying under the radar. Cammalleri is one of the younger UFA’s this year, which will make him more attractive to the teams who pursue him.
#13 / Left Wing / Calgary Flames
Jun 08, 1982
Cammalleri had his best year statistically scoring 39 goals and adding 43 assists. He has scored 80 points or more in two of his last three years. This year 19 of his 39 goals were notched on the power play, a stat that would benefit the Rangers immensely. He has an amazing shot which is why he has 118 goals in his last 4 seasons. From the playmaking standpoint he is also solid 136 assists his past four seasons. Basically what I’m getting as is that he can help bury the feeds that Gomez gives him while feeding the likes of Drury, Dubinsky and Callahan.
You might say that this year’s statistics were due to the fact that he was playing with Iginla but I think it’s more than that. Two years ago Cammalleri put up 80 points on a horrific LA Kings team, in which he needed to be the star, and he performed well. He has played in some bigger markets so you would have to figure he would be okay in New York, although New York is a different kind of big.
One of the big downsides of Cammalleri, something that will keep his contract numbers down, is his lack of playoff experience. He has only been to the show once, this year, notching a measly goal and two assists in his 6 games. I’m thinking somewhere between 5-6 million a year, which is pretty cheap for a guy who puts up 80+ points a year and is turning 27 years old. Another downside is that Cammalleri is a career West coast player. Westies (as I like to call them) are usually softer and tend to get fazed by the increased contact in the East. But as Jim said before even if it costs him 10 goals he would still be the Rangers leading scorer.
Regardless it should be interesting to see how this plays out. Would you dish out a contract worth 6 million for him even though he isn’t battle tested in the playoffs? Would you disk out 6 million for him either way? Can you even pass on him, especially since he puts up good numbers and is really young? What would you do if you were GM? Have at it in the comments!