Mike Cammalleri Excited to go back to the Flames

Thursday night proved to be one of the moments that makes hockey so great. Going into their game against the Boston Bruins, all the talk was about the comments power forward Mike Cammelleri had made to the press the day before. As the hockey game continued, that talk would get louder.

Coming off the ice after practice with his Montreal Canadiens teammates on Wednesday, Cammalleri was quoted saying to two reporters, “I can’t accept that we will display a losing attitude as we’re doing this year. We prepare for games like losers. We play like losers. So it’s no wonder why we lose.” The comments were harsh, even if they were what everyone in Montreal was thinking, and frowned upon in the world of hockey etiquette. But just how bad were those words, really? And how much would Cammalleri have to pay for saying them?

Prior to the game, head coach Randy Cunneyworth said that Cammalleri “had a right to his own opinion” and that “if he wanted more ice time, he’d have to play better.” While Cunneyworth did seem poised during his own statement, it seems he and Canadiens execs were fuming inside. After dressing Cammalleri for the Boston game, and allowing him to play for two periods, the forward was told to leave the ice, go back to the hotel and await further instructions. Those, as he and the world were soon to find out, were going to be to get on the next flight to Calgary, where he was now a member of the Flames.

The deal gives Cammalleri to the Flames along with Karri Ramo and a fifth round draft pick in 2012, in exchange for Rene Bourque, who will go play for Montreal in addition with Patrick Holland and a second round draft pick in 2013. Jay Feaster, Calgary Flames GM, said that the deal has been in the works for weeks and has little to do with Cammalleri’s remarks, but the timing seems odd for it and many are saying that even dressing Cammalleri for the game shows the lack of organization and professionalism that Montreal has shown all year.

So how does Cammalleri feel about the trade? Well, he’s going back to a team he’s played for before, and a team and city that he loves. And his new general manager, says “When I called him, the first thing out of his mouth was ‘What are we? Four points back? I can’t wait to get there. I’ll tell you — there’s an excited hockey player coming to Calgary.”

And how does Feaster feel about having a somewhat loose cannon as part of his team? In his own words, “For me to hear the passion, the emotion, the enthusiasm, that he had when I called him, I’ll take that. Because that’s what I want — I want that passion. That’s something we need in our locker room.”

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