Tag:Pierre Gauthier
Posted on: January 12, 2012 9:44 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 11:03 pm
 

Mike Cammalleri traded to Calgary

CammalleriBy: Adam Gretz

Just when you start to think the Montreal Canadiens have hit rock bottom on the season, it just finds a way to keep getting crazier. And crazier. And crazier.

The latest development: Forward Mike Cammalleri being traded to the Calgary Flames on Thursday night after he was pulled during the third period of the team's 2-1 loss in Boston.

The deal involves Cammalleri, goaltender Karri Ramo and a fifth-round draft pick going to Calgary in exchange for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and a 2013 second-round draft pick. This, of course, will be Cammalleri's second stop with the Flames after having spent 2008-09 season in Calgary, producing what was the best season of his career with 39 goals and 82 points in 79 games. He signed with Montreal after that season, inking a five-year, $30 million contract.

Said Flames general manager Jay Feaster in a team released statement on Thursday, “Mike Cammalleri is a dynamic player who enjoyed great success playing in Calgary. We believe Cammalleri will help our offensive production, solidify a second scoring line, bolster our power play, and bring another strong veteran voice to our room. We are confident that a return to Calgary will be good for Mike and good for our continued pursuit of a playoff berth.”

The "strong veteran voice" comment is certainly interesting, seeing as how his "voice" has to be one of the reasons he was even on the market in the first place. Cammalleri's name was in the news earlier on Thursday for some controversial remarks about his team and the way they prepare for games. Less than 24 hours later? He's gone.

Following Thursday's loss in Boston, the Canadiens are now 16-20-7 on the season and seven points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. The team has already fired two coaches this season, dumping assistant coach Perry Pearn in the first month of the season, and then replacing head coach Jacques Martin last month. The latter was a move that has resulted in the entire organization facing criticism from a vocal minority of fans that are unhappy Martin's replacement, Randy Cunneyworth, doesn't speak french.
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Add in the Cammalleri storyline, both his comments and the ensuing trade, and it's been total chaos.

At the halfway point of the season Cammalleri had been struggling this season and had scored just nine goals in 37 games.

Bourque is obviously the key part of the trade for Montreal, and his name had been coming up in trade rumors for what seems like two years now. And while he's a solid player having scored 27 goals in each of the past two seasons, and on pace for nearly the same number this season, it's hard to argue that the Canadiens are a better team after this move (even though Montreal general manager Pierre Gauthier tried to do just that when announcing the move).

Really, the only benefit Montreal gets is that it dealt a player that made some comments the team didn't like, and saves a few million in salary cap space over the next couple of seasons. Cammalleri's contract still has two years remaining on it with an average salary cap hit of $6 million per season. Bourque is signed through the 2015-16 season and has an average salary of $3.3 million, giving Montreal a savings of about $2.7 million per year.

The Flames entered their game on Thursday night against Anaheim four points out of the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Bourque is currently suspended for his elbow to the head of Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom. It should be noted that the Canadiens, Bourque's new team, play the Capitals on Wednesday, and he will be eligible to play that night.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 9, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: December 9, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Hurricanes trade Kaberle to Canadiens for Spacek

By Brian Stubits

This summer, the Carolina Hurricanes invested $4.25 million per season for three seasons on Tomas Kaberle, a lot of people around the NHL could only laugh, but obviously the 'Canes had faith.

Fast forward to December and the 'Canes have traded Kaberle to the Montreal Canadiens -- as first reported by Darren Dreger -- ending a very short-lived but painful era for the folks in Carolina and, presumably, Kaberle. In return, the Habs sent defenseman Jaroslav Spacek to Carolina.

“This deal brings a solid, veteran defenseman to our team for the remainder of this season and allows us more flexibility with our roster moving forward,” Carolina GM Jim Rutherford said. What he didn't say there was how happy he was he could find a taker for Kaberle.

That's a big burden off Carolina's back, $12.75 million over the next three years that the Canadiens are now on the hook for. Of course, Montreal is no stranger to bad contracts (ahem, Scott Gomez).

When discussing the deal that was signed this summer, Rutherford was about as honest as a GM can get, telling Chip Patterson of the News & Oberserver, "I should have known better." Ouch!

Meanwhile in Spacek, the 'Canes get a player making slightly less money ($3.83 million), and maybe more importantly get a contract that expires after this season.

In the end, you have to like this move from Carolina's perspective, don't you? The marriage of the two couldn't have been annulled quicker for 'Canes fans. To say that Kaberle has been a disappointment would be an understatement. In 29 games played, Kaberle is goal-less and has nine assists while sporting a hideous minus-12. One of his big responsibilities, moving the puck on the power play, hasn't been going swimmingly, either. The Hurricanes are 26th in the NHL in power play percentage.

So sending him out of town is a nice move for Carolina, regardless of what they net in return. Quite honestly, the return isn't all that much but another bad contract. Spacek, 37, has been limited to just 12 games this season and has just three points to speak of. Still, the deal doesn't seem bad for Carolina at all.

"I think that trade is good for me," Spacek was quoted by Renaud P. Lavoie of RDS. "I hope it will be a good one for the Hurricanes."

From a Montreal perspective, however, I'm left scratching my head a bit. What do the Habs stand to benefit from taking on my payroll for a longer commitment for a player that is, even nothing else, past his prime?

"There are no dangers, only opportunities," Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier said about the skepticism of landing Kaberle. No dangers? Really?

It should have been warning enough that this now makes four teams in the last calendar year for Kaberle having begun last season with the Maple Leafs before being traded to the Bruins and joining them for the Cup run. He then signed this offseason with the Hurricanes, who couldn't wait to undo the move.

I'm sure he'll be welcome with open arms by the Montreal faithful hoping the team can turn things around (where's that damn sarcasm font button?).

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 26, 2011 6:19 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 6:38 pm
 

Canadiens fire assistant coach

By: Adam Gretz

Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Martin is under fire for the team's brutal start, and while he's not paying any attention to his critics or the people calling for a coaching change, the Montreal front office is making at least one change -- they're going to fire one of the assistants.

The team announced on Wednesday evening, just a little less than an hour before their game against the Philadelphia Flyers, that assistant coach Perry Pearn has been relieved of his duties.

Said general manager Pierre Gauthier, “I want to thank Perry Pearn for his contribution to the Canadiens organization over the past three years. He remains a very knowledgeable coach with a strong work ethic and is a true professional. I offered Perry to remain with the organization in a different role."

It was Pearn's third season with the club. Yes, things are getting desperate. Is this the last act of desperation before a bigger change comes? Who knows, but it's unlikely that Pearn has been the biggest problem -- or any part of the problem -- in Montreal this season. This is the hockey version of a baseball team that's 10 games out of first place in May firing its third base coach.

The Canadiens enter play on Wednesday with a 1-5-2 record, their worst start through eight games in 70 years.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com