Michael Cammalleri has put together one of the most dominating playoff performances in recent memory; netting 12 goals and 18 points in 14 games through the first two rounds of the postseason. He's currently leading all skaters in playoff goals.
Cammy is one of the purest snipers in the league. He's not like Ovechkin or Kovalchuk; Cammy doesn't need to dominate the puck to score. What makes Cammy so valuable is his ability to find open-ice in the offensive zone and get off his shot quickly similar to Hall of Famer Brett Hull. He doesn't need alot of time or space to score. His down to one-knee quick release should be pantented.
Looking back, it's unfortunate that the Kings and Cammalleri couldn't work out their differences. It's obvious now that Kopitar needs a finisher to play with on the top line. After watching Cammy have success in Calgary and now Montreal; I really think Lombardi let one get away. When Cammy was on pace for 40-goals last year; Dean didn't have any regrets.
It doesn't surprise me that he's scoring up there. We had to make a conscious decision, based on the type of culture we wanted here, the type of player I wanted to use to set the identity of this franchise and, thirdly, signability. We answered those questions.
I never understood the notion that Cammy was a bad influence in the locker room. Hammer asked Cammy about some describing him as a 'selfish player.'
I don't know where that comes from. I wouldn't give much credit to hearing that. The game is still fun, and obviously it has been a frustrating year, but I still have fun playing the game. It's been frustrating because we haven't been able to win as many games as I thought we could have, but I don't think by any means that it is a selfish moment or anything like that. I just wanted us to do a little bit better as a team.
The arbitration process put a strain on Cammalleri's relationship with the organization. Cammalleri was seeking $6-million per year; while the Kings were countering with $2.6-million for their leading scorer from the previous season. When the arbitrator sided with the Kings and awarded a two-year deal worth $6.7-million; the writing was on the wall.
Dean Lombardi is all about 'Asset Management.' He felt he couldn't afford to bring Cammy back so he moved him as a one year asset to Calgary for their first-round pick. Calgary got the most out of Cammy for one season but ultimately decided that Olli Jokinen was the player they wanted moving forward with Jarome Iginla.
Fast forward a season. The Kings made the playoffs and have an asset still in their draft pick Colten Teubert. The Flames didn't make the playoffs and traded the struggling Jokinen at the deadline to the Rangers for Ales Kotalik and Chris Higgins. Higgins is an upcoming UFA; Kotalik is owed $6-million over the next two seasons.
Did Dean Lombardi let one get away? Yes. Can you really blame him? Nope. Hopefully, Teubert develops into an NHL-defenseman and we won't be having these types of discussions anymore (putting all Tyler Myers-talk aside of course).