BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 12: Mike Cammalleri #13 of the Montreal Canadiens takes the puck in the first period against the Boston Bruins on January 12, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
"To be honest with you, that wasn't an issue in our locker room, we had put it to rest. There are lots of things that people say that are taken out of context and even if they're said, life goes on."
While the game on the ice tonight was a conservative battle between two teams backed by great goalies and filled with guys willing to get in the way of shots, the action occurring off the ice was anything but. After playing two periods against the Bruins tonight, Mike Cammalleri was told to undress and head back to the hotel to await further instructions. Those instructions would end up being to hop on a plane to meet up with his old team the Calgary Flames as the winger was traded back to Calgary in a deal that would bring Rene Bourque to Montreal.
The deal comes after a comment of Cammalleri's was supposedly taken out of context in it's translation. While Mike talked about the team having a losing mindset plaguing it currently, the idea was expressed more along the line of the team being losers. Even with teammates expressing the sentiment was interpreted incorrectly, it being a non-issue in the room and most importantly, was correct, the Canadiens' management felt it was time for a change and sent Cammalleri back west.
Time will tell what becomes of this Habs team as many questions currently surround it. It could very well end this season facing a complete rebuild which could unfortunately lead to a new coach and a number of new faces in an attempt to rebuild it's culture and winning ways. Until then, this team will continue to fight an uphill battle of competition, news stories, uncertainty and frustration. At this point of the season it's likely to get much worse as the rumors heat up for the deadline.
From a Bruins perspective, this may present an interesting opportunity. The B's are cautious buyers currently; they have cap space, they have a few assets though unlikely the ones they'd be willing to move for a top pair or top 6 target, and they have a few things they could work on but with the team performing as they are and team chemistry at a high, there's little rush to make a deal.
If there was one place that the Bruins would likely look to shore up their roster it'd be in their 7th defenseman. Going into the playoffs there's always a chance the team will run into some series of injuries. Up front they've shown their level of depth, something much improved from 2 seasons ago. On the backend though they're lacking after their starting 6. Steven Kampfer has performed well for them in the past but he's a young, smaller defenseman; not an ideal candidate at this point as a playoff fallback.
So who might be a fit? A guy in Montreal that is originally from this area and a former Bruins might fit. While Hal Gill isn't the offensive defenseman that many want to pick up, he is a reliable shutdown guy who has cup experience, is no bs and wants to win. He's done it before and could be slotted in with most guys on this roster if need be to fill in for injury. Would I expect him to go right in and replace a current starter? No. But he certainly would be a strong option and one that would likely cost less than some of the bigger names out there.
The Bruins do appear to be looking to make a move of some sorts. Tonight Jordan Caron entered the line up for the first time in a while. The former first round pick has been up and down this season to Providence and has been seen by some fans as a disappointment so far. While he is a good defensive player, has size and decent hands, he just hasn't fit in with this team to the point where he's been able to contribute. Much of this may be attributed to his skating which needs work but it could be a number of other things as well. In any case, don't be surprised if this game and a few others he'll likely appear in over the next two weeks are showcase games for him as Peter Chiarelli generates value.
At this point it's all speculative. The Habs could be a partner but could very well not want to go in division. If they did though they'll likely look for prospect/picks that could be invested in or combined and flipped for a name to fill their newly generated cap space. The B's could be looking to move Caron or one of their other forward prospects (such as Sauve, Knight, Spooner or Koko) to help their defense, maybe even with Carolina. Heck, it could even be with Calgary who will need to move money once LTIR money hits the books again. Or they could go somewhere no one has really thought of as Peter Chiarelli proved is possible last season. We'll be keeping our ears open though as we look to see what the secret move could be.