The fanbase seems to be split over the deal made last night that sent Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and a 2013 2nd rounder to Montreal in exchange for Mike Cammalleri, Karri Ramo and a 2012 5th Rounder. I get why people might be against it, but I’m not sure I agree.
Cammalleri’s a Better Player
Looking at the advanced stats, it appears that even though Cammalleri has been unluckier then Bourque, he’s been more effective in driving play north against better players-while scoring at a better rate at even strength, even though he’s almost 4% lower then his career SH%. He does seem to be getting a better Zone Start then Bourque did, but I put more stock into the quality of player he’s facing off against. I don’t think Cammalleri will be facing as tough of competition in Calgary as he was in Montreal, and his luck should get better-so don’t be surprised if he finishes with as many as 25 goals due to a correction in luck and shooting percentage. Gabe Desjardins thinks that Cammalleri is worth at least a win more then Bourque based on Corsi alone.
A 2nd Rounder isn’t Worth Much
The 2nd round pick has a 15% chance of becoming a successful pick, according to the research done by Scott Reynolds over at The Copper and Blue:
I’ve set the criteria for a “successful pick” in these drafts as any player who has played a minimum of 200 NHL games and has scored a minimum of 0.5 points per game.
So there’s a 15% chance that the draft pick might become Matt Stajan? Whoopdie-do, Basil. (There’s other good stuff in that article that you should check out, too.)
Patrick Holland’s Not a Big Deal
As fans, we always overrate our prospects. But a guy like Corey Pronman, who evaluates prospects for Hockey Prospectus, is impartial. Here’s what he had to say about Holland:
Talked to scouts about Patrick Holland earlier this week. Consensus was career minor leaguer fringe 4th liner. I think could be [an average] 4th.
Holland is a decent skater who works hard and can bring solid PK/defensive value, but not much talent to speak of.
Guys like that are easily replaceable via free agency. The reality is that the Flames-and for that matter, every team-have limited resources when it comes to developing prospects; there is an argument to say those resources shouldn’t be used on a guy who might be Tom Kostopoulos in a few years.
Karri Ramo Might Actually Be Good
Ramo Already has NHL experience with the Tampa Bay Lightning. While the results from that ~20 game stretch were a bit underwhelming, his recent years in the KHL have been pretty good-an average of 2.00 GAA and a .922SV% over the past three seasons. I’m not sure what happens to Kiprusoff in the next couple of years, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the dudes in Hockey Operations saw Ramo as a potential replacement. I’m not personally sure that’s accurate, however.
What’s 2.5 Million?
While there is definitely a concern when it comes to extra cap space being eaten up, you have to take into account the length of the deal. Cammalleri will be 32 at the end of the 2014 season, when his deal expires. Bourque? 35 when his deal expires in 2016. With the amount of contacts coming off the books this year that won’t be resigned, the extra 2.5 million shouldn’t hinder the Flames’ negotiating abilities when free agency hits. I think it’s too far in the future to consider how this effects the summer of 2013, especially taking into account that a new CBA has to be constructed this summer.
Are There Really Cap Concerns?
Over the life of the contracts, the Flames will spend about 10 grand more for Cammalleri against the cap then they would for Bourque. In real money, it’ll be a lot more, but who cares. We’re not the ones writing the cheque, right? In terms of this year, the Flames still have quite a bit of breathing room when it comes to the cap. Many people don’t know that the cap is calculated based not on total salaries, but rather on the active players each day during the season-that means every day a player is in Abbotsford or on LTIR, his salary for that day doesn’t count against the cap. Right now the Flames have some money to work with on LTIR, but the equivalent of about 2.5 million will have to be cleared if everyone gets healthy, which is a big “if”. Not too much of a concern, though, since the Flames currently have 9 two-way contracts on their rosters. I realize that doesn’t mean it’s as simple as saying “abracadabra ABBOTSFORD!”, but Feaster has some breathing room.
Is Cammalleri Injury-Prone?
Here’s the injury report for Cammalleri since the start of the 2008-2009 season:
Nov 13th, 2008-missed 1 game due to flu. March 24, 2010-missed 17 games due to leg injury. January 15th, 2011-missed 2 games due to flu. February 20th, 2011-missed 12 games due to shoulder injury. October 20, 2011-missed three games due to laceration. November 16th, 2011-missed 2 games due to infection.
So basically he had one freak leg injury and got sick, as humans are wont to do. I guess he had a boo-boo in there as well. The only injury there is a shoulder injury. The guy has been legitimately hurt once in the past four seasons-that doesn’t exactly scream “injury-prone” to me. Fun fact: Mark Giordano, who no one would ever call “injury-prone” because of his “grit” and “toughness”, has missed 47 games during that same span; or, 10 games more then Cammalleri.
Bourque Has… Issues
I don’t put much stock into things like “laziness” or “heart”, etc. because we’re not in the dressing room (well, most of us) so it’s unfair to evaluate a player based on that. But-it’s not unfair for us to evaluate what we see on the ice, and what has been seen on the ice this year has been crap. 7 games missed due to suspensions, undisciplined play and streakiness-all of those things just make him extremely frustrating.
The fact that this trade has been made demonstrates to me that ownership and management still don’t want to rebuild-thus, making the playoffs is the goal here. There has been no paradigm shift. Whether we agree with that or not, it seems to be a reality and it makes sense that the team would continue down the path they believe in. Most of the opposition to this trade comes in the form of the move potentially being a harbinger of things to come, and I don’t get that. Dismissing a move that seems to be wholly positive because of a trade that might happen in the future because it might not fit with our accepted reality is too far of a stretch for me.
I don’t see this as the first stepping stone to “future-mortgaging” trades because I don’t believe the Flames gave up much. The pure economics and pure talent level in the deal both seem to swing Calgary’s way, so I’m happy about it.