Former Flames Thriving
With the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs entering its second leg tomorrow night, I thought it would be interesting to look at some former Calgary Flames that are thriving in this years big dance.
The obvious one, right off the bat, is Montreal forward Mike Cammalleri. He signed in Montreal for 5 years at $6 million per season, after leading the Flames in goals last season with 39. He has 10 points in seven games this post-season and he is the only player to register a point in the first six games of the Habs-Caps series. He scored 26 goals in only 65 games this regular season for the Habs; 11 goals more than Olli Jokinen did and Cammy did it in 17 less games.
Keep reading Darryl…
Cammalleri gelled with Iginla and better yet, he took pressure off of Iginla to put the puck in the net. How would Calgary be different if #13 still toiled in the red, gold, and black and not the bleu, blanc et rouge. Cammalleri was the scoring punch the Flames lacked this season, and NOW he is has just helped the Canadiens complete one of the most improbably comebacks in playoff history; with a little help from that Slovakian goalie of his.
Moving a little west, we have Brad Stuart and Todd Bertuzzi helping the Detroit Red Wings on yet another spring drive. Bertuzzi left Calgary after only one season of playing for the Flames. Criticized for his defensive deficiencies and injury prone body, Big Bert was sent adrift by Sutter. Now, I was never a big fan of the brute, but he clearly has fit in well in the Motor City. Surprisingly, he was one of only three players on the Wings to play in every game this season; the others being Stuart and Lidstrom. Bertuzzi picked up 5 points in their opening round series (1 goal, 4 assists) and was very effective filling in on different lines this campaign for the injury riddled Wings.
Stuart was traded to Calgary with Wayne Primeau for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew back in 2007. Stuart was lambasted in the Calgary media for not bringing enough to the table and was unceremoniously left adrift by Flames management. He signed a one year contract with his old friend Dean Lombardi in Los Angeles before signing the following year with the Wings. He plays a great support role for the Wings and is not counted on to be the go to guy, but he does do his job quite well. Subsequently, the results have shown in these playoffs as Stuart has 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) in seven games, including the nail in the Coyote coffin in dying seconds of the 2nd period of game 7.
Other notable ex-Flames still churning their legs on playoff ice include Roman Hamrlik(Canadiens); Scott Nichol(Sharks); Marc Savard, Steve Begin and Andrew Ference(Bruins); Blair Betts and Brian Boucher(Flyers); Eric Godard and Jordan Leopold(Penguins).
I would also name the various other ex-Flames over the last 25 years that have gone on to have tremendous success outside of Calgary but I do not have all night.
The reason for this tirade is it just seems that recently the Flames franchise have chewed up and spit out a lot of talented players, only to be left with grinders and checkers that can not make a difference in hockey games.
Cammalleri, especially, should serve as a stiff reminder to Flames fans of what could have been. He could have signed here if it weren’t for Jokinen, and that is the truth. He was a proven goal scorer and proved it playing alongside Iginla, yet Sutter decided to test the waters with someone else.
This is yet another justifiable reason as to why Darryl Sutter should be given directions to the unemployment office.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames