Following a whirlwind 24 hours that saw Michael Cammalleri vent his frustrations with the Montreal Canadiens and subsequently dealt to the Calgary Flames, the player’s agent said the disgruntled forward was not looking for a trade.
Agent Ian Pulver joined Jeff Blair on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Friday morning to discuss his client’s trade, claiming that Cammalleri wanted to remain with the struggling Canadiens and help them get back on track, despite his criticisms of the club the previous day.
“Mike did not want out of Montreal,” Pulver said in the radio interview. “Mike wanted to win in Montreal. He wanted the team to do better and he made his comments and whether they were accepted or not, he’s in Calgary today.”
Cammalleri was dealt to the Flames on Thursday night along with Karri Ramo and a fifth-round draft pick in 2012 in exchange for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and a second-round pick in 2013.
On Wednesday, Cammalleri had sounded off about the mounting frustration in Montreal, suggesting the Canadiens were playing with a “losing mentality”. Pulver agreed it has been a turbulent season for Cammalleri and the Habs, but his client is now focused on re-joining an organization where he has achieved success in the past.
“This season seems to have gone backwards for the entire organization and (Canadiens general manager) Mr. Gauthier decided to trade Mike,” Pulver added. “To go back to Calgary with Jarome Iginla and the rest of the players, he knows the city, he knows the fans, he’s excited.”
While the trade may appear to be a knee-jerk reaction from a Habs club that has admittedly made mistakes this season, Flames GM Jay Feaster said the two clubs had been discussing a deal for a while. Cammalleri’s agent said he didn’t think a trade was imminent, even though other teams had also shown interest in the 29-year-old forward.
“Whether it’s been in the works, I believe there were inquiries made but I don’t think anything was imminent for some time,” Pulver said. “There have been teams that made inquiries about Mike’s availability throughout this year, through all the coaching changes Montreal has had.”
In 37 games for the Canadiens this season, Cammalleri had nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points. He now returns to the Flames, where he had career-highs in goals (39) and points (82) in the 2008-09 season.