Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Flames Panel Who won the Habs vs Flames Trade.

Well, the Habs got a gritty forward in Rene Bourque. If he can keep his head in the game, Rene can score 20-30 goals a season. He has ton of speed and has the potential to be a top 6 forward. His main problem is that he gets lazy and takes silly penalties. But if Rene can keep his head and stay motivated, he can be a very gritty, talented forward. He not a soft player. But he really needs to work hard on a consistent basis.

The Habs get a no-nonsense forward in Patrick Holland. He has the potential to be a solid third-line forward. He is solid skater, who plays pretty well in his defensive zone. He has a good head on his shoulders.

The Flames get their top 6 forward in Cammy. He has scoring ability in buckets. Cammy has really struggled this season, but he had a career year with the Flames in the '08 season. He has a great one-timer, and more importantly, is great playmaker who connects with Iginla. The two were very successful in Calgary.

As for the prospect goaltender, the Flames are realizing that Kipper won’t be here forever and that they need to start to thinking of the future.

So who gets the best of the trade? Well, usually the team that gets the better player wins the trade. So logically, that means the Flames; but let’s not be too hasty here. If Bourque can keep his head, the Habs might not lose too much. The Flames do get the best player and prospect, but the Habs get a higher draft pick. To me, it’s a wash.

So I went to the regular panel and asked them the same question: Who won the Bourque trade? The Habs or Flames?

Mike Walsh:

Here is how I break down the trade:

Cammalleri is better than Bourque
Holland is equal to a 5th round pick
Ramo is equal to a 2nd round pick.

Based on that, the Flames have won the deal.

Rene Bourque is a very good hockey player, when he decides to play, and that has been his problem. He has become unreliable, way too inconsistent and in fact for being a power forward, he rarely drives and attacks the net. Rather, he has been playing on the perimeter and taking shots from the outside. If Bourque can get back to playing as an actual power forward, Montreal has themselves a very good hockey player.

Mike Cammalleri is a one shot sniper, something the Flames have been missing. He had his best season playing alongside Jarome Iginla, and the Flames are clearly hoping that the chemistry is rekindled and sparks the offense.

The other pieces: Patrick Holland is a good prospect, but he is still a project. If he plays in the NHL, in my opinion, he will be a bottom 6 forward in the league. The Flames ultimately get a 5th round pick back, a pick they gave up for Pierre Leblond. Kari Ramo is in his mid 20's, and from everything I have read, has become a much better goalie since going over to the KHL. Now that doesn’t translate to anything at the NHL level, but he adds depth to the organization. Ramo has already stated he would like to come to Calgary, and I don’t know if would be willing to come back over just to end up in the AHL.

Montreal gains a 2nd round pick and from the Flames perspective, they will have ample opportunities to get that pick back through 2 trade deadlines. 2nd round picks tend to be the cost of playoff rentals on deadline day, and the Flames are likely going to be in a position to dump players for those type of picks.


All in all, I think it’s a good deal for both teams. Both Cammalleri and Bourque had worn out their welcomes. Now it’s really about which one will make the bigger impact on their new team, and my money is on Cammalleri. Who won the Cammalleri/Bourque trade?

Great question; mostly because two underachieving teams made a trade that could go either way for either team.

I will say the Flames won this deal but only slightly…for now.

I was one of the loudmouths who wanted Bourque out of town. His selfish play and lack of real emotion had gotten under my skin. Some Habs’ fans will likely say something similar about Cammalleri’s play this year. So in the sense of Bourque for Cammalleri, I would say the Flames won hands down (more star value in Cammalleri). Now in the contract sense, it gets a bit more interesting. As long as Iginla is in Calgary, the Flames will push for the playoffs. Some may call it a pipe dream, but it is reality. Cammalleri is more expensive, with a bigger cap hit, but Bourque’s term is longer. It will depend on how both players end up performing, but I am more at ease having Cammalleri for two more years at $6 million than Bourque at $3.33 million for four more years. So in the end, Cammalleri may attract better quality free agents and convince Iginla to re-up his contract when it ends in just over a season from now.

Where it gets interesting is all the added players/picks (Holland & 2nd rd pick to Montreal, Ramo & 5th rd pick to Calgary). Holland will become a solid character third line player down the road. A second round pick could get another Cammalleri type calibre player if developed properly, or he could be an AHL-lifer type player. Now Ramo, the goalie who is arguably the best goaltender outside of the NHL, could be the successor to Kipper. It is too early to tell, but the argument can be made. I will say if he comes over next year, we could see Irving and or Karlsson flipped for a pick in the near future.

All in all, I feel Calgary got more “guaranteed value”. From what I have heard, Cammalleri is a vocal guy in the dressing room, who brings a spark which the Flames can use. I also feel as though Gauthier made a rush decision to accept this deal and should have been patient (trade deadline) before unloading a guy like Cammalleri.

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