Mike Cammalleri was traded to the Calgary Flames on Thursday evening, yanked from the third period of a game in Boston and shipped across the continent. While he was the centerpiece of the deal, especially following his comments to the media about the Canadiens on Wednesday, he wasn't the only piece of the trade.
Joining the forward on the flight to Calgary will be goaltender Karri Ramo, formerly of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. He's currently playing for Avangard Omsk in the KHL. A fifth round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft is also going to Calgary. Heading back to Montreal will be forward Rene Bourque, prospect Patrick Holland and a second round pick in the 2013 draft.
Bourque and Cammalleri sort of cancel each other out in the deal. They've put up similar numbers in the last several seasons and play similar games, although Bourque may use his size to his advantage a bit more while Cammalleri is more of a finesse player.
The second round pick versus the fifth round pick is obviously a big discrepancy in the balance of the deal, and Holland likely has more upside than Ramo, who's left North America for Russia. Neither prospect is a stud, however. Holland is finishing up is final season of Major Junior eligibility with the WHL's Tri-City Americans.
In terms of the salary cap, the Flames are taking on salary here, and a considerable amount. Cammalleri has a cap hit of $6 million per season, the main reason fans in Montreal disliked his comments Wednesday, while Bourque has a cap hit of just $3.3 million, according to CapGeek.com. Of course, Bourque still has four years left on his deal following this season, while Cammalleri's deal expires in the summer of 2014.
It's really a pretty even trade. Calgary adds salary right away but gets rid of that salary sooner, and the players are really not that different from one another. The prospects are both underwhelming and shouldn't impact the overall bottom line all that much for either team.
The slight initial edge has to go to the Canadiens simply because they've added what will likely be an early second round pick in 2013, while losing a fifth rounder this season, but there's still time for that to play out.