Saturday, 14 January 2012

L'histoire se répète?

With Rene Bourque getting ready to hit the ice for the Canadiens tonight, I received an email from a native Montreal citizen in Mike Engle. Mike is a loyal Canadiens supporter, a frequent commenter and guest contributor on Uni-Watch, and an all-around good guy. Mike has decided to throw his name into the ring for HBIC's Blogger of the Month with his guest post that is posted below. More on that at the end of this article.

I'll allow you to read through Mike's thoughts, and I'll make a few comments below Mike's writing. Personally, the insight from Montreal is pretty important when considering the Cammalleri-Bourque trade from earlier this week. Here's Mike!

"A sudden turn of events today marked another cold chapter in a long Montreal winter. Unfortunately, I am not referencing the recent snowstorms that have blanketed the city. Instead, the Montreal Canadiens pulled the trigger on one the most high-profile, and arguably hasty, trades since the 1995 Patrick Roy trade. This time, Michael Cammalleri was the departing former playoff hero. He started packing his bags during the third period of the evening's Habs/Bruins game, having been shipped to the Calgary Flames before the final buzzer. Alongside Cammalleri, Karri Ramo and Montreal's 2012 5th-round draft pick will be moving westward, in exchange for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland, and Calgary's 2013 2nd-round draft pick.

"Unlike most hockey trades, which are almost always strictly business-oriented, the Cammalleri trade appeared to have its fair share of drama and curiosity. Only days ago, Cammalleri either claimed that his Habs teammates were losers, or that they were playing with a losing attitude, depending on which language's news outlets you would prefer to quote. Despite Cammalleri's brief moment of audible frustration, compounded with reduced ice-time under interim anglophone head coach Randy Cunneyworth, it was surprising to see him traded, and perhaps even more surprising in context.

"As many fellow Habs fans may recall, the Cammalleri trade shares many eerie similarities with the Roy trade. Back in December 1995, Patrick Roy clashed with new coach Mario Tremblay over his own misuse, and was traded shortly after his self-proclaimed 'last game with the Canadiens.' Unlike Cammalleri, who may mark current GM Pierre Gauthier's final moments in the Montreal front office, Roy was traded by a complete neophyte GM in Rejean Houle. However, as was the case after the Roy trade, the Habs have apparently waved a white flag on the year, swapping the popular Cammalleri for another disappointing winger while exchanging prospects and draft picks. Meanwhile, from the Flames' point of view, Cammalleri joins Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay on the list of current players on a second tour of duty in Calgary. (Cammalleri spent the 2008-09 season in Calgary before signing with the Habs as a UFA in the following offseason.)

"Though Gauthier and Flames GM Jay Feaster both claimed that the trade was in the works for some time, this Habs-supporting columnist must question the timing of the trade. While in-game trades are not unprecedented in baseball, this particular transaction reeked of bad blood. In addition, one must wonder if Gauthier sold short on his expensive sniper, as ESPN hockey columnist and Twitterer Pierre LeBrun noted that one other GM would have made the Habs an offer, if Cammalleri had been publicly available.

"So, Teebz' readers, what do you think of the Cammalleri trade? A good move for the reeling Habs, or a bad one? Will Pierre Gauthier live to make another trade for Le Tricolore? And was this in-game trade a jab at the departing #13, or simply awkward timing?"

Great article, Michael, and thank you for submitting it. You make a number of good points, and I hadn't even considered the similarities between the trading of two Montreal playoff heroes in Patrick Roy and Mike Cammalleri.

While I'd argue that the trading of Patrick Roy rocked the Canadiens to a point that they still have not recovered from, the trading of Mike Cammalleri after his amazing playoff run last season probably won't have the same impact simply because Cammalleri's regular season success has been nowhere near the impact that Roy had during his days in Montreal. But the fact remains: a playoff hero was traded in 1995, and a playoff hero was traded in 2012.

So what say you, readers: do you think that this move was a good one for the Canadiens? Personally, I think it is, but my opinion means little in the grand scope of things. And of the timing, did the trade just happen to occur at a time when Cammalleri's comments were still in play, or was the trade the result of his comments? What say you, readers?

Thanks again, Mike, and I'll be in contact with you if you're the winner of the Blogger of the Month prize. If you'd like to have a chance at picking up some free prizes while HBIC celebrates its fifth anniversary, scribe an article and send it here. I'll post it, and you'll be eligible for a prize if you're picked as the Blogger of the Month!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Peter McCambridge said...

I think it's great that for once a hockey player spoke his mind and was honest in an interview instead of giving us the same old "We're all in this together... we're going to take it one game at a time" routine. Fair play to Cammalleri for telling it like it is! Sad that he got traded for it.

Peter McCambridge
Translator of I Hate Hockey, published by Baraka Books

Celebrity said...

You're right sir!! Nice Post.