Cammalleri will have little time to adjust

CALGARY — Mike Cammalleri is going to have precious little time to readjust to life in Calgary before being thrown right in the middle of the Flames’ playoff push.

CALGARY — Mike Cammalleri is going to have precious little time to readjust to life in Calgary before being thrown right in the middle of the Flames’ playoff push.

He can’t wait to get started.

“I’m excited to be back,” Cammalleri said Friday, one day after Calgary acquired him from the Montreal Canadiens in a multi-player deal. “It’s been a whirlwind. It’s nice to get here, get here in the locker-room and get ready to play hockey again. I can’t wait.”

Calgary hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2008-09 season, when Cammalleri had career highs in goals (39) and points (82) before leaving for Montreal as a free agent.

The Flames are hoping Cammalleri can quickly find chemistry with his ex-teammates again, but he’ll just have Saturday’s game-day skate to get reaquainted before stepping right into game action that night with the Los Angeles Kings at the Saddledome. The Kings are currently in eighth place in the Western Conference, three points ahead of the Flames.

“He’s going to be thrown right into the fire,” says Flames coach Brent Sutter. “There isn’t going to be any practice time or anything like that, but he’s a smart player and he knows the game and he’ll adjust very quickly.”

Sutter, who has never coached Cammalleri before, has not yet made up his mind on who his newest acquisition will play with. Jarome Iginla and Cammalleri played well together three years ago when Cammalleri’s 39 goals led the team.

But the Flames’ top unit of Olli Jokinen centring Iginla and Curtis Glencross is currently red-hot and it’s doubtful he’ll break up that trio.

Cammalleri is just happy to be in the hunt for a playoff spot with players he knows.

“I had such a great experience here my last time here. There’s so many familiar people for me in this locker-room,” he said. “I know where the team stands right now. It’s an exciting thing to be a part of to be three points out of a playoff spot right here and coming in for a big push here on this end of the season. It’s exciting for me, so it means a lot to be back.

“I would have liked to stay the first time around. The experience was great and I thought we had a pretty good team at the time. It was exciting then too.”

Cammalleri will be looked upon to inject some scoring into an offince that ranks in the bottom third in the league.

“One of the main reasons I was brought here is to produce offensively,” he said. “That’s something I’ll look to provide for sure.

“I would imagine I’ll be pretty excited. It’ll be fun for me to get out there. I’ll probably go out there really anxious and excited and be exhausted after 10 seconds and make it a quick short one.”

Cammalleri’s presence will give the Flames an emotional boost against the Kings, and it comes after they got some good news Thursday with the return of steady defenceman Mark Giordano, who had missed 21 games with a hamstring injury.

“I know Cammy personally. I played with him before and know him from back home. The guy works exceptionally hard off ice and on ice and we all know what kind of damage he can do around the net with the puck,” Giordano said. “Any time you see guys like that who take a lot of pride in off-ice stuff and commitment in the gym and carry it over onto the ice.

“Cammy, he’s a very confident player and that rubs off on guys.”

Cammalleri will be wearing jersey No. 93, a departure from his No. 13, currently worn by Jokinen. With Jokinen wearing No. 21, the two were teammates for the latter part of the 2009 season after Jokinen was acquired in a trade with Phoenix.

“I didn’t have a lot of options. There’s a lot of numbers taken,” said the native of Richmond Hill, Ont. “Pretty simply put, I thought of Dougie Gilmour. He played here. I know he was wearing No. 39. I grew up in Toronto as a kid watching him play for the Leafs with 93. That was one of the kind of five numbers that was sent in a text message to me with kind of some options. I said sure.”

Perhaps no one on the Flames is yearning for playoff hockey more than defenceman Jay Bouwmeester. The league’s reigning ironman with 551 consecutive games played in the regular season, the 28-year-old has yet to appear in a playoff game in his eight seasons.

“Whenever something like this happens, it shakes things up,” says Bouwmeester. “We’re playing a little better now with three wins in a row and hopefully this adds to that and we can keep rolling and keep moving up the standings.”

Calgary is currently tied with Phoenix for 11th in the Western Conference, three points out of the final playoff spot.

“All you really have to do is get in, then it’s a fresh start for everyone,” said Bouwmeester. “It seems like every year there is at least one or two lower teams, whether it’s the eighth seed or whatever, that end up going a long way. So, right now the focus is just to get there.”

— With files from Laurence Heinen.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Heather Buelow, owner of Aerial Edge Studio in Blackfalds, says she has spent ‘all of my saving keeping the studio going’ through government-mandated shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Either open in-person or close permanently: Central Alberta yoga studio defying rules

A central Alberta woman is allowing clients back into her yoga and… Continue reading

(MaxPixel)
Sandra Schmirler Foundation donates $10,000 to Red Deer hospital

Donation will go towards electronic fetal heart monitoring project

A sustainability audit for Westerner Park suggested 33 changes, including more city involvement. (Advocate file photo)
Westerner Park expands volunteer program

As Westerner Park refocuses the organization, they are reigniting their emphasis on… Continue reading

Madelyn Boyko poses along with a number of the bath bombs she makes with her mom, Jessica Boyko. Madelyn says she enjoys making the bath bombs with her mom as it is a special time for just the two of them. (Photo Submitted)
5-year-old Sylvan Lake girl selling bath bombs in support of younger brother

Madelyn Boyko is selling bath bombs for CdLS research in honour of her younger brother

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on December 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Patrick Doyle
New regulator to stop sexual exploitation of children online: public safety minister

OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the government will introduce… Continue reading

Gordon Greenwood Elementary Grade 7 students were assigned to write about climate change. The Langley Advance Times is pleased to present a selection of their writings. (Sasha/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

OTTAWA — A new report shows Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he will vote against a… Continue reading

Eugene Kwon of Gratia Bakery and Cafe says the business will be relying on take out orders and a small patio. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

OTTAWA — A group representing thousands of the country’s small businesses says… Continue reading

Ron Howard is photographed at the "Inferno" film premiere on Oct. 25, 2016 in Los Angeles. (Buckner/Rex Shutterstock/Zuma Press/TNS)
Brothers Ron and Clint Howard have memoir coming in October

NEW YORK — Filmmaker-actor Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard, brothers, former… Continue reading

FILE - In this Saturday, March 27, 2021 file photo, Buffalo Sabres’ Taylor Hall plays against the Boston Bruins during the second period of an NHL hockey game, in Boston. The Buffalo Sabres could trade 2018 MVP Hall, who signed for just this season and is a pending free agent. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
Boston Bruins acquire Taylor Hall to kick off NHL trade deadline day

Trade deadline day in the NHL has started with the Boston Bruins… Continue reading

The Huawei logo displayed at the main office of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Poland’s Internal Security Agency has charged a Chinese manager at Huawei in Poland and one of its own former officers with espionage against Poland on behalf of China. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Huawei, HSBC agree on document deal for extradition case

HONG KONG — Chinese telecommunications equipment firm Huawei said Monday that it… Continue reading

Most Read