There’s a thread over at HF suggesting the Edmonton Oilers may be interested in acquiring LA Kings forward Mike Cammelleri. Now the “thought starter” on this one is that unemployed bass player from Philadelphia who has turned whispers and lies into an industry, but this one makes sense to me.
In fact, we’ve discussed it on this site and certainly his name has been thrown about at various Oilblogs all down the line.
Why do I like Mike Cammalleri so much? Why would he be a good fit on the Oilers? Why would I want another small forward for the Oilers top 6?
The nature of Mike Cammelleri as a player is similar to Andrew Cogliano, with two major differences. He’s better offensively, and he can score goals. This is a player who has scored 26, 34 and is on pace for 23 during a slump-ridden season in the NHL. This is a 25-year old player heading into the prime of his career. This is a player whose arrows have always been pointed in the right direction. Consider:
- At 18, Mike Cammalleri scored 42gp, 29-32-61 +29 on 162 shots with Michigan.
- Cammalleri spent large portions of his first two pro seasons in the AHL (playing well) and ripped it up in the lockout season.
- When the NHL returned, he emerged as a genuine talent and at this time we don’t have an established level of ability because the arrow keeps moving up each season until this one.
- His 06-07 season was splendid. The counting numbers (81gp, 34-46-80) were strong, as were his secondary numbers (3.22/60 at EVs, 5.94/60 at PP).
- He led the Kings in PP scoring in 06-07 (16-21-37) and was 8 points clear of the next LAK forward in that category.
- His 07-08 season is less impressive. His couting numbers (42gp, 15-18-33) are off the pace, as are his secondary numbers (1.86/60 at EVs, 4.94/60 at PP). Still, that PP number is a good one and that has followed him his entire career.
- Shots: At Michigan, his shots rates were 3.86/gm (00-01) and 4.69/gm (01-02).
- Shots: AHL, 3.85/gm (02-03), 2.51/gm (03-04), 3.9/gm (04-05).
- Shots: NHL, 1.43/gm (02-03), 1.71/gm (03-04), 2.58/gm (05-06), 3.69/gm (06-07) and 3.10/gm (07-08).
- In 04-05, Cammalleri took 308 shots (AHL), last season 299 (NHL). No Oiler this century has taken over 250 shots in a season.
- He can play all three forward positions.
The idea of trading Pitkanen is distasteful to me, but if the Oilers can’t sign him then they run the risk of losing him to UFA soon. If they have exhausted all avenues in terms of a long term deal with him, and respecting the fact that they would need a replacement on D, I’d be very happy with Mike Cammelleri signed long term by the Edmonton Oilers. I have no idea what would be fair in terms of added prospects or picks on each side, but the general feel of a signed Cammelleri for an rfa Pitkanen holds appeal for me.
At 25, he moves the center of the forward group closer to where it should be (Ales Hemsky), and the Oilers under Kevin Lowe have been able to find useful free agents off the “affordable and underrated” tree.