Cammalleri has now scored the game-winning goal for the Flames in six of their past seven triumphs. While Cammalleri’s prowess has loomed large in the Flames’ relative success of late, winning five of their past eight encounters, one can’t help but wonder how it will affect Cammalleri personally as he prepares to enter unrestricted free agency this summer.
Cammalleri’s current deal, a five-year, $30 million contract he signed with the Montreal Canadiens before returning to the Flames via trade two seasons ago, carries an annual cap hit of $6 million. At 31 years of age, it’s hard to imagine Cammalleri getting a similar contract to his current agreement. Yes, Cammalleri does possess a penchant for scoring at key moments and his 26 goals in 61 games played this season are nothing to scoff at. But…
When looking at the season leading to his big deal, Cammalleri scored 39 goals and added 43 assists on his way to producing career-best marks in goals and points. He was also only 26. Over the past five seasons, Cammalleri has dealt with shoulder and knee injuries to go along with his most recent concussion this season. Aside from the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, Cammalleri has missed an average of 16 games per season (including this season) since signing his contract in 2009.
Trying to predict what a free agent will get on the open market is a dangerous game. From the Flames’ perspective, of course they would love Cammalleri to stick around, but at what cost? While he does have a more clinical game as far as scoring goals, a good comparison, contract wise, for Cammalleri is his teammate Jiri Hudler. The latter signed with Calgary on a four-year, $16 million deal right before the lockout.
To think Cammalleri would be in the $4-5 million per season range isn’t a stretch of the imagination. The number of years, though, could be the tipping point on where Cammalleri ends up this summer.