The New Jersey Devils have signed forward Mike Cammalleri, formerly of the Calgary Flames, to a five year / $25 million contract. A few years ago, this would have been a deal worth celebrating. Unfortunately, Cammalleri just turned 32 last month and is beginning to enter the back nine of this career.
Devils sign Cammalleri: 5 years, $25 million.
— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) July 1, 2014
Cammalleri finished with 45 points in 63 games for Calgary last season, his highest point total in three seasons with the Flames. He has not scored more than 50 points since the 2009-10 season with the Montreal Canadiens. He then steadily declined over the next few seasons, reaching a low of 41 points, split between the Canadiens and Flames in the 2011-12 season.
The Devils are trying to build up their offense, which had a mediocre 2013-14 season, but Cammalleri is not a long term solution (despite the long term deal), as he will be 37 by the time this deal is finished. While he is no Ilya Kovalchuk or Zach Parise, the speedy Cammalleri should help revive the Devils offense in the near term, as the team shifts to a more “score by committee” offensive strategy.
According to Puck Daddy, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello was a big fan of Cammalleri and wanted to acquire him as a rental at the NHL Trade Deadline. If there is one lesson we have learned in New Jersey, it’s what Lou wants, is what Lou gets.