Mike Cammalleri Trade: Canadiens Forward Traded Mid-Game to Calgary Flames

Tim FontenaultCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2012

Cammalleri definitely didn't expect to be traded mid-game on Thursday night.
Cammalleri definitely didn't expect to be traded mid-game on Thursday night.Harry How/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens were down 1-0 to their arch rivals, the Boston Bruins, on Thursday night in Boston.

The game eventually ended up 2-1 Bruins, but midway through, the game didn't seem to be what was most important to the struggling Habs.

Left winger Mike Cammalleri was pulled from the game and told to go back to the team hotel and await instructions. Normally that can mean only one thing: you just played your last shift for the team.

Actually, normally is a strange word because, quite simply, how many players have ever been traded mid-game?

For many young adults, the last time they probably heard of this happening was in Nickelodeon's classic show, The Fairly OddParents, when the kid's baseball team is one out away from winning against the New York Bankees because a player was called out because he got "traded to Boston as he rounded second."

Well, this is no cheesy children's cartoon. This is real life. Cammalleri was traded.

The 29-year-old Canadian was traded back to the team he left for Montreal, the same team with which he had his best season point-wise, the Calgary Flames.

According to a tweet from TSN's Bob McKenzie, the Canadiens sent Cammalleri, goaltender Karri Ramo and a 2012 fifth-round draft pick to the Flames for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and a 2013 second-round pick.

With Calgary in 2008-09, Cammalleri had 39 goals and 82 points in 81 games. His numbers have been nowhere near as productive since joining Montreal.

While he certainly hasn't been a star for the Habs, was it really necessary to trade him in the middle of a game, especially against, of all teams, your biggest rival?

Granted, Cammalleri did make headlines with his comments following a loss to the Blues in the Canadiens' game before the Bruins, saying the team prepares and plays like "losers." So it seemed destined that he was going to be gone, but in this fashion? Come on.

As if the loss wasn't bad enough for Randy Cunneyworth, who is now 3-8-0 in 11 games behind the bench of Montreal, you take Cammalleri, one of the team's star players, off the bench in the home of your biggest rival, which also happens to be one of the most hostile places for visiting teams to play? And Bruins fans don't miss anything. As of 11:15 p.m. ET, Cammalleri was still trending on Twitter in the Boston area and the tweets have been quite funny, ridiculing the idea of trading him in the middle of the game.

Was he that bad in Montreal that Pierre Gauthier really couldn't wait another two hours and then be like, "Hey, you're going to Calgary." No? Was it one of those things that needed to get done to beat the deadline? Well, the deadline isn't for another month-and-a-half, so it could have waited until after the game.

The other headliner in the trade, Bourque, can't even play yet for Montreal. He is currently only three games into a five-game suspension. He will miss Saturday and Sunday's games against two of the hottest teams in the league: Ottawa and the New York Rangers.

At least Cammalleri may be happier in Calgary, where he enjoyed his best season of his career in 2008-09.
At least Cammalleri may be happier in Calgary, where he enjoyed his best season of his career in 2008-09.Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Yes, this is probably going to benefit the struggling Canadiens in the end, but even as a Bruins fan, I can't help but feel bad for Cammalleri, because this is one of the most unheard of things and has already received so much flack by way of hilarious tweets and Facebook statuses and jokes.

Barry Melrose was right to call Montreal one of the worst-run franchises in sports when he did so on SportsCenter tonight (can you believe they talked about hockey?). The all-time leaders in Stanley Cups have been miserable all season, have struggled in recent years to even get past the first round of the playoffs, usually losing to the Bruins, and as Melrose said, "Now they can't even make a trade right."

It should have been handled better. It mostly makes it obvious how bad things are with Montreal right now, but now people will be like, "That's Mike Cammaleri, the guy who got traded in the middle of a game."