The New Jersey Devils and free agent Mike Cammalleri have reached an agreement on a five-year, $25 million contract.
Rich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger passed along word of the deal:
Devils sign Cammalleri: 5 years, $25 million.— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) July 1, 2014
The Devils confirmed Cammalleri's signing via the team's website.
Cammalleri hit the market on a high note after scoring 26 goals in 63 games for the Calgary Flames last season. It was his highest total in four years and was enough to lead a Calgary side that lacked offensive depth around him.
He doesn't represent a flashy signing that's going to invigorate the fanbase. Yet, he's a reliable addition who can play in any role and has shown a scoring touch, with six seasons of at least 20 goals. Those are the type of players every team needs.
The Flames were hoping to keep him in the mix as a veteran leader through the transition phase. Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald provided remarks from the winger back in April. He said the Flames remained an option, but was clearly keeping everything on the table:
I don't have anything to report. I am far from having ruled Calgary out as my future.
It's really, at this point, all there is to say about that as far as the organization's gone and I think they have had the same approach with me.
Clearly the sides couldn't get together on a new deal. Whether it was due to a difference in money or Cammalleri wanting to join a team closer to contention is unclear. Perhaps it was a combination of both.
The forward stayed busy throughout the process as he worked with the competition committee, as noted by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN:
Competition Committee meeting today. Players in meeting: Cammalleri, Winnik, Hainsey and Shattenkirk.— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 9, 2014
Now he's set to begin another new chapter of his career.
What do you think of the Cammalleri deal?
He's a player who should have no problem carving out a niche for himself. He's capable of playing in the top-six forward group or sliding onto the third line and playing more of a two-way game. He can also be an asset on special teams.
The only major question mark is his durability. He hasn't played in more than 67 games in a season since the 2008-09 campaign. But as long as he's able to avoid any long-term absences, it shouldn't be a major issue moving forward.
Ultimately, he's a player capable of playing 20 effective minutes per game, if needed. He's not an elite scorer, but should provide around 20 goals and upwards of 40 points, which would be solid value based on the contract he signed.
Signing Cammalleri won't make a huge splash on a league-wide scale, but he's a good veteran addition.