Flames’ Cammalleri won’t engage in ‘soap opera’ trade talks

A pending UFA on what figures to be a bad team, Mike Cammalleri knows he could be traded out of Calgary at some point this season.

He’s just not going to spend the season talking about it.

“What good does it do for me to speculate on (a potential trade?),” Cammalleri told the Calgary Sun. “I talked to my agent, and he suggested maybe it’s best to just wrap it up and say, ‘I said all I have to say, and there’s nothing to talk about.’

“Maybe this will be my last interview about it.”

Cammalleri, 31, led the Flames in scoring last year and is one of the club’s alternate captains. He’s already projecting to be a sought-after commodity at the trade deadline, especially since his five-year, $30 million deal expires at season’s end.

He’s confident he won’t be held back by his hand injury — even though reports earlier this week suggested it was severe — and said while he appreciates and understands the process of trade speculation, he’s just not willing to take part in it.

“I understand that it’s the media’s job to think about it and talk about it, and as a fan, I think about it and consume information on other people who are going through that journey, because it’s fun,” he explained. “It’s the soap opera to sports — and that’s great.

“So go ahead, speculate away, and pick scenarios. But at the end of the day, things change so quickly in this game so you can just play hockey the best you can and be the best teammate you can.”

Bruins’ second line officially goes under the microscope

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While much has been written about the Boston Bruins’ depleted defense, there’s also a good amount of intrigue about the forward group, which will look dramatically different tonight compared to last year’s season opener.

Here are the Bruins’ expected lines versus the Jets:

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronLoui Eriksson
Matt BeleskeyDavid KrejciDavid Pastrnak
Jimmy HayesRyan SpoonerBrett Connolly
Chris KellyJoonas KemppainenZac Rinaldo

The line most under the microscope may be that second one. In today’s Boston Globe, there’s a lengthy story on Krejci. The 29-year-old center with the big contract only played 47 games last season due to injuries. He finished with just 31 points.

So, where is Krejci’s game now?

Then there’s free-agent addition Matt Beleskey, a.k.a. Milan Lucic‘s replacement. Prior to scoring 22 times last year for the Ducks, the 27-year-old Beleskey had never tallied more than 11 goals in a season.

So, is Beleskey a legitimate top-six forward?

On the other wing, it’s David Pastrnak, the 19-year-old who, somewhat surprisingly, emerged as one of the top rookies in the league last year.

So, can Pastrnak take another step forward?

“It’s been a good three plus weeks where we’ve been able to kind of work individually, as a group, as a line, with different players and different personalities,” said coach Claude Julien. “We’re pleased with it. We’re optimistic and we just have to let things work themselves out too.”

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks