While going to free agency on July 1 seems likely, Mike Cammalleri is still engaged in conversation about re-upping with the Calgary Flames.
“No update other than talks continue,” GM Brad Treliving said, per the Calgary Sun. “It’s an interesting time for [UFAs like Cammalleri]. They’ve earned this right.
“I liken it to the old high school dance. You ask one girl and she says, ‘Yeah, maybe, but let me go check with the other guys and see what they’ve got to offer.’ I’ve extended my dance card and am just waiting to see if somebody will accept. I understand it.”
Cammalleri — who, along with Thomas Vanek and Matt Moulson represent arguably the three best goalscoring wingers in free agency — has been an interesting figure within the Flames organization for a while. Despite being pegged as a sure-fire move at the deadline, Cammalleri wasn’t shipped out of Calgary and there were thoughts that retaining him was a potential precursor to resigning.
In some ways, keeping the 32-year-old in the fold would make sense. On an inexperienced team that overachieved last season, Cammalleri was a catalyst — he led all scorers with 26 goals and finished the year notching eight points in his final seven games, proving to be a good veteran presence among the youngsters.
There is no doubt that making your NHL debut is a nerve-wracking experience but Bill Arnold and Johnny Gaudreau got a bit of a reprieve from the anxiety thanks to Mike Cammalleri.
Last weekend, the veteran made a point of spending time with the pair of rookies prior to suiting up for their first NHL game in Vancouver. He spotted them sitting down for supper alone and made his way over to eat with them.
“We kind of just shot it. He went to Michigan, he’s a college guy. He talked about his days at Michigan and just told us to go out there and play our game,” Arnold said. “When you have a veteran like that come over and just talk to you, kind of settle you down, it really helps out a ton.”
So there’s that. Thing is, the Flames have already once offered Cammalleri an extension — which he turned down. It’s possible his desire to head to free agency will continue to outweigh whatever Calgary puts on the table.