As the Rangers chug along towards a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, they will likely be buyers at the trade deadline. They’ve already made one significant move, trading Michael Del Zotto to Nashville for Kevin Klein. The move addressed two holes for the Rangers: A right handed shot to solidify the third pair, and a physical presence on the blue line. Since the trade, the Rangers have looked much more stable on defense.
One other hole is a top-six forward, as the top-six so far have been relatively inconsistent. That’s where Mike Cammalleri fits in. Unlikely to re-sign in Calgary, thus likely to be dealt at the deadline, Cammalleri would give the Rangers added secondary scoring, and serve as insurance in case a forward gets injured. When the deadline comes, the Rangers would be able to fit his $6 million cap hit under the cap. His contract expires after this season as well, making him the perfect rental candidate.
Injuries are a big concern for the 31-year-old winger, as he hasn’t played a full season since the 2008-2009 campaign. He played 44 of 48 games last year, but he missed 20 games so far this season with various issues, the most recent being a concussion.
On the ice, there is no denying that Cammalleri is a goal scoring threat. On a scoring deprived Flames team, Cammalleri is currently seventh in scoring despite missing 20 games. His line of 13-8-21 in 41 games is second behind Jiri Hudler in terms of points per game.
His #fancystats look good from a relative stand point, remembering that Calgary is a possession black hole. He is a positive relative Corsi (+5.0%) despite facing the opposition’s top players (29.4% TotTm% QoC) and starting less than 50% of his shifts (48.3%) in the offensive zone. All that shows that he is succeeding despite his team.
Cammalleri won’t come cheap. Aside from Thomas Vanek and Matt Moulson, he is probably the most gifted scorer available. The asking price from Calgary may start at a young roster player, but I don’t think any competing team would meet those demands. I’m going to ballpark his value at a good prospect and a pick. The pick will depend on the prospect.
Cammalleri definitely fills a hole for New York as they enter the final stretch before the postseason. But he might also be one of the riskiest acquisitions. His injury history doesn’t work in his favor, especially after suffering a concussion this season. He is most likely be a pure rental, so there is no commitment to next season. His production is certainly tailing off, although that has team-effects written all over it. If the price is a prospect and a pick, then it might be worth the gamble.