Cammalleri aims to pick it up with Flames

Flames forward Michael Cammalleri speaks to the media in Calgary, Alta., Jan. 13, 2012. (JIM...

Flames forward Michael Cammalleri speaks to the media in Calgary, Alta., Jan. 13, 2012. (JIM WELLS/QMI Agency)

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:22 AM ET

CALGARY - Calgary Flames fans have already fallen in love with Mike Cammalleri.

The 2008-09 version. The one who sniped 39 goals and put up 82 points.

They might not be so enamoured with the recent numbers Cammalleri has put up, but the speedy winger said hes eager to pick up where things left off in Calgary.

One of the reasons I was brought here is to produce offensively, Cammalleri said.

Thats something Ill look to provide, and hopefully immediately.

The stats werent as flashy in Montreal, where he dipped to 50 and 47 points the past two seasons.

And he has just nine goals and 22 points in 38 games this season.

It hasnt been a great year-production-wise, no doubt, Cammalleri said.

I dont think it does any good to try to figure out in front of the cameras what it specifically was or wasnt. Im just going to worry about playing as hard as I can tomorrow.

I have full confidence in my ability to produce.

The 29-year-old, who never asked to be traded from Montreal, said the whole season has been trying for the struggling Habs.

It was disappointing because a lot of us had different expectations for our group, he said. You want to be a part of winning, you want your team to do better.

A lot of things took place. Coaching changes and now player changes. Its been a tough season for sure.

That frustration, which included the Bell Centre fans booing Cammalleri for his failure to hit the scoresheet on a consistent basis, boiled over recently.

Cammalleri responded by saying the team was preparing and playing like losers.

The last three days have made me more cautious of what Im saying, the outgoing winger said. I didnt mean for anything to come out the way it did.

Cammalleri said hes determined to get back to work and rediscover the magic he found in Calgary the first time around.

You just worry about going to play hockey, working hard and making the plays that you want to make for the team, earning your teammates respect, and everything else will take care of itself, he said.

If Cammalleri is able to rediscover his scoring touch, hell do it with a new number and, likely, new linemates.

With Olli Jokinen wearing his usual No. 13, Cammalleri unveiled his new No. 93 jersey Friday afternoon.

I didnt have that many options, he said. Theres a lot of numbers taken.

I thought about Dougie Gilmour. I know he played here and wore 39. I grew up as a kid in Toronto watching him wear 93 for the Leafs.

Flames bench boss Brent Sutter is understandably hesitant to break up the Jokinen-Jarome Iginla-Curtis Glencross trio, which means second-line duty for Cammalleri. At least for now.

I had such a great experience my last time here, Cammalleri said. Theres so many familiar people for me in this locker-room.

I know where the team stands and its an exciting thing to be a part of to be three points out of a playoff spot.

One of those familiar faces, and current special assistant to the GM, Craig Conroy picked Cammalleri up at the Calgary airport.

Its no secret Craig and I have been good friends ever since our time in Calgary, Cammalleri said. Ive appreciated his friendship and Ive fed off his passion and love for this game.

It means a lot that hed come pick me up and welcome me.


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