It’s obviously a little early to decide on a winner in the big trade between the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens a few weeks back.
Michael Cammalleri has two more years on his current contract to return to form with the Flames, while Rene Bourque is inked for four more with the Habs.
The second-round pick the Canadiens acquired won’t be used until 2013 and prospect Patrick Holland’s professional future likely undetermined until long after that.
Goalie Karri Ramo is under contract in the KHL for another year and won’t join the Flames until then, and who knows what the team can pick up with the fifth-round selection this spring?
For now, the sample size of the principles in the deal is a little small.
But it’s fair to say Flames fans were hoping for more than they’ve seen from Cammalleri so far.
It’s not for lack of effort, but Cammalleri has managed just a pair of powerplay goals and three points in 10 games in his second stint wearing the Flaming C on his chest.
That’s a far cry from the 39-goal, 82-point plateau he reached the first time around in 2008-09.
Nobody expected the 5-foot-9, 190-lb. left-winger to immediately renew his partnership with captain Jarome Iginla and light the league up with goals after failing to crack double digits in nearly 40 games with the Canadiens before the swap.
Well, maybe a few folks did ... but that was fairly unrealistic.
It’s not unfair, however, to have hoped for more from the former sniper.
That’s not to say he can’t get back on track. The 29-year-old is still potent on the powerplay and one-timers like his crouching stick-benders aren’t all that common around the league.
But until he starts uncorking them more frequently and with better results, it’s fair for those analysing the deal a little early in its life to favour what the Habs have picked up in Bourque for a longer term but less money.
Neither is playing on the top line at the moment, with Bourque toiling alongside Lars Eller and Louis Leblanc, and Cammalleri suiting up with Blair Jones and Blake Comeau in recent days.
Bourque, however, has been arguably a bigger impact player — from his first fight in the Habs jersey to his string of four points in four games before going silent for the next four.
Here are a few numbers:
Cammalleri 2, Bourque 2
Inside track: Both Cammalleri's goals have come on the powerplay, while Bourque's pair came at even strength in consecutive games right before the all-star break.
Bourque 2, Cammalleri 1
Inside track: Neither is known as much of a setup man, but the fact these heavy shooters haven't been racking up even secondary assists is troubling for both teams.
Bourque 4, Cammalleri 3
Inside track: The often streaky Bourque collected all four of his points in a three-game span, while Cammalleri scored in his Flames debut, then went without a point for four straight before tallying again. His point-per-game average (.30) is a little behind Bourque's (.36) so far.
Bourque 23, Cammalleri 19
Inside track: Cammalleri has more shots (130) on the year in one less game than his counterpart Bourque (114), but Bourque has found himself a little more active in getting pucks at the net during his time in Montreal.
Bourque -2, Cammalleri -7
Inside track: If Cammalleri has been consistent in one area, it's been his failure to come away with positive numbers in this category. He's had just one game on the plus side, with six nights on the negative side.
Bourque 9, Cammalleri 4
Inside track: The difference here is the five-minute major Bourque took for answering the call against the Washington Capitals' Matt Hendricks over the elbow Bourque gave Nicklas Backstrom while still a Flame.
Cammalleri 18:52, Bourque 18:15
Inside track: Both players are seeing more opportunity with their new clubs, much of it on the powerplay. Bourque averaged 17:10 with Flames this year while Cammalleri saw 17:49 per game with the Habs.