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NEWS

Cammalleri finds fit in New Jersey

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 4:02 PM / News
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com Staff Writer
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Cammalleri finds fit in New Jersey
The New Jersey Devils on Tuesday signed forward Mike Cammalleri to a five-year, $25 million contract, according to multiple reports.

Mike Cammalleri received a special phone call from an old friend not long after signing with the New Jersey Devils on the opening day of NHL free agency on Tuesday.

"Jarome Iginla called to congratulate me and said that it must be pretty cool knowing I'd get to play with Jaromir Jagr," Cammalleri told reporters on a conference call. "It's great knowing I'll have an opportunity to play with him; he's a legend in our game."

Whether the 32-year-old Cammalleri joins Jagr on the team's top line to start the season remains to be seen, but he sounded ready to give the Devils an offensive boost wherever the coaching staff sees fit.

"I feel my job is to be the best player and the best teammate I can be," Cammalleri said. "New Jersey was sixth in goals against last year (2.38) and the template is there on how to win and become a playoff team, how to compete for a Stanley Cup. I don't know the exact reason the success wasn't there last year, but my feeling is the system is in place for success."

Cammalleri, who has never reached the Stanley Cup Final in his 11 NHL seasons, hopes to be a part of that success and in the process help the team qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Cammalleri had 26 goals and 45 points in 63 games last season with the Calgary Flames. He also went 2-for-6 in the shootout, an area where the Devils can use some assistance after scoring just four times in 45 attempts en route to going 0-13 last season.

"I feel I'm a good fit for the club; the skill set I can bring and teammate I can be at this point might fit in nicely with the group," Cammalleri said.

In 669 career NHL regular-season games with the Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and Flames, the 5-foot-9, 190-pound native of Richmond Hill, Ontario, has 236 goals and 266 assists for 502 points.

Cammalleri wouldn't divulge how many teams expressed an interest in his services, but said the Devils were a team he was very interested in joining.

"I had an opportunity to meet with Mr. Lamoriello and spent some time with him this past weekend and just feel like it's a great opportunity to be a part of the Devils," he said. "I have a lot of respect for the way things are done in New Jersey and the track record they have. I believe in their method and the way they approach the game."

The Devils lost unrestricted free-agent defenseman Mark Fayne to the Edmonton Oilers on a reported four-year, $14 million contract. Lamoriello cleared approximately $4.25 million of cap space on Monday when he decided to buy out the final two years and $8.5 million on defenseman Anton Volchenkov's contract.

Cammalleri said he hasn't yet spoken to coach Peter DeBoer. He does know goaltender Cory Schneider from their time together on the NHLPA competition committee and noted that "the team has a Michigan guy back there on defense [Jon Merrill] so although I don't know him, there's a quick connection."

Cammalleri, a second-round pick (No. 49) of the Los Angeles Kings at the 2001 NHL Draft, played three seasons at the University of Michigan.

He doesn't believe he will feel more pressure to score goals and contribute than in any other NHL city.

"Whether the goals go in or not, so long as the team is winning hockey games, that's all that matters," Cammalleri said. "I like to score goals. If I score goals, the team has a chance to win games, so I'll be a happy man.

"I'll leave the lineup decisions up to the coaches and I'll play as hard as I can whatever position they put me in and whatever helps the team win."

Mike G. Morreale

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
M. Cammalleri 51 23 10 4 33
A. Henrique 56 12 20 -1 32
P. Elias 53 10 16 -13 26
S. Gomez 39 5 18 -9 23
M. Zidlicky 63 4 19 -7 23
T. Zajac 55 10 10 -4 20
S. Bernier 48 10 8 1 18
M. Ryder 44 6 12 -2 18
A. Larsson 45 2 16 3 18
M. Havlat 38 5 9 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 23 23 6 .927 2.19
K. Kinkaid 3 4 3 .915 2.59