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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 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 41 10 16 -2 26
J. Jagr 44 9 16 -11 25
M. Cammalleri 36 15 6 -3 21
P. Elias 38 6 15 -13 21
M. Zidlicky 48 4 16 -8 20
M. Ryder 42 6 12 -2 18
T. Zajac 40 8 8 -6 16
S. Gomez 24 4 12 -6 16
S. Bernier 33 6 7 1 13
M. Havlat 30 5 8 -9 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 17 19 4 .921 2.37
K. Kinkaid 1 3 3 .913 2.54