Cammalleri speaks

Don Fulton talked to Michael Cammalleri at practice today…

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Forward Michael Cammalleri has had a difficult season, to say the least.

Following his much-publicized arbitration hearing and, ultimately, the ruling in favor of the Kings, the 25-year-old winger has struggled to regain his 2006-2007 numbers that saw him net career highs in goals (34) and points (80). This season he has tallied 19 goals and 27 assists in 60 games, and most of his drop-off can be attributed to missing the entire month of January with a nagging rib injury.

Cammalleri answered a few questions about his disappointing season today:

Q: There’s a perception from some people that the arbitration process and ruling has negatively impacted your game.

Cammalleri: I don’t think the actual hearing had any negative impact. It’s obviously been a tough year for me personally for different reasons. I’m not going to sit here and say the arbitration process is the reason why.

Q: There’s another perception that from last year to this year you have turned into a selfish player.

Cammalleri: I don’t know where that comes from. I wouldn’t give much credit to hearing that. The game is still fun, and obviously it has been a frustrating year, but I still have fun playing the game. It’s been frustrating because we haven’t been able to win as many games as I thought we could have, but I don’t think by any means that it is a selfish moment or anything like that. I just wanted us to do a little bit better as a team.

Q: Has this been your most frustrating year ever in organized hockey?

Cammalleri: It has been a tough year, but you live and you learn, and I’ve kind of been able to analyze some things for myself and for the team. You just get better from the experience, so it doesn’t worry me too much.

Q: Are you 100% back from your injury?

Cammalleri: I feel really good. It is one of those injuries that I don’t think will heal all the way until I get a full summer off. It definitely feels a lot better than it did.

Q: If you had to wager a guess; are you a member of the Los Angeles Kings next season?

Cammalleri: I would think so. My contract says that I am and I haven’t heard otherwise.

Q: Do you want to be back?

Cammalleri: I definitely want to be a King. It will be interesting to see what we do.

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  • Anonymous

    Interesting…

  • Marc

    Wow…good job asking the tough questions, Don!

  • Harry

    Lets get rid of Cammy on the NHL DRAFT DAY!!!!!!!!

    he WILL never be a “KING”

  • metalmaster

    Anthony, I can’t wait to see your response to this one.

  • Bill-azkingfan

    Wow Don, no softball questions there. Great job man.

  • anthony

    So his highness doesn’t believe that he’s a selfish player huh.
    Then obviously 95% of us, on this sight are watching a different player on a diferent team wearing #13 perform.
    This character is clearly delusional. Or at least in denial.

    His contract may say that he’s a King next season. But DL’s mind says something else. I would wager my license to practice law that Lord Cammi will not be king next season. And that his majesty will be sent packing to a different team in exchange for much needed defensive help.
    Even getting on his ONE KNEE and praying won’t change that.
    Let him be another teams problem.

  • Irish Pat

    Wow, Don shoots from the hip with his questions. Good, quick interview. Whatever happens with Cammi I’ll always perceive him as a quality guy and a quality player. Thanks again Rich and Don. Best King’s coverage on the web.

  • brianguy

    Don is the man!! Calimari opens his mouth and speaks. Wow!

  • brianguy

    Calamari…

  • Goon Squad

    WOW !!!!!!

    “Q: There’s another perception that from last year to this year you have turned into a selfish player.”

    I am blown away that you asked him that, Don! I’m so used to the softball approach to interviews that we see on telecasts… this is really refreshing. As for his answers, I would call it more saying the right thing than actually believing it. I’m not a Cammy hater by any means, but I definitely don’t see a Kings tattoo on his butt (not that I was looking).

  • JD

    Wow! He sure skated around the selfish question… He was probably practicing the Flamingo/Proposal One-Timer instead of passing drills at the time.

  • brianguy

    “It will be interesting to see what we do.”

    that line right there says it all…

    BTW if Cammy wanted to play good guy and, he’d have said he didn’t change his game at all and “if I was really a selfish player you’d think I would have more goals”. instead he’s just like — ‘nah’

  • LB

    please explain to me how he has “turned” into a selfish player? I really don’t understand where some of you guys are coming from. Yes he’s underachieving and has been in a slump, but of course his injury has a lot to do with that. A lot of guys are underachieving this year…are Handzus and Nagy selfish too? Visnovsky?

  • Eric K

    Thanks Don, interesting answers…

    “I just wanted us to do a little bit better as a team.” i think cammo’s problem is that he takes it upon himself to try and win games. not necessarily selfishness, but he’s competitive and confident to the point where he takes more shots than he should. i’d still like to hold onto him as a finisher, but if we get a solid trade offer i have nothing against a trade.

    he’s spot-on on one thing though: this offseason will be VERY interesting.

  • metalmaster

    Send him to St. Louis for
    Barrett Jackmann. Kings will get a physical prescence on the blueline and Blues will get a scorer that they need.

  • nykingfan

    He answered the question dead-on. He wants to be a King next year. If he wanted to be selfish, he could have answered with no comment or we’ll see. He didn’t. He answered it directly.
    If trading Cammy brings back a top 4 D’man, I would be ok with that..if not we should keep him and try to sign him long term. Everyone has a bad year. God only knows, we’ve had enough of them this year..Visnovsky???????

  • CBGB

    So much hatred for a guy who scores goals.

    He was developed. Check.

    He’s played well. Check.

    He scores goals. Check.

    What the hell is the problem? I want 100 grand (and think I’m worth it) every film I cast, but do I get it? No. But sometimes a producer won’t care and say “okay”. He asked. He lost. He’s been cool with it.

    Would ANY of you be happy if he signed a 5 year 25 million dollar extension? Or would you think he’s overpaid?

    Personally, a top 6 forward at 5 mil a year is a bargain.

    But we shall see.

  • Puck U

    Wow … CBGB as the voice of reason ? what the heck … nice post CBGB. See ya at TSC next rookie camp.

  • brianguy

    35g/80gm = .4375 goals/gm

    20g/60gm = .333333333333 goals/gm

    he gets paid to score goals, but isn’t having much success with that… so why not pass more, at least you’ll get yourself open. play defense, throw a check, anything. don’t just grip your stick harder. that’s why Kings’ fans frustration with him.

  • txkingsfan

    my issue with Cammy isn’t that he didn’t score more goals it is the wide open passes he didn’t make to take a bad angle shot or the “shoot at all costs” approach to his game that seemed to develop when he returned from IR. Cammy is a good player. But when you compare him to guys like Anze, Frolov, Brown, and now even Sullivan, he is not playing within a “system.” You don’t win in the NHL with a pond hockey mentality. I’m was/am a big fan of his but something changed when he got back from IR. He was/is pushing too hard, taking il-advised shots when another player is in a better position, and just not making the right decisions on the ice for the “team.” That concerns me. Let’s remember that the guy is 25 and obviously thinks that he deserves more respect (and money) than he is getting as evidenced by his asking price in arbitration. I’m just afraid that he has set his mind on a path that puts the team behind his personal goals.

    And Anthony by the looks of your writing style, your use of the English language, and you analytical skills, I doubt you’re risking too much by betting your law degree.

  • Jimmy Crack Corn

    I don’t get some of the harsh criticism recently aimed at MC. Maybe he hasn’t lived up to expectations but I wouldn’t say he’s a huge disappointment. Most of the team has been somewhat of a let down in terms of what’s been achieved this year. Should we attack a players character based on his production, injuries or what we perceive in the media? Could it be that theres a misconception here? That his competitive nature and frustration from losing night in, night out could be mistaken as a bad attitude? At the end of last years dismal season, Cammellari had plenty of positive and optimistic things to say regarding the future of his team so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and reserving judgment for now.

  • Jon G

    I agree with CBGB. Save the hatred for the guys wearing orange and black.

    Cammy will probably never be my favorite player, but he’s not the reason we’re in last place. I’m convinced it’s all Craig Johnson’s fault, but I haven’t entirely worked out my theory just yet.

  • Moondoggie

    He’s history…Hey Anthony, don’t sugar coat it, tell us how you really feel! Honestly, I enjoyed your comments, in fact all of them. Interesting perspective on Cammy and great job Don, excellent questions. Nah, he doesn’t seem to want to be a King. Everytime the question of his arbitration comes up he doesn’t really want to talk about it. He’s still unhappy about the ruling but hasn’t exactly lived up to earning more than he is this season. Txkingsfan, I totally agree. I like Cammy, he’s going to have a great career in the NHL. He just doesn’t seem to have his heart or his body in his game right now. He stated that he is still hurting although he’s feeling “better” but won’t be 100% until he’s had a chance to rest this summer. That much is obvious from what we’ve seen since he returned. We’ll see how he looks this fall but as much as I hate to say it, if the Kings can get a decent blueliner in return, I’d pull the trigger.

  • cry me a river

    Wow! Just Wow! You would think that MC had just stolen your first born. He is quite possibly something that the kings have not had since Bernie Nichols, A true goal scorer! We finally develope a player from within and all you experts want to get rid of him before he has a chance reach his full potential. Everyone negotiates there contract to get what they can. So what! He rolled the dice and came out on the short end. It’s not like teams were throwing out ridiculous contract to players around his same point totals;). He has been injured for a good part of the year and has been slow to recover. Actually he has had 17 points in 24 games since returning from his injury. Not nearly as bad as some of you make it out to be. I hope all you band wagon LGK cry babies are weeping in your milkshakes when cammy is scoring 50 – 60 goals for some other team and you are still trying to develope the 7th or 8th first round pick that might crack the 30 goal mark. Nobody here truly knows what Cammy or Lombardi’s relationship is like. How about we give him the benefit of the doubt and if he actually goes to another team then we can throw out the hate. Oh and Rich, not everyone on these boards loves to hate. Some of us are fans of the kings and want to see the team develope and improve. How about treating the players with a little respect and not acting like a bunch of fourth graders interviewing on behalf of the LGK.

  • fourtunato

    Cry Me and the rest of the MC defenders are pretty much right. Give this guy a break, please. He (His agent) named a price and the arbitrator ruled more or less in favor of the Kings. THIS IS A BUSINESS. I don’t see where the KIngs dealt unfairly with MC or where MC did anything any one of us would not do in his position. Get over the arbitration.

    I love the fact that he wants to be a King. I remember something Magic Johnston said years ago about his philosophy of competition. He placed more value on whether a person wanted to win than how skilled they were.

    MC is obviously a skill player, and he wants to be here to win. He had a bad year. So did Lubo, who everyone loves. Why not take him at his word about how he feels?

    Having said all that, if a trade makes us a better team, we should do it. If MC goes, I’ll be rooting for him where ever he plays (except against he Kings).

  • MacSwede

    I have been a fan of Mike since last season. I think its wonderful that Kings have developed a true goal scorer. But I am also torn about if he should stay or not. To get a solid defenseman we have to give up something right? And maybe right now Cammy is the best choice? I am sure that if we trade him he is going to score 40-50 goals for another team next season, and many of you critics are going to whine about it at this forum. If we can get something that really help us be a better team, then trade him..

  • Anonymous

    I’m tired of hearing about how Cammy was injured. He’s healed and he admits he feels good and the way he moves on the ice proves it. He is NOT and I emphasize NOT a pure goal scorer. Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Iginla & Malkin are pure goal scorers. Cammy is #101 in the NHL so get over this B.S. Does he have talent? Yes. Does he play as a team player? No. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. An assist is as good as a goal and when he learns this he will become a better player. Isn’t it interesting that the teams of the top 25 in assists are in the playoff hunt with the exception of the TBL & PHX? Funny Kopi is the Kings leading SCORER but Brownie has the most GOALS.

  • THAT’S SO RAVEN

    I really think (and hope) that Cammy is gonna be a King next season. If DL trades him, i sure hope its to a team in the East because hes gonna have a great career in the NHL.

  • metalmaster

    No hatred for Cammy but just simple facts. DL is not going to give the $ that he wants and he is having a subpar season. He is a one dimensional player
    and that dimension has not
    worked this season. If the
    Kings wanted to lock him up long term than they
    probably already would have
    by now. Does anybody think he would say he does not want to be in LA even if he wanted out. The year he
    scores 60 goals in a season will be the season
    that Ovechkin nets 100. It is not going to happen.

  • deegee

    The number of falacies which fuel the hate for Mike are simply amazing.
    - Mike actually plays pretty good defence. Are you paying attention to him in the D zone?
    - Patty O, has only a handfull more points in 19 more games.
    - He was injured defending Anze. His competative nature doesn’t preclude the smallest player on the team from passionate play.
    -He’s pretty good at faceoffs.
    -I don’t want players managment or fans who are OK with losing at any time in the season.
    -Mike’s agent started the bidding at $6 mill, but the kings started at the MINIMUM qualifying offer

    OT- When did the University of Cracker Jacks start giving law degrees?

  • metalmaster

    degree
    I watch the whole game and he is mediocre defensively
    at best.He is a high risk
    player who misses the net
    often with his shots and
    gets teammates caught in
    the offensive zone.If you
    don’t want players,coaches
    or management who are okay
    with losing then you have a house that needs to be cleaned. This season was set up to lose from the
    start. Starting with the
    bad FA signings and the bad decision to go with a
    AHL goalie playing behind
    a shaky defense (being kind)-this team never had a chance and that is why they were out of playoff
    hunt in December.In the end DL may score Stamkos
    and then Cammy is gone for sure. I just do not see DL
    throwing 25 million for 5
    more years of Cammy. Like
    you said it is a business
    and if Stamkos is what he is touted to be the ends
    may justify the means.

    the get go.

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