Michael Cammalleri is scheduled to become a UFA this summer. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
Mike Cammalleri is fitting in nicely with his new Calgary team. ‘Cammy’ owners are relieved to see his season-to-date numbers (49 points in 50 games) after his big step back just one year ago.
A boom-or-bust prospect, the diminutive forward was giving no indication of which way he would go, as recently as 2004. However, an explosive lockout season in the American League in which he led the league in goals and finished second in points (to Jason Spezza) put him squarely in the potential “boom” category.
Since then, Cammalleri has had progressive campaigns of 55 and 80 points for the Kings before last season’s 47-point disappointment. He’s already topped that total this year.
This strong bounce back from a poor season where he battled a rib injury is a good sign for keeper-league owners on a couple of different levels. Firstly, Cammy is an unrestricted free agent this summer, so he could very well find himself on a new team in the fall. Producing so well on a new team under a tough coach in Mike Keenan bodes well for his odds of maintaining that production in yet another city. That’s not the case with all players, who often times go to a new city and struggle.
Second, at the age of 26 his prime years are still ahead of him. A second 80-point season at this age makes a 90-point season down the road so much more promising.
Cammalleri has mostly lined up as a winger with Jarome Iginla on the other side and either Craig Conroy or Matt Lombardi at center. He has vaulted into the top 25 in scoring. Twenty of his points have come in the last 15 games, which is another indicator of a strong second half and an even better campaign on 2009-10.
All in all, there are two small drawbacks with this guy. One is his plus/minus rating, which is on pace to finish at minus-15 and he is currently minus-37 for his career. If your league doesn’t count that stat then you don’t have to worry about it. The other is the injury factor. His final year of college hockey and his first three years of pro hockey were marred by injuries. However, prior to last season, Cammalleri managed three injury-free campaigns in a row, so even that shouldn’t be a problem.
A fantasy asset that is only getting better…
Washington youngster Eric Fehr has had his share of bad luck on the injury front, to the extent that it has hindered his development and stolen nearly all of his fantasy value. However, he has only missed five games this season due to injury (shoulder) and played the final three months of 2007-08 injury-free as well. He has four points in his last four contests and has seen a lot of time on Alex Ovechkin’s line. He could still become that first-line power forward that the Caps envisioned when he was drafted 18th overall in 2003. Just give him another couple of years…
Joakim Lindstrom has bounced around a lot this year, but seems to have found a home in Phoenix. A minor-league sensation with a decent pedigree (Columbus drafted him 41st overall in 2002), he struggled to get a real opportunity. For the Coyotes, Lindstrom has 12 points in 25 games, but eight of those points are goals and seven of those points have come in the last 10 games. Lately, he has been lining up with Shane Doan and Joel Perrault…
Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: With Tomas Holmstrom out for an extended period after undergoing surgery, now is the time to roll the dice on Ville Leino. The youngster has performed well since Detroit recalled him from the AHL. He has played on a line with Marian Hossa and Pavel Datsyuk (oh, is that all?). He’ll probably rotate with Darren Helm for the first little while, but when he does play he could post a point per game.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Tuesday and Saturday throughout the season. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the 1st of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.