January 12, 2012, exactly four years ago to this day, the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames made a trade that would greatly alter both teams. Mike Cammalleri, Karri Ramo, and a 2012 5th round pick were sent to the Flames, while the Habs received Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland, and a 2013 2nd round pick in return. This article will look at how the trade panned out for both teams, and it will judge which team won the trade in the long-run.
The Flames received a solid NHL goal scorer in Mike Cammalleri, along with a late pick in 2012, and a fairly unproven goaltender, Karri Ramo. Cammalleri, who was the main piece of the deal for Calgary, played 135 games with the Flames before leaving for New Jersey, and recorded 96 total points.
Karri Ramo is now 29, he has played parts of three seasons with the Flames, and this year, assumed the role of the starting goaltender. Ramo has started a total of 103 games for the Flames. Lastly, the Flames acquired a 5th round pick in 2012 from the Canadiens, which turned into Ryan Culkin. Culkin is a 22-year-old defenceman, who has yet to play an NHL game. He currently plays for the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL.
The Canadiens acquired a big winger, Rene Bourque, to replace Cammalleri. Bourque played 141 games for the Canadiens, registering only 39 points. The winger had an impressive playoff run in 2013-14, in which he scored 11 points in 17 games. This playoff performance almost made Habs fans forget about the otherwise subpar hockey that Bourque had played. Along with Bourque, the Canadiens received prospect Patrick Holland. Holland spent the majority of the past few years playing in the AHL, and he is now playing in the Finnish Elite League.
Finally, the most intriguing part of the trade involved the 2013 2nd round pick that the Habs received. The pick turned in to goaltender, Zachary Fucale. Fucale is a promising prospect in the Canadiens’ system. He is currently playing in his first year pro, with the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL. The young goaltender has a bright NHL future ahead of him, as he develops in the AHL.
Who Won the Trade?
Mike Cammalleri, Calgary’s acquisition, played great hockey for the Flames over a few seasons, while Rene Bourque, Montreal’s acquisition, didn’t do the same for the Habs. Bourque was never expected to play up to Cammalleri’s level, however, part of the reason that the Habs traded for him was due to his size. Though Bourque didn’t have the scoring touch that Cammalleri did, his 6’2, 217 pound frame was what the Canadiens’ coveted. Bourque was five inches taller, and over thirty pounds heavier than Cammalleri. Neither Bourque, nor Cammalleri, still play for the teams that acquired them in this deal.
Karri Ramo is the starter for the Flames, though their goaltending situation is pretty confusing. Calgary began the season rotating three goalies, while Ramo seemed to get the majority of the starts. Now, after some bad goaltending from his competition, Ramo has claimed the starting job. Patrick Holland never even played an NHL game for the Habs. Ramo has some value as an NHL goaltender, while Holland will probably never see NHL action.
Finally, the two draft picks that were exchanged turned into prospects Ryan Culkin and Zachary Fucale. Both prospects still play in their draft-team’s systems, though Fucale is playing in the AHL, and Culkin is playing in the ECHL. It is hard to tell what these prospects may become, though Fucale’s future looks more promising than Culkin’s. Zachary Fucale is expected to be an NHL starter one day, and at only 20 years old, he has lots of time before being called upon to play in-goal for the Habs. As shown above, Fucale represented team Canada in the 2015 World Junior tournament, where he was the starting goaltender, and where he won gold.
While Fucale is the dark horse in this trade, it seems that Calgary got the upper hand. Calgary received a scorer who was very valuable to them, a goaltender who would become the club’s starter (even though he isn’t the ideal starter), and a prospect who may one day make the NHL. The Habs, on the other hand, received an underperforming forward, a pick that could prove to be very valuable, and a prospect that will likely never play an NHL game. Essentially, the trade was Mike Cammalleri, Karri Ramo and a prospect – for a guy that would have about three weeks of impressive play in his entire Montreal stint, and Zach Fucale.
It is hard to declare a clear winner in this trade, as Fucale hasn’t yet shown the world what he can do at the NHL level. At this point, though, it looks like Calgary won this trade – since they got more out of their acquisitions than the Canadiens got from theirs until now. That said, if Fucale turns into an NHL starter, and one day takes over for Carey Price, the winner of this trade would likely be the Habs.
The Calgary Flames are the winners of this trade…for now.
I’m a Montreal Canadiens columnist and lifelong Habs fan. Follow me on Twitter (@gregkatz19) for all kinds of hockey talk, and to be up to date on my newest articles. I previously wrote for Too Many Men on the Site, a part of Fansided NHL.