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At the Rink blog

Intriguing returns for Flames' Hartley, Cammalleri

Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 2:02 PM

By Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Intriguing returns for Flames' Hartley, Cammalleri

MONTREAL -- There will be two rather different homecomings for the Calgary Flames when they face the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

On the one hand is a more traditional homecoming for Flames coach Bob Hartley, whose hometown of Hawkesbury, Ontario is about an hour outside Montreal. He also will face his former assistant coach from his days with the Laval Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien.

"It's fun," Hartley said. "I grew up in this area. There are lots of minor hockey friends, lots of school friends. But more importantly we have a big game [Tuesday]. I'm coaching against one of my best buddies, coaching against a former partner of mine. That makes it even more special."

On the other hand there will be a very different kind of homecoming for Flames forward Mike Cammalleri.

This is Cammalleri's first game back in Montreal since he was traded to the Flames during the second intermission of a Canadiens road game against the Boston Bruins on Jan. 12, 2012. That came one day after making comments in the media about how the Canadiens had developed a "losing mentality."

Cammalleri was traded to Calgary along with the rights to currently injured Flames starting goalie Karri Ramo in exchange for Rene Bourque, prospect Patrick Holland and a second-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft that turned into goaltending prospect Zachary Fucale.

Though Cammalleri addressed the rather bizarre circumstances surrounding his departure from Montreal in the past, this will be the first time he will come in contact with Canadiens fans in Montreal. He said Tuesday he didn't know what to expect from their reaction.

But one thing he hopes they understand is that, in his opinion, his comments the day before the trade played no part in what happened and that he enjoyed his time in Montreal.

"I think all the stuff around the way I left kind of soured it for everybody," Cammalleri said. "That's just too bad because if you take an objective approach and look at what took place, in my opinion, our team wasn't where we wanted to be. They thought a move was needed, they saw a player was available and they made a move. That's really the extent of it. It's not a personal thing. There's nothing more to it than that.

"I look back at it with completely fond memories of playing here."

Cammalleri said in Calgary on Monday that he wasn't looking forward to facing the media in Montreal. On Tuesday he clarified what he meant was he didn't want to take away from what the Flames are doing with the team riding a season-high five-game winning streak.

"I understand there was a situation here and you guys want to talk to me but this game isn't about me," he said. "It's about the Calgary Flames trying to win another one in a row here. It's been a nice stretch for us and it's about the Montreal Canadiens playing for their playoff lives in the East. It really has very little to do with me."

He also said: "You know I never minded talking to you guys. I probably talked too much."

As for the game, the Flames will have Reto Berra in goal with Ramo out with a knee injury. Defenseman Kris Russell will be back in the lineup after sitting out Calgary's game Saturday with an injury.

The Canadiens will start Carey Price in goal. The game also will mark the Montreal debut of forward Dale Weise, who is expected to play on the fourth line with Ryan White and Michael Bournival. Weise was acquired in a trade that sent defenseman Raphael Diaz to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

Canadiens forward Travis Moen missed the skate Tuesday and will sit out with a lower-body injury.

Here are the expected lineups for the Flames and Canadiens:

FLAMES

Jiri Hudler - Mikael Backlund - Lee Stempniak

Mike Cammalleri - Sean Monahan - Joe Colborne

Lance Bouma - Matt Stajan - David Jones

Kevin Westgarth - TJ Galiardi - Brian McGrattan

TJ Brodie - Mark Giordano

Kris Russell - Chris Butler

Ladislav Smid - Dennis Wideman

Reto Berra

Joni Ortio

Scratched: Paul Byron, Christopher Breen

Injured: Karri Ramo (knee), Curtis Glencross (lower body)

CANADIENS

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Daniel Briere - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Rene Bourque - Lars Eller - Brandon Prust

Michael Bournival - Ryan White - Dale Weise

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin

Douglas Murray - Nathan Beaulieu

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Francis Bouillon, George Parros

Injured: Travis Moen (lower body), Davis Drewiske (shoulder), Alex Galchenyuk (hand)

Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff