When Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri fell into the boards following a check from Sabres defenseman Mike Weber in a Jan. 18 game and dislocated his left shoulder, it put playing in the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic in serious doubt.
Exactly one month later, Cammalleri took full part in Thursday's practice at the Scotiabank Saddledome. In his press conference afterward, coach Jacques Martin said he looked good and indicated he would likely be in the lineup Sunday when the Canadiens face the Flames at McMahon Stadium.
Cammalleri didn't want to give anything away when a reporter asked a question that anticipated he would play in the Heritage, asking, "Is it official?" After being told Martin expressed as much, Cammalleri responded, "Then good. Yeah, I'm playing."
He continued: "I'm really happy, first of all just to be back. It's been a while. But this weekend's a special weekend and I'm going to try to really take it all in, for sure. Very, very happy to be playing."
Cammalleri scored a career-high 39 goals in 2008-09, his only season playing in Calgary. He signed a five-year contract with Montreal on July 1, 2009, and finished with 26 goals and 50 points in his first season with the Canadiens. He has 13 goals and 31 points in 44 games this season.
"I had a really good time in Calgary. I was only here the one season but I seemed to make a lot of really good friends," Cammalleri said. "It's a special place for me and it feels great to be back. This morning we got in late [after playing in Edmonton on Thursday night], but I woke up well before my alarm to get around town and get back to some of the old digs. I went back to the old supermarket, picked up some stuff, the whole thing."