Kings' Cammalleri awarded 2-year deal
The Los Angeles Kings came to terms with winger Mike Cammalleri on a two-year deal worth $6.7 million US, club president and general manger Dean Lombardi announced Tuesday.
Cammalleri was awarded thedeal, which willearn him $3.1 million this season and $3.6 million in 2008-09, by a salary arbitrator after the two sides could not reach an agreement.
He asked for $6 million per season, while it's believed the Kings offered $2.6 million.
"We got there the hard way," Lombardi told the Los Angeles Times. "Nobody wins at these things. I think it is safe to say it came out closer to our end. But these situations aren't for winning and losing."
A 25-year-old native of Richmond Hill, Ont., Cammalleri made $1.7 million last season and set career highs in goals (34), assists (46) and points (80), leading the Kings in all three offensive categories.
He also played on Canada's gold-medal team at the world hockey championship in Russia last spring after Los Angeles failed to qualify for the NHL playoffs.
Los Angeles could have walked away from the arbitrator's ruling, a move that would have led to Cammalleri instantly becoming an unrestricted free agent and free to sign with another club.
But the team decided to accept the decision and lock up their star winger for another two years.
"The challenge for him and the team is to go to another level," Lombardi told the Times. "He had a good year last year, but it's one year and the team still has not had success."
Cammalleri is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent when the deal expires in 2009.
Originally selected by the Kings in the second round (49th overall)of the 2001 NHL draft, Cammalleri has 74 goals and 158 points in 220 regular-season games in over four seasons with Los Angeles.