NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One of the best available free agent forwards is now a Devil.
New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello struck quickly on Tuesday, signing veteran winger Mike Cammalleri to a five-year, $25 million contract not long after the free agency signing period opened.
Cammalleri, 32, had 26 goals and 19 assists last season for the Calgary Flames. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound forward has surpassed 25 goals in a season fives times and has 502 points during his 11-year career, which has been spent with the Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames.
The Devils had tried unsuccessfully on two occasions to acquire Cammalleri via trade, the last time coming at the trade deadline this past season.
“I heard rumors of that for the last couple of years,” Cammalleri told reporters on Tuesday afternoon. “New Jersey is a place that I’ve been keen on for a while. I had the chance to meet with Mr. (Lou) Lamoriello over the weekend and they provided me with a great opportunity to be a New Jersey Devil.
“I have a lot of respect for the organization and I believe in the method and the way they operate. This is something I watched for a while and wanted to be a part of it. There were a lot of factors that played into the decision.”
Cammalleri wasn’t the only move the Devils made. They also signed veteran winger Martin Havlat to a one-year, $1.5 million contract and forward Steve Bernier to a one-year, $600,000 deal.
Havlat, 33, had 12 goals and 22 points for the San Jose Sharks last season, and has 236 goals during his 13-year career.
The signing of Cammalleri came on the heels of the Devils losing reliable defenseman Mark Fayne to the Edmonton Oilers on a four-year, $14 million contract.
Fayne spent four seasons with New Jersey, where he had 13 goals and 35 assists in 242 regular-season games. Fayne was drafted in the fifth round, 155th overall, of the 2005 draft.
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