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Bits: Of NHL Baggage Trades, and Staios-Talbot Reactions

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Last night while we were watching the Islanders lose a game they just about deserved to win, the rest of the NHL was in gossip-frenzy mode because two Canadian franchises were exchanging baggage in inexplicable ways.

Because he spoke out of turn, Mike Cammalleri was traded by the Montreal Canadiens with a 5th and KHL goalie Karri Ramo for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and a 2nd-round pick. I know, right? Cammalleri is signed for two more seasons at a $6 million cap hit. Bourque is for four more at $3.3 million. It's an awful trade for Pierre "but at least he speaks French" Gauthier, but the cap commitment doesn't really make sense for Flames GM Jay Feaster either.

It's the rare trade where both teams' fans are appalled. It's wonderful. And now Cammalleri only has to face Nino Niederreiter once per year.

Islanders Links

Start with me now: Everyone feel bad for Maxim Talbot.

Hockey Links

A final a.m. thought from that Tavares All-Star link. What he said about his own progress is what we've noticed, I think. But it's still wild to see it emerge game by game, week by week. He was once a major defensive liability with high-end offensive and power play skill. Now he's basically a driver and threat every single shift, and he's elusive either out of growing intelligence or growing respect from the opponents who fear him.

That constant drive to improve himself is serving him well:

"I've felt I've gotten better every year, every game," Tavares said. "I feel like I'm just getting to know the League a lot better. I feel my game is evolving -- just me as a person -- and I think it's all translating every day and coming together year, every day...."

Yeah, we notice.