Pierre Gauthier must have been some pissed off with Mike Cammalleri after the over-paid, underachieving rich kid called out the team in the waning hours before being sent packing to the wild west.
First, it was Cammalleri being dealt to Calgary midway through a game. Then it was Gauthier not telling the guy right away where he was going. And now we find out Gauthier wanted to charge Cammalleri $1250.00 for the jersey after the player asked if he could have it for sentimental reasons.
I’m of two minds about this. Gauthier refuses to leave the building, weeks after being let go. At least in spirit anyway. Maybe he’s a downright spiteful and immature type. Or possibly just has several screws loose, which many of us have suspected for quite some time.
On the other hand, Cammalleri wasn’t exactly Rocket Richard when it came time for intensity and fire, and doesn’t deserve a free jersey. He seemed overly-concerned with lookin’ good, except where it counted most – on the ice. He seemed to be all about his outside ventures, his brands, his image. When I watched him closely during the Flames-Canucks game not long ago, he scored a goal but also refused to get closer than two feet of opposing players. He played on the perimeter, waiting to be set up. And he performed over-extended fancy sweeps around the boards after whistles so fans could ooh and aah.
I would have dealt him too. Maybe in a slightly different way, though. And in hindsight, it certainly wouldn’t have been for Rene Bourque, which has absolutely nothing to do with Jerseygate but I thought I’d throw it in anyway.
In the last few hours I’ve been trying to figure out Gauthier’s thinking behind the $1250.00 figure. Why so much? Was this jersey going to bring in similar dollars in auction for charity? Did it need the world’s most expensive dry cleaning job? Cammalleri has ten letters in the name and was Gauthier hoping to recoup the dollars spent on such a long name on the back of the jersey? Or was it simply a case of Gauthier being quite an asshole?
And we also must remember this. For a six million dollar guy like Cammalleri, $1250 is chump change he drops in the ashtray when he comes home from the movies. It’s nothing, like a buck and a half for you and me.
So really, it’s come down to this for me. Gauthier is a mental case and Cammalleri, if he wanted the jersey badly enough, simply had to buy it and it wouldn’t have put the slightest dent in his wallet. I’m not taking sides either way here. Neither of them helped my team, and that’s a sin if I ever saw one.
Side note: A few years ago I chatted on the phone with Terry Harper, the old rearguard for the Canadiens in the 1960’s, and I asked him if he still had any of his old Habs sweaters from his playing days. Not a chance, he said. No one was allowed to leave the dressing room with a sweater and it was watched like a hawk by the trainers.