Mike Cammalleri has been around some. Five National Hockey League organizations — two of them twice — and closing in on 900 games played. From Yutaka Fukufuji to Carey Price, he’s played with a few goaltenders — both good and bad — over his years. And he’s seen some leaders, both real and perceived. So, when he heard that one of the key players in the Edmonton Oilers leadership group was goaltender Cam Talbot, he just sat back and observed his new team teammates for a while. The way a veteran does when he lands in a new dressing room. “I played with Jonathan Quick,” began Cammalleri. “He’s talking in the room, a Cam Talbot-like personality, but even more so. Then, I played with Miikka Kiprusoff, who was a great leader because he was such a great player. But he was almost invisible (off the ice) at times.” We asked Cammalleri if it was a prerequisite that a top goalie also be a team leader. “I don’t think it’s a ‘should’ or a ‘shouldn’t.’ What’s important is that it is organic. That you are who you are,” he said. “It has to come from an organic place, otherwise you see right through it. It’s too transparent. Be who you are, and your leadership skills will present however they do.” Across the Oilers dressing room, Talbot found himself in a tough spot early in the season. His game was about 20 percentage points below his lifetime .919 saves percentage, and his team was losing. As a leader, it was his job to help pull the club out of its tailspin. But as the goalie, there were pucks getting past that he had been stopping only a few months before. How was he supposed to lead?
Oilers have confidence Cam Talbot can lead them once again
Sportsnet | Dec 29