Over the next week many Canadians will be entered in serious hockey pools, and many may have to think twice before they draft Flames versatile forward Michael Cammalleri. According to Yahoo! Sports on Friday, Cammalleri is still having trouble holding his stick and is in question to start the season on October 3 in Washington.
Entering the 2013-14 season, Cammalleri is the 43rd ranked center and 45th ranked left wing. Due to the fact Cammalleri plays more than one forward position makes him valuable to draft, however if his hand does not get better anytime soon, he may not be worth drafting until much later.
Last season, Cammalleri had 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points, and his 15 power play points were fifth amongst left wingers.
There are also injury concerns surrounding Mikael Backlund, who is the 54th ranked center in the National Hockey League this season. Over the last two years, Backlund has suffered serious finger, arm and knee injuries which have forced him to miss 57 games.
When playing, Backlund was productive last season however. He had 16 points in 32 games (a point every two games) and had 88 shots on goal (more than two shots a game).
At the moment, Flames head coach Bob Hartley has named Matt Stajan the team's number one center according to Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald. Stajan has not met the Flames' overall expectations since being traded from Toronto in the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster in January, 2010. However he made strides at times last season and it was enough to see him earn a spot as a regular top six forward to begin the year. He is still the 72nd best center available, mainly because he had zero power play points and registered only one shot a game (44 shots in 43 games played).
With the Flames in a rebuilding mode, by drafting Cammalleri, Backlund or Stajan will probably hurt you in the plus/minus category, so there will probably be much better options available.