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The Globe and Mail

Carey Price the new poster boy in Montreal

Lots of metaphors have been used to describe Mike Cammalleri's hasty exit from Montreal, divorce is among the most popular.

And like a jilted ex-spouse from Central Casting, the Montreal Canadiens have trimmed Mr. Cammalleri out of the family photos - or in this case, peeled his likeness off the outside of the Bell Centre.

This is, of course, thoroughly appropriate - you can't have an 80-foot poster of the guy you just shipped out of town leering at fans from the side of your building.

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The new poster boy is, fittingly, the team's best player, goalie Carey Price.

This is a good news/bad news situation.

First the good: the last three players to feature in super-sized form on the not-quite-as-iconic-as-the-Forum arena have all benefited from handsome, long-term deals and been beloved by fans for their involvement on and off the ice.

That bodes well for Carey, who is a restricted free agent at the end of this season who should be due a big bump from his current $3-million ticket - although surely not up to the insane $7-million per annum that has been rumoured in some quarters of the Interwebs.

The bad: all three players (Saku Koivu, Andrei Markov, and Cammalleri) have either been dealt, spurned in free agency, or suffered career-threatening injuries.

Think of it like the Madden Football curse, but with a smaller sample size.

So take your pick, kiddies.

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It's a sign to Price and his agent that yes, they really do love him and a six- or seven-year deal is on the horizon. Or yet another ominous portent in a star-crossed season.

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About the Author
National Correspondent

Sean Gordon joined the Globe's Quebec bureau in 2008 and covers the Canadiens, Alouettes and Impact, as well as Quebec's contingent of Olympic athletes. More

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