MONTREAL — For many years – going back to Mathieu Schneider joining the team in 1987 – the Montreal Canadiens had a couple of Jewish players under contract.
But with the abrupt trade of star player Mike Cammalleri in mid-game Jan. 12, now there are none.
Cammalleri, the Habs’ number 13, got a ticket back to the Calgary Flames, where the left-winger had come from in time for the Habs’ 2009-10 season, between the second and third periods last Thursday night, when the slumping team lost yet again, this time to the Boston Bruins.
In return, the Canadiens got Flames left winger René Bourque.
Some were linking the trade to comments Cammalleri had made a day earlier about the team’s performance so far this season.
In 2009, Cammalleri signed a five-year, $30-million contract with the Habs, but he was having a mediocre season leading up to the trade, scoring only nine times in the 38 games he played in.
According to Maccabi Canada’s former president Gary Ulrich, Cammalleri was approached about a year ago by Maccabi officials in Toronto about possible involvement with the organization, but he was noncommittal.
“People in Toronto knew his family,” Ulrich told The CJN.
Habs legend Jean Béliveau has been very supportive of Maccabi Canada, travelling twice to Israel with the Canadian team.
A native of Richmond Hill, Ont., Cammalleri, 29, has a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father.