Cammalleri loses in arbitration

Times Staff Writer

Kings forward Michael Cammalleri got a raise but it wasn’t nearly the one he had been seeking as an NHL arbitrator awarded a two-year, $6.7-million contract in a ruling made public Monday.

The announcement came four days after Cammalleri’s five-hour arbitration hearing in Toronto and it marked a victory of sorts for the club following difficult negotiations between Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi and Cammalleri’s agent, Mike Gillis.

Cammalleri, the team’s leading scorer last season with 34 goals and 80 points, is believed to have asked for a $6-million annual salary after making $1.7 million in 2006-07. The Kings are believed to have offered $2.6 million a year.


The two sides now must put what can be an acrimonious process behind them.

“We got there the hard way,” Lombardi said. “Nobody wins at these things. I think it is safe to say it came out closer to our end. But these situations aren’t for winning and losing.”

Cammalleri, 25, will make $3.1 million this season and $3.6 million in 2008-09. He can become an unrestricted free agent when the deal expires.

“The challenge for him and the team is to go to another level,” Lombardi said. “He had a good year last year, but it’s one year and the team still has not had success.”

Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere underwent sports hernia surgery in Durham, N.C., and was expected to join the team in the early part of training camp next month.

Giguere’s surgery was what center Todd Marchant had in the final week of the 2006-07 regular season. Marchant needed four weeks to recover.

“They’re telling us that the start of the regular season is not in doubt,” General Manager Brian Burke said. “We’ll see how Jiggy responds.”

Burke said Giguere complained of pain in his groin region last week as he intensified his off-season workout program.