Sammy Hudes visited our offices as part of a job shadowing school project and left a bona fide Heebonics blogger. Thanks Sammy!
There is a famous joke about a man looking to read a very short book. He asks his friend for some suggestions, so his friend advises him to read the great book of Jewish athletes. While most jokes are based on some sort of truth, this one was probably first told before Mike Cammalleri entered the National Hockey League.
Cammalleri, who is just 26 years old and plays for the Calgary Flames is possibly the best Jewish athlete in the world right now.
Cammalleri is near the end of his most productive season yet, in the NHL, while playing on the same line as Jarome Iginla, and now Olli Jokinen. Cammalleri leads the Flames in goals with 34, and is second on the team in points with 71, in 68 games. If he is to finish first on the team in goals at the end of the 2008-09 season, Cammalleri will be the first Calgary Flames player to lead the team in goals other than Iginla, since the 1999-00 season. While this would be quite the accomplishment, Cammalleri, being the modest person that he is refuses to take credit.
“He does so many thing for us. That whole thing I think is (overblown) ... Jarome is going through a time where the puck isn't going in for him and I think he could easily have 40 goals by now. We've all seen it from him before and I hope he does,” Cammalleri told USA Today last month.
“Cammy” is a Richmond Hill, Ontario native. While his father is Italian, his mother, Ruth is Jewish. During his childhood, Cammalleri loved the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. He says that the holiday was so special for him, because both of his maternal grandparents are holocaust survivors.
Cammalleri is one of few Jewish hockey players in the NHL. Others include Marty Turco of the Dallas Stars, Jeff Halpern of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Mathieu Schneider of the Montreal Canadiens, and fellow Calgary Flames teammate, Eric Nystrom. However, none of these players are enjoying as fine of a season as Cammalleri. While the NBA and MLB each feature the rare Jewish athlete such as Jordan Farmar and Kevin Youkilis, it is arguable that none are as talented, nor have as bright futures, as Mike Cammalleri.