Kukla's Korner Hockey
OK, time to move on…
added 4:39pm, from Lightning Strikes,
As for Lecavalier, the calm and cool one showed a few cracks.
“I signed with Tampa for 11 years thinking I’d be here,” he said. “Obviously, it was a big decision for me this summer. The people in Tampa have been great to me, the team, we won a Stanley Cup here. It’s definitely been a stressful few days. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. But right now, it’s just rumors. That’s all it is.”
added 5:18pm, from Bolts Report,
And until either Vinny comes out and say he has no desire to leave the franchise or Lawton says emphatically that Vinny won’t be traded, none of this is going to go away. And just think of the zoo that will await Lecavalier when he heads to Montreal next weekend for the All-Star game.
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Colums at CBC,
Ask yourself the following questions:
1) How many teams in the NHL can actually afford Lecavalier’s 11-year, $85 million contract?
2) How many of those teams historically would be willing to have anyone on their roster making anywhere near that kind of cash?
3) How many of those teams have the kind of cap flexibility to add him?
The last question is crucial, because this is not a situation where the Lightning want to take another team’s big contract in return. So, if, for argument’s sake, the Flyers were interested, it’s impossible to believe that Tampa would take Daniel Briere in exchange, because both deals are similarly front-loaded. (Please understand: I have no reason to believe this has been discussed. It’s just an example.)
So, how many teams are really in this race?
from Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times,
How much for Vinny?
And come to think of it, how much for a franchise’s credibility?
This is what the front office cowboys of the Lightning need to realize: It is impossible to lose one without sacrificing the other. Think of it as a two-for-one deal. If the team trades away Vinny Lecavalier, it is also trading away one of the last reasons to believe in it.
It is as simple as this. Fans trust Vinny Lecavalier a great deal, and they don’t trust the new ownership at all.
Around here, Lecavalier is not only the face of a franchise, he is the faith. In the chaos of a season, he is the reason to keep watching. He is the reason to think things might eventually get good again.
I will be passing on the future Vinny stories that are sure to come, but will keep KK readers informed if any news actually comes out of all this talk.
from Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle,
Threatened with the possibility of getting dumped on a last-place team if he didn’t comply, Boyle waived his no-trade clause to come to San Jose, but he felt betrayed because he had agreed to a $40 million contract extension to stay in Tampa earlier in the year. So pardon Boyle if he doesn’t have the fondest of feelings for his former club, which he will face tonight at HP Pavilion.
“It was pretty ugly, to be honest,” Boyle said. “I’d just signed there for six years, they told me a lot of things, and then a lot of stuff was done behind my back.”
Said teammate Jeremy Roenick: “The wrist thing and the way that team treated Dan left a bad taste in his mouth. The spat he had with the owners - I think he really wants to win the Cup and shove somebody’s nose in it.”
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
A memo to Vincent Lecavalier: Say no.
When Tampa Bay Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie or general manager Brian Lawton formally approach you about a trade to the Montreal Canadiens, tell them sorry, but forget about it.
If you want to go “home”—and really, you haven’t lived in Montreal since you left to play hockey in Saskatchewan as a teenager—you can drop by for a few weeks in the summer. Try the smoked meat and bagels.
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
Tampa wants the world in return for Lecavalier, of that there is little doubt. No one is completely sure of the package begin demanded, though you’ve probably heard the names being tossed around: Higgins, Plekanec, Komaserik, a top-flight prospect (P.K. Subban?), draft picks. Perhaps they’re not asking for all of them. Perhaps they are. Heck, perhaps they’re asking for more.
If it’s either one of the last two, it sounds like too much.
Lecavalier is a wonderful player, certainly among the top handful in the world. But in an age when depth in everything, giving up four (five? Six?) quality assets for one superstar is a massive risk. Especially when that superstar has a new contract that will pay him 85 million dollars over the next decade (the 11-year deal kicks in after next season, and will pay Lecavalier huge dollars until he is 41 years old). In Capland, the country the NHL now resides in, that kind of contract could handicap you for the next decade.
from Lightning Strikes,
In the meantime, the rumor mill will churn. Canada’s TSN already has a trade mapped out having to do with the Canadiens, though it does not include shut-down defenseman Mike Komisarek, who, logic says, would have to be included in any deal of this magnitude.
If Lecavalier thinks the rumors and speculation are bad now, wait till the Montreal native goes home for the Jan. 25 All-Star Game. As he said Monday, “I’m just glad we’re in California and not Canada. I haven’t even looked at the Internet.”
“I’ve been told by [Lightning GM] Brian Lawton that they are not actively shopping Vinny. They have received phone calls [from other teams] because people are hearing about the team maybe being in financial distress. But I was told they are not actively looking to move him.”
-Kent Hughes, player agent for Vincent Lecavalier. More on this topic from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
added 4:54pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
At some point, the folks in Tampa are going to have to get on the same page for a trade to occur, but that becomes a lot easier and much more manageable if the following happens: Vinny Lecavalier tells them he would just as soon move on.
Sources say that is precisely the type of soul searching that is going on now for the Lightning captain.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
The big talk around the NHL’s water cooler right now is trade speculation surrounding Vincent Lecavalier.
There is a tug of war going on in the Lightning’s front office - some want the club to trade him and some don’t want him to be traded.
So general manager Brian Lawton’s job right now is to go out and collect information - collect the type of value you would expect in return for Lecavalier. And the Lightning’s expectations are extraordinarily high.
This is a player with an $85 million contract extension, so what does the team expect in return?
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Amid growing speculation throughout the NHL community that the Tampa Bay Lightning may be preparing to trade captain Vinny Lecavalier, the player’s agent says he has been assured by Lightning ownership that big No. 4 will be a member of the Lightning for life.
“I’ve been hearing a lot of the (trade) talk out there, but I was assured by (Lightning owner) Oren Koules within the last hour that it’s nothing more than speculation and rumors and there’s absolutely nothing to it,” agent Kent Hughes said. “Vinny Lecavalier fully expects to be a Tampa Bay Lightning for life and no one from ownership or management in Tampa Bay has given us any reason to believe otherwise.”
from Lightning Strikes,
So, this is what the Lightning has in store for Steven Stamkos, according to coach Rick Tocchet.
The team wants the 6-foot-1, 184-pound rookie forward, last summer’s No. 1 overall draft pick, to strengthen both his upper body and lower body. To do so, Stamkos will hit the weight room more, have one-on-one on-ice training sessions with assistant coach Wes Walz, especially on days when Tampa Bay has several clustered off days. But Stamkos also may sit out games to make that schedule work, and the first of those games is tonight against the Ducks for which Stamkos is a healthy scratch.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com