Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
Meet the man out to stop the bleeding on Channelside Drive.
Barry Melrose is gone. Was he ever here? We’re still not sure about the new owners. But Lightning players, even if they haven’t turned it into wins, can feel a change. The circus has left down.
“It’s feels gone,” Lightning winger Mark Recchi said.
“The dust has started to settle,” Marty St. Louis said.
They feel they’re moving in one direction, just like Rick Tocchet once did as he charged the net or threw his fists.
“He’s a straight-up guy, the same guy he was on the ice,” said Recchi, who was once traded for Tocchet and later played with him. “He helped stabilize things. We’re well prepared. We know where we stand. There’s no gray area.”
“We’re finding our way,” Tocchet said.
from Lightning Strikes,
A Capitals official told Washington reporters after Thursday’s game that he did not believe Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin would get supplemental discipline for his hit on Lightning defenseman Jamie Heward that left Heward unconscious on the ice for 90 seconds but, thankfully, only with a concussion.
Still, NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell said early Friday morning that the hit, like all others that results in injury, will be reviewed.
added 1:28pm, “Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jamie Heward has been released from a Washington D.C. hospital and is traveling back to Tampa today. Heward suffered a concussion during the third period of last night’s game against the Washington Capitals.
Heward, 37, was taken to Sibley Memorial Hospital last night, accompanied by Lightning Assistant Athletic Trainer Mike Poirier. He underwent further testing, where it was determined that no damage to his cervical spine occurred. Heward was kept overnight as a precaution and will be sidelined indefinitely, though the prognosis for his personal health is good.’’
added 1:40pm, No action will be taken against Ovechkin.
“Ovechkin just doesn’t sit on the outside and take one-timers, he’s in front of the net, he goes behind. He does a lot of wraps. He’s a special player because he’s an aggressive player. That’s why I think he’s the best player, because he’s an aggressive player. He’s not just a pure sniper who sits on the outside all day.”
-Lightning coach Rick Tocchet on Alexander Ovechkin. More from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes as the Bolts prepare for the Capitals tonight.
from Mark Masters of the National Post,
He is the first to tell you that most of the criticism he has faced is fairly accurate. Through 35 games this season he has just four goals and 10 assists and is minus-10.
“It has probably not been the best start I had envisioned for myself and the team,” he said. “It’s definitely been an adjustment coming from the juniors and I have learned a lot so far. The NHL is the best league in the world and these guys are the best players around and it’s going to take some time to make that jump, but I’m starting to feel as comfortable as I can be right now.”
He even understands Melrose’s position that he is not ready for the NHL. He will not turn 19 until February and still has the body of a teenager.
“I’m going against men now and you know they’ve got 10 years of physical maturity over you and you kind of realize that when your battling in the corners. And that’s something I’m going to have to work on in order to be more successful.”
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.
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