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Updated 2x with super conflicting reports at 3:07 PM:

Because the comments sections in my previous two blog entries are currently blowing up with suggestions that Ken Holland has failed as a GM because MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James have suggested that Vincent Lecavalier is headed to Dallas, let's hear what ESPN's Pierre LeBrun has to say about Lecavalier's decision, or the lack thereof:

It is very possible, although not quite a guarantee, that Vincent Lecavalier will choose his next team by the end of the day Wednesday. The UFA center, who is allowed to speak with teams earlier than other UFAs because his contract was bought out, has been deliberating with family where the best fit might be for him to continue this career.

The likes of the Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames are among the teams to have shown interest.

The decision for Lecavalier begins with Montreal. He has to decide whether he wants to go home and deal with both the perks and detriments of playing in his native town. And if he goes home, it’s not going to be for the same kind of money or term other clubs would have offered. If he’s a Hab, it’s more because he really, really wants to be one. Montreal definitely has interest in signing him, but it’s going to have to be on a reasonable deal that fits within its cap and payroll structure.

But no one should fault Lecavalier if he decides to avoid that situation; that’s his choice as a UFA.

I still think Dallas is a solid possibility for Lecavalier if he wants to remain in a quiet, non-traditional hockey place, an environment he long experienced with the Tampa Bay Lightning. And I think the Stars are willing to go five years on a deal.

While it’s true to a degree, as Nashville Predators GM David Poile suggested to his local media Tuesday, that Lecavalier would prefer to stay in the East, it does not preclude him from playing in Dallas, I can tell you that. Detroit is a great fit, too, and so is Boston mind. We’ll know soon enough.

Amongst LeBrun's other points:

Pending UFA winger Damien Brunner was a day away from being able to speak with the 29 other teams. His agent, Neil Sheehy, told ESPN.com via email Tuesday morning that he planned to talk again with Detroit but wasn’t sure where it was all headed.

Now please go on with what is apparently NATIONAL WINGS FAN PANIC PANIC PANIC DAY.



Update: cue the "insiders":

Update #2: Insider!

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


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Yes, becuase everything ever posted on the internet has turned out to be 100% true.

You’re right.  And it was my mistake for saying that everything on the internet turns out to be true.  I’ll try not to say that again, which is what I did.

Posted by Garth on 07/02/13 at 03:01 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Yes, becuase everything ever posted on the internet has turned out to be 100% true.  I apologize for forgetting that.  My bad.

Posted by Ajax19 on 07/02/13 at 03:58 PM ET


Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/02/13 at 03:05 PM ET

perfection's avatar

I think one of the main reasons we won’t give Vinny the term he wants has to do with what we have in the cupboards. all of those kids who made such incredible strides in one shortened season are going to continue to get better. they are about to get full seasons under their belts and who knows what their upsides are - Andersson, Nyquist, Tatar, Smith, DeKeyser, Jurco, Sheahan, Jarnkrok, Mrazek and Pulkkinen are all going to be lightyears above where they are now in 3 years. We need to make sure we stay in a position to resign any and all that appear to be growing into stars, because the fact is retaining your own players IS the way to stay above the fray in the cap world. People mock Kenny’s insistence on paying high end players under “market value”, but you’re overlooking the fact that that is the key to rising above the parity. It’s all about having a winning organization and convincing players to stay for less than they’d get somewhere else. Hometown discounts are what separate the good from the great and Vinny at $5mil for 5 is most definitely not a discount. Whereas if someone like Nyquist grows into an all-star, he almost certainly will sign for a discount as he approaches UFA.

all this talk of money though… Vinny’s buyout alone is enough to live comfortably off of the rest of his life. I realize he still deserves to be paid to put himself through the rigors of the NHL, but if he really was going to get the same salary on the Wings or the Stars and he chooses the Stars for a tax break only… I really question his priorities. Kind of nickel and diming it at that point. And for what? You’re talking about a guy who’s going to have made dozens of millions of dollars before his career is up. If Detroit will give him 3 years and Dallas 5 years, I totally get it. I’m just saying if all things are equal and he chooses tax breaks over winning, I don’t really want him anyway.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/02/13 at 03:07 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

Posted by bababooey on 07/02/13 at 03:59 PM ET

If you take a look at the difference in quality between the rosters of Dallas and Detroit, you’d see why Lecavalier would be worth more to Dallas.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 07/02/13 at 03:08 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

Even if Stevie told KH that Vinny was lazy, I would hope that Holland would still want to take a chance.
He took a gamble on Grigorenko, Bert and even Tootoo (who doesn’t fit this teams personality at all).
Some of his pick-ups have been terrible.

And with the kind of veterans on this club, I would think Vinny would be turned around by this group.

$25M/5 years is hardly a gamble for a guy with Vinny’s resume. Especially considering he just turned 33.

Posted by Hank1974 on 07/02/13 at 03:23 PM ET


Questioning Ken Holland does not equal panic. It signals consistent, annual exasperation. 

Translation of subsequent posts:


Sigh.  Wings fans.

I mean, people do understand that Detroit went to game 7 with the eventual champs without Bert, Sammy, Helm and Dekeyser, right?

Going to the wall for Lecavalier is stupid.  It’s the same kind of stupid I’d bet these same people were advocating for with Richards, or Wisniewski.  It’s stupid to go high and long on borderline FAs, especially older ones, and double especially older ones who just got bought out

Seriously, if Lecavalier was worth anywhere close to 7 or anywhere close to 5 years, why wouldn’t Yzerman just keep him and then trade him for pennies on the dollar down the road to some team that needs the cap number to get to the floor?  Why buy him out at a staggering upfront cost and lose him for nothing?

Yeah, that means more often than not Detroit’s going to miss out on ‘big ticket’ FAs?  You know what?  There are way worse things in the NHL than missing out on big ticket FAs.  High on that list is signing big ticket FAs.  Vancouver killed themselves with the Lungo signing, The Rags killed themselves with the Richards signing.  Columbus was already dead, but the Wisniewski signing burned the body.

A bad FA deal is a franchise killer.  Missing out on a FA just means the team can try with the next guy.


Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/02/13 at 03:39 PM ET


And wouldnt you think, given the likelihood flip wouldnt be back as reported and confirmed today and the “nothing is true on the internet” site KK, that VL would be worth as much to detroit who has no second line center now? 

Datsyuk is the #1 center.  Z is the #2 center.  This is sort of obvious, right?  I mean, this is how the team ran for pretty much the whole year, right?

Adding a center allows the team to move Z to the wing.  Absent that there is no shortage of scoring line centers.

Adding VL would be nice, at the right price and term.  It would be stupid at the wrong price and term.  We’ll see what he ends up getting, but any more than 3 years at 5 per would be stupid.  Given that he’s essentially going to be making two paychecks for the next 5-8 years, if the guy is still grubbing around for more cash… this is indicative of a potential issue, yes?

$25M/5 years is hardly a gamble for a guy with Vinny’s resume. Especially considering he just turned 33.

I agree that it’s not a gamble.  It’s a foregone conclusion.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/02/13 at 03:46 PM ET


I mean, people do understand that Detroit went to game 7 with the eventual champs without Bert, Sammy, Helm and Dekeyser, right

Why do you think that Sammy would have made a difference in the series with Chicago?

Let me guess, he’s 35, in the prime of his career, never gets injured and can score more than 20 goals every season he’s played.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 07/03/13 at 01:58 PM ET


Adding VL would be nice, at the right price and term.  It would be stupid at the wrong price and term.

Stating the obvious.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 07/03/13 at 02:00 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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