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Will Wings Have Interest In Lecavalier?

Ansar Khan of Mlive is correct when he states the Wings may need a 2nd line center...

The NHL's shallow free-agent pool just got a little deeper, as the Tampa Bay Lightning announced today that they will use a compliance buyout on center Vincent Lecavalier.

Lecavalier will become an unrestricted free agent on July 5, eligible to sign with any team except the Lightning.

The Detroit Red Wings will be in the market for a second-line center if, as expected, Valtteri Filppula, leaves as a free agent.

Lecavalier, the NHL's first overall draft pick in 1998, has seen better days, as his offensive game is in decline, but the 6-foot-4 center still has tremendous reach and vision and a good shot.

He had 10 goals and 22 assists in 39 games this past season, after scoring 20 or more goals in 12 consecutive seasons.

continued

So, do the Wings try to sign Lecavalier and if so, what kind of contract do you offer him?

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Comments

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awould's avatar

They can’t afford him.

Posted by awould on 06/27/13 at 09:37 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Only if there are no other takers to drive his price up.  I can easily see Vinny still getting $6m/yr from some hopeful team.

Posted by Primis on 06/27/13 at 09:39 AM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

Vinny would be a great fit for the Wings, but he’s probably a $5 million player as a UFA, and I don’t think the Wings would pay that for a second line center.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 06/27/13 at 09:39 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

I agree with all above. It would be nice to have a presence like his, but if you aren’t gonna pay #51 $4 mil+ then you cant afford Vinny either.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 06/27/13 at 09:44 AM ET

Paul's avatar

St James…

Imagine Lecavalier in a winged-wheel uniform. First benefit: It would allow the Wings to play Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk together, which is ideal. They ended up playing apart most of last season and the one before that because Filppula didn’t get the job done as a second-line center. Based on last season’s success of having Justin Abdelkader play with Datsyuk, keep Abdelkader on that line, because he serves the two well as a forechecker and puck retriever, just like Tomas Holmstrom used to do when he was younger.

So now a second line materializes: Lecavalier with Johan Franzen and winger to be named — maybe Gustav Nyquist, maybe Damien Brunner, providing he gets re-signed.

more

 

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/27/13 at 09:49 AM ET

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I agree with all above. It would be nice to have a presence like his, but if you aren’t gonna pay #51 $4 mil+ then you cant afford Vinny either.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 06/27/13 at 10:44 AM ET

Except that Lecavalier has everything that Filppula does not…size, physicality, toughness, the desire to shoot and finishing ability. I’m not saying that Detroit should sign Lecavalier necessarily, but I’ll guarantee that if Holland can talk Filppula down to around $4 million then he’ll re-sign him…and if Filppula is worth 4mil then Lecavalier is worth 5mil.

Posted by godblender on 06/27/13 at 09:51 AM ET

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There is difference in paying Fil 5mil/year and paying that money to Lecavlier.
Lecavlier > Fil even if he is older. Fil has been an underachiever his entire career with the wings.

Posted by George0211 on 06/27/13 at 09:51 AM ET

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Only chance Detroit has to sign him:

Yzerman tells him about how great of a place Detroit is to play; and Lecavalier is willing to take significantly less to come to Detroit.

 

Posted by wingsnut25 from Cheboygan, MI on 06/27/13 at 09:53 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

VL is the A-typical veteran in need of retread.  He’s EXACTLY the type of player who get’s a second wind by coming to Detroit a la Cleary, Stuart, Larionov, Murphy, Hasek (ok, not really retread)

Wings are a great fit for him and the style of hockey he plays would work well on the Wings.  He’d be a good fit int he locker-room I’d think.  We have the money, after buy-outs and trades we’ll absolutely have the money.  As someone said before, ti’s not like paying Flip 5m.  Flip averages you 10 goals and 40 points.  VL offers 20 goals and 60 points, and I suspect those would improve with a Detroit Change of Scenery. 

I’d LOVE to see VL in Detroit.  I think I’d dig that now more than getting Hossa back when.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/27/13 at 10:02 AM ET

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You need at least handful of world-class players to win the cup.  We have 2 (Dats & Z) or 3 (Kronner) or maybe even 4 (Jimmy?), but not the same depth at that caliber as Chicago or Pittsburgh.

Offer Vinny something like ~$5M & ~5 years.  I’m sure Stevie Y has already put in a good word.

Then package up 2 - 3 (Tatar, Tootoo)  forwards & D (Cola, Lashoff) to pry Yandle from Phx.  Even shoot the moon with something like Smith & Nyquist for Webber?

3- or 4-NHL-ready players-for-one can look attractive to teams building /re-building…

The cap will go up over the next few years so fortune (& arithmetic) will favor the bold…

Posted by vfsvfl on 06/27/13 at 10:02 AM ET

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Like I said a couple of days ago…

First, Lecavalier’s mind might not on $.  His buyout means that TB will pay him 2.14M for the next 14 years! 

Second, he probably knows he won’t get back to 6M+, unless…he goes somewhere short term and wins.  He probably has at most 3-4 more years of productive hockey.

Third, I don’t like as the 2nd line center, I like him on the top line with Dats and Abdelkader.  He’s 33.

I’d offer him $5M, and buyout Bertuzzi and Sammy.  Voila, no cap hit.  I think this is the plan with any player in that realm moneywise.

Dats/Abby/VL
Zett/Franzen/Brunner
Helm/Nyquist/Miller
Tatar/Andersson-Emmerton/Eaves

Kronwall/Ericsson
DeKeyser/Colaiacovo
Smith/Quincey

Kindl-Lashoff

Honestly, though I think Emmerton and Lashoff will be traded soon.  Possibly Tatar too, because he’ll probably never have more value than right now.

Posted by zombietroy on 06/27/13 at 10:05 AM ET

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Then package up 2 - 3 (Tatar, Tootoo)  forwards & D (Cola, Lashoff) to pry Yandle from Phx.  Even shoot the moon with something like Smith & Nyquist for Webber?

Crack is a helluva drug.

Posted by godblender on 06/27/13 at 10:07 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

EXACTLY GB.  Helluva a drug.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/27/13 at 10:15 AM ET

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Let me see if I have this right, the Wings should be interested in Weiss at $.5 to 5mm/yr but not even consider signing Vinny at 5.5 to 6mm/yr for a few years?  Really?

Posted by bababooey on 06/27/13 at 10:17 AM ET

Avatar

I meant to say $4.5mm to $5mm/yr raspberry

Posted by bababooey on 06/27/13 at 10:20 AM ET

SK77's avatar

Crack is a helluva drug.

Posted by godblender on 06/27/13 at 11:07 AM ET

I think a better trade would be sending Tootoo, Cleary, Lashoff, Cola, and a 4rd or 5th round pick (if necessary), to the Penguins for Malkin & Letang. It would bolster the Wings top six and help on the backend.

Posted by SK77 on 06/27/13 at 10:25 AM ET

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but if you aren’t gonna pay #51 $4 mil+ then you cant afford Vinny either.

They can afford to pay that to Filppula, he’s just not worth anywhere near that.

Vinny would be a great fit for the Wings, but he’s probably a $5 million player as a UFA, and I don’t think the Wings would pay that for a second line center.

Why not?  Right now their second line centre has a $6M cap hit (and is actually making $7.5M).

Fil has been an underachiever his entire career with the wings.

I disagree.  Filppula is what he is, he’s just not what Detroit wanted him to be.

and Lecavalier is willing to take significantly less to come to Detroit.

Not neccessarily.  If they’re truly willing to give Weiss $5-6M then there’s no way they wouldn’t be willing to give that to Lecavalier.

 

Posted by Garth on 06/27/13 at 10:26 AM ET

awould's avatar

Vinny is a $6MM+ UFA. He’s vastly superior to Filppula, who will get approx. $5.5MM.

I’d love to see him on the roster but I don’t see Detroit paying him that much. In an ideal world, they could get him for $5.5MM for 3 years.

 

Posted by awould on 06/27/13 at 11:00 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I disagree.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/13 at 11:26 AM ET

you should have this as a tattoo

Posted by Hootinani on 06/27/13 at 11:07 AM ET

Avatar

I’d love to see him on the roster but I don’t see Detroit paying him that much.

If there’s a chance for Vinny at $6M in Detroit, I can’t imagine a scenario in which they pass on it, except maybe if he wants a full seven years.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/13 at 11:07 AM ET

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you should have this as a tattoo

My body is a temple.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/13 at 11:08 AM ET

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If you buy out Samuelsson and Cola you’re already there at the close to $6mm, and you’d still have room to add a Bickell or Iginla as well (if you do not sign the other ufa’s).

Posted by bababooey on 06/27/13 at 11:15 AM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

He had 10 goals and 22 assists in 39 games this past season, after scoring 20 or more goals in 12 consecutive seasons.

Did anyone notice that 10 goals in 39 games translates to… TA DA!! 20 or more goals in a full season!!!

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 06/27/13 at 11:19 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Let me see if I have this right, the Wings should be interested in Weiss at $.5 to 5mm/yr but not even consider signing Vinny at 5.5 to 6mm/yr for a few years?  Really?

Posted by bababooey on 06/27/13 at 11:17 AM ET

The Wings shouldn’t be interested in Weiss at even $3.5m/yr.  Weiss is a mess IMHO.  FLA hasn’t been great, but he’s had parts around him to be more successful than he has, and again… it seems he’s constantly injured.

I also think $5-6m for Vinny is too high though.

Posted by Primis on 06/27/13 at 11:35 AM ET

Primis's avatar

So, is this what you guys mostly seem to be wanting then with Lecavalier (pretty rough guesses at salaries is all, and trying to use the lines others seem to want/like)?:

http://capgeek.com/cap-calculator/roster/23484


FORWARDS
Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m)
Tomas Tatar ($0.840m) / Vincent Lecavalier ($5.727m) / Johan Franzen ($3.955m)
Gustav Nyquist ($2.788m) / Joakim Andersson ($1.005m) / Damien Brunner ($3.350m)
Drew Miller ($1.350m) / Darren Helm ($2.125m) / Patrick Eaves ($1.200m)
Cory Emmerton ($0.533m) / Jordin Tootoo ($1.900m)

DEFENSEMEN
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m)
Danny DeKeyser ($1.350m) / Brendan Smith ($2.827m)
Jakub Kindl ($3.050m) / Brian Lashoff ($0.725m)

GOALTENDERS
Jimmy Howard ($5.292m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)

OTHER
Buyout: Todd Bertuzzi ($0.000m)
Buyout: Mikael Samuelsson ($0.000m)
———
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $62,099,527; BONUSES: $1,010,000
CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $3,210,473

Posted by Primis on 06/27/13 at 11:47 AM ET

SYF's avatar

I’d love Vinnie in a Wings sweater, but it would come at a fairly serious cost if there is a trade with the Yzerbolts (and TBL will be a division rival next season).  If TBL uses a compliance buyout, then he’s right smack in the middle of a bidding war.  Best term will probably win out.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 06/27/13 at 11:51 AM ET

Avatar

The Wings shouldn’t be interested in Weiss at even $3.5m/yr.

$3.5mil for a guy who’s scored 20+ goals 4 times and plays a solid two-way game is not bad at all. He’s basically Filppula only a more consistent scorer and would cost significantly less.

FLA hasn’t been great, but he’s had parts around him to be more successful than he has,

Really? Who?

it seems he’s constantly injured.

He’s played at least 74 games in 7 of his 9 full seasons in the league.

Posted by godblender on 06/27/13 at 11:52 AM ET

Primis's avatar

He’s played at least 74 games in 7 of his 9 full seasons in the league.

Posted by godblender on 06/27/13 at 12:52 PM ET

To his credit, he’s often continued playing injured to a degree.  However, he’s always banged-up and injured.

One of the excuses for his production this year was that he played hurt.  I think he has a chronically messed-up wrist, which is a bad thing for a forward.

When it comes down to it though Weiss is probably Filppula though, except injured more often and with less defensive upside.

Posted by Primis on 06/27/13 at 12:04 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Show him the plane, show him the new arena plans, let him meet Gordie and Mr. Lindsay then throw a bag of money at him. 

If that doesn’t work, have Lidstrom give him a call. That worked out the last time we were fighting over a free agent.

Honestly, he’s my favorite option in the FA pool right now and I’d like to see Kenny pull this off.  He’s going to cost a lot of money, but a Cup-winning, award winning, C-wearing, potential HOFer won’t come cheap. 

Also, there are potentially another 20-odd mystery FAs out there as teams buy guys out.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/27/13 at 12:24 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

something like Smith & Nyquist for Webber

Weber should never wear The Winged Wheel.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/27/13 at 12:25 PM ET

Avatar

If Detroit can get Lacavalier for 4 years, 20 mil they should jump on it.  Any more or longer than that and they should stay away.

Detroit can add that contract without having to make any real cap moves.  Emmerton and Eaves and Lashoff would have to go for roster space reasons.  If Detroit bought out Tootoo in addition to those other moves Detroit could do all of that and still have 3 mil in cap space with a 22 man roster, leaving room for non LTIR replacement callups (Which they will need to deal with Bert and Sammy).

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/27/13 at 12:25 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

When I first heard about his buyout I remembered the talk that Vinny did not want to play in a Hockey market where there would be high expectations of him to live up to his $$ and skills.  Montreal at the time was a no go for him as they would eat him alive. 

IMO he will try to play for a Team like the Panthers, Nashville, Columbus, etc

And I think there are enough clueless GMs (Snow/Holmgren are the first to come to mind) who will overpay.

I would think Holland and Stevie Y have talked about some sort of Fil/others and Vinny scenario that they couldn’t make work before the buyout.

At the right price for longer than 1 year Vinny would be a great fit for the Wings and brings a lot more to the table than Long Gone Fil.

We will see if the UFA pool gets deeper as the UFA deadline approaches.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/27/13 at 12:29 PM ET

Avatar

And I think there are enough clueless GMs (Snow/Holmgren are the first to come to mind) who will overpay.

Why is it clueless to overpay for someone like Lecavalier?

The clueless GM is the one who thinks you can undercut everyone else’s offer and assume that every free agent should simply want to sign with you.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/13 at 12:45 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

There is difference in paying Fil 5mil/year and paying that money to Lecavlier.
Lecavlier > Fil even if he is older. Fil has been an underachiever his entire career with the wings.

Posted by George0211 on 06/27/13 at 10:51 AM ET

I agree.

The Wings are willing to pay a second line center 5 mil, the problem is Fil isn’t worth 5 mil. Vinny? Possibly so.

Something tells me he would like to finish his career in Montreal. But wasn’t there an article a few years ago that said the reason he likes a place like Tampa is because his life isn’t under a microscope, and he enjoys the lack of notoriety?

Obviously in Detroit he would have more notoriety than in Tampa, but nowhere near the fishbowl-like existence he’d have in Montreal.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 06/27/13 at 01:03 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

When I first heard about his buyout I remembered the talk that Vinny did not want to play in a Hockey market where there would be high expectations of him to live up to his $$ and skills.  Montreal at the time was a no go for him as they would eat him alive. 

IMO he will try to play for a Team like the Panthers, Nashville, Columbus, etc

And I think there are enough clueless GMs (Snow/Holmgren are the first to come to mind) who will overpay.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/27/13 at 01:29 PM ET

Detroit is an incredibly easy market to play in.  It’s nothing, NOTHING, like Toronto or Montreal, or even Vancouver.  There is very little in the way of media scrutiny in Detroit.  Who is going to be all over him?  Helen St. James?  KHAN!?  The worst he’d get would be some pissy column by Drew Sharp who writes pissy columns about everything.

Hockey is barely talked about on sports talk radio in Detroit.  Lions, college football and Tigers pretty much dominate the scene here year around.

While I think it’s a longshot Lecavalier ends up in Detroit, it won’t be because Detroit’s too much of a “hockey market.”

Also, I hope that the phrase “kicking tires” and the name “Ken Hoilland” never appear in the same sentence for the next month or so.

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/27/13 at 01:12 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

Why is it clueless to overpay for someone like Lecavalier?

The clueless GM is the one who thinks you can undercut everyone else’s offer and assume that every free agent should simply want to sign with you.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/13 at 01:45 PM ET

Because overpaying for players results in having a team of overpaid guys.

 

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 06/27/13 at 01:32 PM ET

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Because overpaying for players results in having a team of overpaid guys.

And not overpaying for free agents results in not signing free agents.

EVERYONE overpays for players, the smart GMs are the ones who are willing to overpay for a big talent rather than a mediocre talent.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/13 at 01:44 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Want Lecavalier? Do what other clubs won’t…

offer him a 1 yr deal and know that there is a good possibility he’ll resign with Tampa next year. If he wants a long term deal give it to him.

sell him on playing with Z and Brunner or Dats and Mule.
sell him on the young talent coming up.
sell him on making the playoffs every year.
sell him on the Wings track record of loyalty and older players having success.
sell him on the reduced travel in the East.
sell him on not having to be the focus and responsible for the locker-room and media.
sell him on the ability to live a half normal off ice life in Detroit vs Montreal.

Posted by d ca on 06/27/13 at 02:00 PM ET

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Because overpaying for players results in having a team of overpaid guys.

There are already overpaid players on Detroit’s roster. The difference between some of those guys and Lecavalier is that Lecavalier has a steady track record of being PRODUCTIVE in this league. Drop some dead weight (money) and Detroit can afford to overpay someone of real value, whether it’s Lecavalier or someone else.

Posted by godblender on 06/27/13 at 02:07 PM ET

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Want Lecavalier? Do what other clubs won’t…

There’s a reason most clubs won’t offer him a one-year deal.  Unless you’re sure that your team is one Vinny Lecavalier away from being the Stanley Cup champions, then signing him for one year is pointless.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/13 at 02:46 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.