I must admit—the rumor game can be sort of fun at times. Which star will go to which contender? What star will stay on his team to simply walk the next year?
This season, the rumor mill is as busy as ever. One name seems to be coming up a lot as of late—Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier.
With the Bolts struggling despite some heavy offseason spending, the rumors have been flying that Tampa is looking to trade their franchise player. This isn't going to happen, and I have a few reasons why.
The most obvious reason? His salary. His 11-year, $85 million deal kicks in next year. Of his rumored suitors, no one is prepared to take that kind of salary cap hit without some heavy shedding. Is a team really going to give up players, prospects, and picks to clear additional cap space? Highly unlikely.
Tampa Bay would be stupid to trade him, unless they were rebuilding. They definitely don't seem to be rebuilding, based on the way they spent this summer. Granted, everyone knew that overpaying on free agents was stupid, but they want to win now. Trading their franchise isn't the way to get there.
If the Bolts were looking to clear cap space to rebuild, why on earth would you trade Lecavalier and not Martin St. Louis? St. Louis is older, smaller, less skilled, and on the decline. Lecavalier is entering his prime. So who makes more sense? Trading St. Louis for young pieces would be the most beneficial and smartest thing to do.
It seems that fans of the Montreal Canadiens think that Vinny will be wearing the bleu, blanc, et rouge before the end of the season. I won't even get into it, but they aren't exactly oozing cap space. They have less than $1 million of space under the current ceiling.
Cap woes aside, who would the Habs have available to give up for Vinny? He certainly would command a premium package considering he's a hometown boy. Lecavalier is under 30 and a star player. Chris Higgins and Max Pacioretty would almost certainly be involved, but after that, who is there? Halak? They just don't have enough assets in place to swing a deal.
Just because he's from Il Bizarre, QC does not mean he will be playing there.
So in all honesty, I'd really like these rumors to stop. Logic says he's not going anywhere unless Tampa wants to give him away to a team that has the cap space, or they will settle for a less than stellar group of prospects.
The rumor mill will continue to churn, but I hope this particular rumor comes to rest.