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Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin hasn't minced words when discussing his team's interest in former Tampa Bay Lightning great Vincent Lecavalier.
Bergevin has a considerable amount of interest in making that happen.
"From 1 to 10?" Bergevin said when asked to describe the Canadiens' interest in Lecavalier. "Pretty high."
Told that sounded like it would be an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, Bergevin said, "Safe to say. At least."
The Habs needed some size and talent up front. Lecavalier is from nearby Ile Bizard, Quebec and in need of a team. It was just meant to be. In a way, it was quite reminiscent of the Danny Briere situation in 2007.
Bob Gainey made the right move by not giving in to public pressure in 2007. Marc Bergevin has done the same in 2013.
Now let’s make one thing clear: I’d love to see Lecavalier in a Canadiens uniform. Just not for four years at $22.5 million. And especially not with a full no-movement clause.
Vincent Lecavalier is still a productive NHL player, and there’s little doubt he’ll be a good second-line center for a couple of years in Philadelphia. But here are the facts: Lecavalier is 33 years old, he hasn’t played a full season since 2009-2010 and he hasn’t had more than 70 points in a season since putting up 92 in 2007-08.
By locking up Lecavalier until he’s 37 years old, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren seems to have handcuffed his team yet again. One would think that he would have learned from the Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov situations. Apparently not.
Some will argue that Lecavalier for $4.5 million is a better deal than Briere at $4 million. And for one year only it may be. But if things don’t work out as planned for the Canadiens at any point in the next two years, they can unload Briere for a prospect or a draft pick. Lecavalier won’t be going anywhere (unless he approves).
By not signing Lecavalier, the Canadiens are left with much more financial flexibility for the next few years—flexibility that will likely be used to give PK Subban a hefty pay raise.
Although it was a relatively quiet offseason for Bergevin, it was a successful one nonetheless. He added toughness and experience to a roster that was able to win the Northeast Division title in 2013. On paper, the Canadiens are a better team than they were last season. Will it translate to on-ice success? Time will tell.
Do you agree with the moves made (or not made) by Marc Bergevin this offseason? Leave your opinion in the comments section below.