Last night, Bruce Garrioch of the Toronto Sun wrote an article saying that the Rangers are eying up Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is not surprising since the Rangers desperately lack scoring and John Tortorella won a cup with Lecavalier as the captain of his team; it makes perfect sense.
Normally, I would be ultra gung-ho about this. "Go get 'em, Slats!" is what I would be yelling. But although acquiring Lecavalier would improve the team's offense, it would only be a slight improvement, and his contract is killer to this team's current situation. Lecavalier's cap hit will be roughly $7.7 million annually until 2020. That is an absolutely egregious sum that the Rangers would be shelling out to a twenty-nine year old center whose play has decreased heavily in just the last two seasons. He rose to stardom in 2006/07 when he scored 52 goals and 108 points and followed that up the next year with 40 goals and 92 points. But other than those two seasons, he has never recorded more than 75 points, including last season's mediocre 67 points.
It could be one of those cases where all he needs is a change of scenery for him to start scoring again, and he would be centering Marian Gaborik, a winger whose caliber is better than that of any player he has ever played with. But what if he really is past his prime? His age says he is still young enough, but he has been in the NHL since the age of nineteen and already has 834 games of experience. Could it be that he is done? He is on pace for an 80 point season this year, not mind-blowing numbers when you look at them.
Combine the road he is headed down with his salary and this move has disaster written all over it. The only way this move can be made and not be a disaster, is if the Rangers give up the right pieces to get him. Garrioch notes that the Rangers would give up Redden, Gilroy, and either Dubinsky or Callahan. Fans will see Redden leaving and automatically think it would be a steal of a trade. But would you trade 4 more years at $6.5 million for 10 more years at $7.7 million? This is something I would not do. Giving up Gilroy and Dubinsky does not bother me at all, but perhaps the Rangers could include Ales Kotalik in the deal and shed additional salary. Much like the folks at Blueshirt Banter came up with an "official proposal" dealing with Ilya Kovalchuk, I am drawing up my own official one dealing with Vincent Lecavalier:
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