The 33 year old veteran played his entire career in Tampa Bay. Drafted first overall in 1998 by the Lightning, Vincent Lecavalier led the Bolts to a Stanley Cup in 2004. Lecavalier is a four time All-Star, and even won a Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy in 2007 racking up a total of 52 goals that season.
It seems that just about everyone wants to sign him, but what makes the most sense for him? Where does he end up by the start of next season? And how much does he want? And what does he get?
Lecavalier has met with numerous teams. He has met with the Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Montreal Canadiens.
Florida and Calgary both seem like long shots to me, a veteran player who can get the same contract from a contender as he can a rebuilding franchise just seems like a long shot. Toronto traded away three draft picks during Sunday’s draft to grab Dave Bolland from the Chicago Blackhawks, so it looks like their need at center might be filled now. The Ducks don’t have a ton of cap space available at the moment, but are looking to add a second center to play behind Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks would be an interesting landing place for Vinny, but I don’t see them paying him the amount he has in mind.
The Boston Bruins expressed interest in Lecavalier, but with limited cap space this upcoming season, it looks like it would be a bit of a stretch to sign him with such limited space. The Bruins are also set down the middle with David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron, so just where does that leave Vinny to play? The Philadelphia Flyers are seeing the same problem on their end. Both teams have shown interest and would love bringing him on, the cap space just isn’t there to bring him in. The Flyers still need upgrades on the defensive end and in net before thinking about someone like Lecavalier.
That leaves the Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, and Montreal Canadiens. The Stars seem very persistant on doing anything they can to grab Lecavalier, and new GM Jim Nill is looking to build this Stars club back into what it used to be. Pressure in Dallas is mounting high, the Stars haven’t made the playoffs since the 2008 season, and adding a top player like Vincent Lecavalier could help propel them back into the race.
The St. Louis Blues have cap space, and they have skill. The Blues are already a competitor and adding Lecavalier down the middle could only make them even better. The Blues have the cap space to get him, it all just comes down to who gives him what he wants. The Washington Capitals have expressed interest in Lecavalier as well. The Capitals are more than likely losing Mike Ribeiro to free agency this season leaving a nice gap in the second line center spot. Who better to fill it with than a star like Lecavalier?
The Detroit Red Wings have always been a destination for veterans. The Wings are looking to replace Valtteri Filppula who is believed to already be lost to free agency. Vinny would fit great in the second line for the Wings, and the cap space is all there. The Wings are contenders year in and year out, and adding Lecavalier to the mix would only make them all that much better.
The Montreal Canadiens are looking to revamp the run they had last season in the regular season by making a deep push into the playoffs. Old Montreal and Tampa Bay trade rumors involving Lecavalier has led many to believe that Montreal is where he will end up now that he is a free agent.
So where do you think Vincent Lecavalier will land? Pick up the pen and sign on the dotted line of the team that fits the best. To me, it comes down to Detroit, Washington, and Montreal. Which team is willing to give him more than the others, and which team does he see as a contender throughout the duration of his contract there?
Tags: Anaheim Ducks Boston Bruins Calgary Flames Daily Poll Dallas Stars Dave Bolland David Krejci Detroit Red Wings Florida Panthers Jim Nill Mike Ribeiro Montreal Canadiens Patrice Bergeron Ryan Getzlaf St.Louis Blues Toronto Maple Leafs Valtteri Filppula Vincent Lecavalier Washington Capitals