Thursday, January 15, 2009

Loose Lips Lecavalier

If indeed Vincent Lecavalier is on his way to Montreal, he's going to have to learn how to avoid talking to reporters.

For a guy who is "loyal" to the Lightning, Lecavalier sure isn't being shy when it comes to talking about the possibility of coming to play in our fair city. Of course, Lecavalier has never had anything but good things to say about Montreal, but he's always said those things with the qualifier that Tampa was home, it was somewhere he had laid down roots, it was a place where he felt comfortable.

Lecavalier's charitable work in the Tampa area makes those words ring true. You don't establish a foundation that donated $3 million toward the construction of a pediatric cancer and blood disorders wing of the All Children’s Hospital in downtown St. Petersburg if you don't enjoy living in the area. And you definitely don't sign an 11-year contract to stay in Tampa if the Florida sunshine gives you a rash.

But considering the swirling rumours surrounding a possible trade to the Habs, why would Lecavalier feel the need to ask a reporter - one that is revered and respected by many, reviled by others, but a simple reporter all the same - questions about the Canadiens, or what day-to-day life is like for a hockey player in Montreal? He grew up here, his family lives here, he comes back here every summer, what else is there to know?

The Lightning doesn't need this, the Canadiens certainly don't need this, and I can assure you that if Lecavalier were indeed a member of the team right now there's no way he'd be giving interviews like this in the middle of a firestorm.

In my mind, there's only one reason Lecavalier felt comfortable enough to speak so candidly about a Montreal trade, and that's because he knows something is up. Not necessarily that he's going to be traded to the Habs, but it appears Lecavalier is resigned to the fact that he's going to be traded somewhere. And if he's going to be traded, it sounds like he wouldn't mind playing for the Habs.

So how do these things resonate in the Habs room? How does Tomas Plekanec concentrate on continuing a stretch of solid games tonight against the Predators when he's wondering whether it will be his last in a Habs uniform? Will the trade rumours be in the back of Josh Gorges' mind tonight? Is Christopher Higgins sleeping at night?

If they're worried, then they probably shouldn't be simply because if their names are out there, it probably means they won't be included in any potential deal. But seeing as they are the ones who've been reported on, comments like the ones Lecavalier made in La Presse only make it that much tougher to deal with the rumours.


SRS said...

How would this trade work anyways? A look at shows me that all the rumored players (Pleks, Higs, Georges) combined still don't free up enough room for Vinny's 7+mil salary under the cap. What am I missing?

Arpon Basu said...

You're not missing anything, the numbers don't add up, but Gainey could theoretically have the Lightning take Dandenault to even things up a bit. Also, it's only about a third of Lecavalier's cap hit that would apply if he were traded at the deadline, but the Habs are right up against it now. The only missing factor is how much cap relief they've received because of injuries this year.