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- FRANCHISE PLAYER.
the past season I've occasionally received e-mails from some
readers inquiring into the possibility of the Tampa Bay Lightning
trading Vincent Lecavalier.
Even in the
midst of the first round series between the Lightning and the
New Jersey Devils, a couple of readers have asked about Lecavalier
for most of these inquiries is the stated intent of Lightning
ownership to cut payroll for next season.
throughout the season that Lecavalier won't be traded. That opinion
hasn't changed in the playoffs.
the NHL this season not only knows that Lecavalier has been a
dominant player, the winner of the Richard trophy for the most
goals scored this season by a player, but has been simply overwhelming
thus far for the Bolts in their series against the Devils.
seeing from Lecavalier now is a player finally reaching the lofty
expectations of the Lightning when they drafted him nine years
time, as some players develop more slowly than others, but watching
Lecavalier since the Lightning's 2004 Stanley Cup run, through
his performance at the World Cup of Hockey in 2004, and over
the past two seasons, it's clear that he's finally become an
that, but he's become the franchise player and offensive leader
throughout this season and into this year's playoffs.
St. Louis won an Art Ross and a Hart trophy, and Brad Richards
was the 2004 playoff MVP and Lady Byng winner, but there's no
question that this season, he's been clearly the best player
on the Lightning.
his big contract and there's no way in hell Lightning GM Jay
Feaster will move him.
Feaster went on record several years ago stating he wouldn't
go down in history as the man who traded Vincent Lecavalier.
While he's admitted this past season he's received calls about
Lecavalier from rival teams and has listened to them, he's ultimately
said he has no interest in moving Lecavalier.
Bolts will cut payroll by about $4 million this season. Sure,
anyone can be traded in the NHL, why, just look at Wayne Gretzky,
who was dealt twice in his career. Folks will obviously read
something into Feaster's aforementioned comments that simply
confident in saying there is no way Jay Feaster trades Vincent
Lecavalier. Not after the season he's had, and definitely not
after the way he's played in this year's playoffs.
It's a dream
of some Montreal Canadiens fans that their club will somehow
pull off a miraculous deal that'll bring Lecavalier, a local
boy, back home to Montreal.
possible that Lecavalier, an unrestricted free agent in two years
time, could end up signing with another team, that the Bolts
could still be under a tight payroll and unable to retain him.
the earliest possible time I foresee Lecavalier wearing a Canadiens
jersey, or that of a team other than the Bolts or Habs.
But if it's
possible for the Bolts to retain Lecavalier in two years time,
you know Feaster will do everything in his power to make it happen.
is the Tampa Bay Lightning's franchise player.
going anywhere this summer.
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