The former Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier recently had his contract bought out by the organization, leaving the 6-foot-4 Quebec native in a position of free agency. He had scored nearly 400 goals for the team during his 14-season run with the Lightning, not to mention playing in over 1000 games. If you add these together, the sum is quite the desirable player. At 33 years old, he definitely still has some gas in the tank. However, his point production has been limited in more recent years, specifically the time period between the 2009-10 season and the 2011-12 season. There is a sign of light beyond the horizon, as he did manage to score a respectable 32 points in 39 games this past season.
So, which teams are interested?
Only a few: the Canadiens, the Flyers, the Blues, the Maple Leafs, the Flames, the Bruins, the Red Wings, the Capitals, as well as the new-faced Dallas Stars.
Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill wants him, and he’s made it quite clear that the organization is not only pushing hard for the player, but that the Stars may actually have a decent chance to pick him up too. When asked about the possible situation of Vinny landing in Dallas were, Nill replied, “I think we’ve got a great opportunity” (NHL). The same article also stated that Nill liked his chances of being able to sign Lecavalier. So, draw your own conclusions, but remember that nothing is for certain yet.
However, rumours scattered all over Twitter don’t exactly spell the same message. While there is a somewhat general consensus that Lecavalier will end up in Dallas, there are also those that believe that believe he could go anywhere else. Even though we have the evidence directly from Nill, it’s important to remember that this is the NHL, and that anything can happen. For example, yesterday, the surprising trade of Cory Schneider to New Jersey for the 9th overall pick, which turned out to be London Knights center Bo Horvat. Anything can happen in this league and that’s part of what makes it so exciting.
The Dallas Stars now have some money to spend with new owner Tom Gaglardi having the finances to fuel the Stars’ efforts to sign big names such as Lecavalier. The same thing happened last year when they signed Jagr. His previous $7.7 million salary will definitely take a cut, but I would bet that the Stars will be able to offer the forward more than enough money in a generous, but justifiable fashion. With over $13 million in cap space, Dallas could definitely afford the 1998 first-overall draft pick.
Obviously, the decision is up to him. However, you can assure yourself that Nill will do anything he can to land the highly-sought-after free agent, and his resources will allow him to do so.