The draft and free agency are just days away, and with the cap coming down mixed in with teams being able to buyout as many as 2 players starting today things are heating up quick.
News broke about an hour ago that the Lightning will buy out former 1st overall pick and captain Vinny Lecavalier. His numbers have dipped in the last few year mostly due to injury, but the knock on him wasn't his ability, it was his contract (11 years, $85M).
He may not be the Rocket Richard trophy winner from years past, but at 33 he still has plenty left in the tank. He could very well return to form in the goal column playing in the Wings system where they don't have a Stamkos for a primary scorer.
With Filppula almost surely out the door the Wings have a need in the 2 hole. Adding Lecavalier would be an upgrade over Fil while giving the Wings plenty of options to mix and match their top lines.
He wouldn't come cheap, but I'd rather spend around $5M on a 6'4 former 50 goal scorer than see them try and bring Filppula back to underperforming on a bigger deal. The Wings have the cash to make it happen, especially if/when they buyout Sammy and either trade/buyout Colaiacavo.
They wanted a big scoring forward, and now one is available. Are they interested? I would have to think so, but in all likelihood someone will pay closer to $6M. There is always hope that he could take a discount to play for his favorite team as a kid who just happens to be moving east this fall, and no. I'm not talking about the Blue Jackets.
Make it happen Kenny.
Lots of speculation already about Vinny. Brad May said on sportsnet that he talked to some of his former teammates and is hearing he wants to stay in the US. If thats true then that weeds out Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa... Well you get the picture, almost every Canadien team has been rumored to be interested.
Some of the trustworthy experts like LeBrun and Mckenzie seem to think he will go for around 4- 4.5 mil, which gives the Wings an even better shot, you would have to think he wants to play for a contender which ups the chances more as a lot of contenders are already up to the cap.
Only time will tell, I'm sure Kenny has already made some calls, Vinny is able to talk to any team he wants now that hes been bought out, he doesnt have to wait for FA to start. Time to Flip Fil and unload some cash with buyouts and trades. You'd have to think Emmertons time has run out & Tootoo, Eaves possibly Bert might have played their last game for the wheel.
I think there's a good chance he takes an offer based on team rather than money since he's already getting his FAT paycheck from Tampa for the next hundred years.
The good thing about Vinny is he should go for cheaper than you think. Tampa has to pay him 30 some odd million bucks so he is not going to be strapped for cash. And if he wants the years he is is looking for, most GM's will ask for a lower price. If we could get him at 5.5 or so that would be great. Definite upgrade from Fil. But there are always those GM's that throw stupid amounts at players and spoil the day for everyone else.
"With Filppula almost surely out the door the Wings have a need in the 2 hole."
They don't, really, because Filppula never has been and never will be a real #2 centre and Zetterberg IS, but I still wouldn't mind Vinny in a winged wheel, centring that second line, either allowing Pavel and Hank to skate together or with Hank himself on Vinny's wing.
Filppula was "supposed" to be the 2nd line center he just never lived up to his potential except for 1 year which so far looks like a fluke. Having Pav and Z together on the top line is what needs to happen, but only if they can get a real 2nd line center. I'm not sure if Weiss can be any better than Fil and that seems to be the Wings only real interest to fill that void until now, hopefully
@Jordan_Reis We'e got a bonafide top two centres already though and I think that if they get even one good UFA winger then having Pav & Z on separate lines isn't a problem. The reason they've needed to put Pav & Z together is because they haven't had six bonafide top six forwards since 2009. Pav with Abdelkader and Franzen, Z with Tatar and UFA winger would be a pretty formidable top six, plus with Andersson, Nyquist and Brunner as a third line? That would be fantastic. But, if they get Lecavalier as a 2nd line centre or even move him to the wing, that would be great as well.