We knew the compliance buyout window would release a few interesting names into the free agent pool, unshackled from their exorbitant contracts. Vincent Lecavalier will be reportedly be one, as Jeff Vinik has decided to eat his $32 million buyout in order to gain the $7.7 million in cap savings.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 27, 2013
A 6’4, 210 pound center who has scored at a .80 PPG pace the last two seasons, the interest in Lecavalier should be a given on the Leafs part. And they won’t be the only ones.
The problem, of course, is likely to come in the fact that Vinny is a suddenly attractive option at a key position (center) amid a mediocre free agent class. Lecavalier just scored a 30 mill-over-14-years retirement plan and could get solidly overpaid all over again this summer. Lecavalier sounds great on about a 2-year deal, but once you start adding term to that he very quickly becomes an unattractive option.
Now, if I’m Vinny, I’m thinking a few things. One, you’ve just seen the consequences of what signing these giant deals can do to your career in a cap world. No one is feeling sorry for Vinny’s financial situation right now, but what’s the best way to restore his reputation as a still very-able hockey player who became heavily beholden to his contract? To sign a reasonable short-term deal with a team of his choice, perhaps. Two, I’m 33 and I want to win another Cup while playing a significant role. Where can I go, play with a couple of point-per-game wingers (let’s say… Lupul, Kessel), for a young team that seems to be on the rise, with a big hole at their number one center position?
Just sayin’, Vinny.