Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
  • Home

Vinny rumors won’t stop anytime soon

Posted Jan 15, 2009 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Jan 15, 2009 at 04:05 PM

Well, not a lot to report out of this morning. Vinny Lecavalier met with the media, and it had a feel of a playoff game as all local television stations were present. A television crew from RDS out of Montreal (think French-speaking ESPN) as well as a print reporter from Montreal in town to cover what is going on.

It was a lot of the same type of questions for Lecavalier, who didn’t come out and say anything one way or the other. He said basically that all of these things are just rumors and there is no real sense in discussing them. But sometimes it’s what’s not said and looking at body language that tell the real story. And judging by what I saw and didn’t hear today that told me Lecavalier looks like a guy doing some serious thinking right now. He didn’t come right out and say that he has no intention of leaving this community, the he has no desire to be traded. Which means that for the first time in his hockey career, being dealt is a real consideration.

Brian Lawton also spoke today, and he basically said a lot of the same rhetoric that happened a couple of days ago. Reitterated that he is not actively shopping Vinny Lecavalier and he doesn’t envision trading Lecavalier today, or tomorrow or anytime soon.

But again, read between the lines here. Lawton is right, he’s not taking a fax and sending a message out to the other 29 teams in the league letting them know Lecavalier is available. But he is fielding phone calls to see what he might get in return. And just because he doesn’t envision making that kind of deal doesn’t mean it won’t come to fruition. Remember, Jay Feaster said many times that he would not be known as the general manager who traded Vinny Lecavalier - even though he came close once or twice - that’s a bold statement. Lawton made no such kind of a statement, not that he is under any obligation to do so.

I will also say this, for the first time, I get the feeling that moving Lecavalier is a real possibility. I’m not saying it’s likely, just that it’s a possibility. But no matter what happens, it won’t be something done quickly. If the ball is in Lecavalier’s court - and it appears that it is - he will take some time to think things over. This is not a decision that needs to be made out of emotion or frustration. It needs to be calculated and discussed at length.

And until either Vinny comes out and say he has no desire to leave the franchise or Lawton says emphatically that Vinny won’t be traded, none of this is going to go away. And just think of the zoo that will await Lecavalier when he heads to Montreal next weekend for the All-Star game.

As far as tonight’s game is concerned, Steve Downie was called up from AHL Norfolk and will play in tonight’s game against his old team, the Flyers. Rick Tocchet said Jussi Jokinen will be a game-time decision, but he didn’t take any of the line rushes this morning, so my guess is he is out tonight.

Paul Ranger and Matt Smaby did not skate. Ranger will sit out once again. Steve Eminger did skate and it looks like he’s in. Also, David Koci will take regular shifts at defense tonight as he was paired with Kevin Quick.

The lines looked like this:

Vinny Prospal-Vinny Lecavalier-Steve Downie
Ryan Malone-Jeff Halpern-Marty St. Louis
Evgeny Artyukhin-Steven Stamkos-Mark Recchi
Matt Pettinger-Ryan Craig-Adam Hall

Reader Comments

Por (Teresa P.) on January 15, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Lawton said “he is not being traded” and he said he told Vinny that to his face.  He said he doesn’t foresee any reason why he would be traded and this should put the rumors to rest. He said he couldn’t say “never” because there was no way to tell what might happen in the 10th year of an 11-year contract.  He said they’re not having conversations with any team about trading him.  That sounded pretty emphatic to me.

Suggest removal

Por (Karl S) on January 15, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Not so sure that Lawton’s body language was convincing either. I agree, Erik.  For the first time since Dudley was GM, this may be a real possibility.  It’ll be a sad, sad day, no matter who they would try to get in return.  And the truth of the matter is that the players traded for, probably won’t relieve much cap space.

Suggest removal

Por (Goalman) on January 15, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I agree that Vinny’s body language is saying things his mouth isn’t.He doesn’t seem to get excited when he scores a goal and I thought he looked preoccupied after the Ducks victory. I hate to read too much into “body language”,but the only thing that’s going to stop these rumors are statements by the GM,Vinny,and the owners.The statements need to say that this whole thing is wishful thinking by the press in Montreal and there is NO WAY THAT VINNY WILL BE TRADED OR GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEAVE.Meanwhile,this has become a distraction for a team that can’t afford any distractions.

Suggest removal

Por (Teresa P.) on January 15, 2009 (Suggest removal)

First time since Dudley?  Did you forget that Feaster tried to trade him to Vancouver?

Suggest removal

Por (B) on January 15, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I would say that the posting of the video on the Lightning website make this a 99.9999% chance that he isn’t going anywhere (hey, if we got offered Towes and Kane, we would have to take it, but that isn’t going to happen). Maybe Vinny looks so burnt out and bummed because people keep asking him the same questions over and over again (for the past 10 years no less). Leave him alone already. If he wanted to be someplace else, he wouldn’t have signed here for life, simple as that. These things don’t change in 6 months because the going got a bit tough, Vinny isn’t the kind of guy to just give up. They tried to stop it from becoming a media circus, don’t continue to make it one.

Suggest removal

Por (Karl S) on January 15, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Teresa,
Yes, I guess I did forget about that one…

Suggest removal

Por (Justin) on January 15, 2009 (Suggest removal)

It’s interesting reading what the people in the coninental United States and all of Canada minus Quebec, as to what is a reasonable trade with Montreal… The frenchies seem to think that Vinny is only worth Higgins,Plekanec,Gorges and some picks. Everyone else says if a deal doesn’t include Andrei Markov, Andrei Kostitsyn and Carey Price then it’s a pointless trade. But if you want to go to Montreal where they feel that some crap players are what you are worth by all means, i’ll pack your suitcase for you.

The scary thing is, Lawton and Barrie would take the Higgins,Plekanec,Gorges trade with the picks and disguise it as “building for the long term.”

I’m surprised the Bolts third jerseys weren’t Charlestown Chiefs jerseys

Suggest removal

Por (TroyB) on January 15, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Vinny really had nothing to lose when he signed his contract extension. He knew it doesn’t kick in ‘til July 1st so he’s got his contract and he’s taking a wait and see approach to OK…now 7 months in…he witnesses dysfunctional OK…Talks with Ritchie and Boyle who now can say that the grass is really greener…He knows he’ll still be beloved by the Tampa fans regardless..aka Tony Dungy or Mike Alstott… He’s in the driver seat given OK’s financial position… Personally, I’d hate to see him leave.

Suggest removal

Por (Jason Harlow) on January 15, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Although I would hate to see him leave, one must put themselves in his shoes. Vinny is not getting any younger and probably does not want to wait for the ‘rebuilding’ of a team to happen. He has already been through that once.

My gut is telling me #4 will be wearing Red and White next season.

Suggest removal

Por (B) on January 15, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I doubt Brad is really telling him how much greener it is out there. Have you seen the Stars this season? At least we were in last place last year and really it was unrealistic to think we would be all that much improved this year, but Dallas, how far they have fallen. I think they might have traded the wrong goalie away. And the whole Avery debacle? Yikes.

Anyway, if anything Brad is telling him that it doesn’t matter where you go, the problems can happen anywhere. You think Vinny is going to want to play for a Habs team that had to give up a whole bunch of players in order to get him? Because personally, in order to get him from us, they would need to gut their team. That leaves them in the same mess we are in.

Suggest removal

Por (TroyB) on January 15, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I was referring to ownership and overall organizational stability of Dallas and San Jose as compared with Tampa Bay.

Suggest removal

Por (Christian) on January 16, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Don’t look now, but the Bolts are 9 points away from a playoff spot with a game in hand. I’m not making any predictions obviously, but ownership and Vinny are in no hurry to come to a decision on this matter. This smells like a deadline move if it happens at all, and if by then this team has continued to show improvement then the shock and disappointment of the first half of the season may be sufficiently forgotten and both ownership and Vinny will see that all is not doom and gloom in Tampa Bay. If this team turns the season around, they will all remember why he signed that 11 year contract and this will seem like drowning in a glass of water. If you want Vinny to stay, the best thing that can happen is this team continues to improve.

Suggest removal

Por (Mario Crociata) on January 16, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Some times I’m not impressed with the way Vinny plays…“Ice Capades”, Ballerina, etc.) but when it comes to being on board for a difficult task (making the Lightning a playoff caliber team),V4 is the man. He wouldn’t have donated all the money and invested his free time in All Children’s Hospital if he didn’t have a vision of hope. That being said, I think V4 has a doable vision of hope for his team. He isn’t looking for “the trade”. If it happens it will be strictly management. It will be managerial suicide if they do it! Maybe it is a story line for a new horror movie where OK cuts out the hearts of all of us Lightning fans, everywhere! Hey Oren…“Saw Infinity” maybe?

Suggest removal

Por (Gary Meleski) on January 16, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Stop and think about this for just a minute. Do you NOT think at least SOME of the blame for all these situations belong to the players themselves ? Does Vinny REALLY NEED that much money ? The answer is NO. There is a word I am going to throw out there and I will probably be lambasted for it. The word is GREED. Sure, everyone wants to make gazillions of dollars. But at the expense of the team you say you want to spend the rest of your carreer with? Sorry, that does not compute with me. He could have set a precedence and took 5 mil a year and left his team with money to work with. The cap will slam Tampa and they will end up having no choice in the matter. Of course OK hockey are idiots but the players have at least some blame.

Suggest removal
Page 1 of 1 pages

Post a comment

Members:

(Requires free registration.)




Auto-login on future visits

Show my name in the online users list

Forgot your password?


Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.