Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Bolts give Big Bucks to Prince Vince

The Vincent Lecavalier Saga came to an end for Tampa Bay Lightning fans as GM Jay Feaster shelled out some big clams to keep Prince Vince in Florida for 4 more years.
(4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!)
The Bolts had to pay big, as Vince had the fortunate position to be an Unrestricted Free Agent at the tender age of 26 and had to find some way to pay the $7,211.33 in property taxes he owes on his pad. (TSN Story)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have locked up star player Vincent Lecavalier for the next four years by signing the talented sniper to a long term contract.
NHL sources have told TSN it's a four-year deal at $6.8 million US a year.

Locking up Lecavalier to a long-term deal was vital for the Lightning, especially since he could have become an unrestricted free agent next year at age 26 under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement.

"You know the 31-year-old (Khabibulin) will become an unrestricted free agent and we were aware of the risk," said Feaster. "But not in our worst nightmares did we ever expect that at the age of 26 ... Vincent would be an unrestricted free agent," said Feaster.

"We were not prepared to lose Vincent, the cornerstone of the franchise, at the age of 26."

$6.8mil a year? Why didn’t I become an NHL player?

(Because you suck, Jes)

Right. Well in any event, I’m shocked at the sheer amount of money Lecavalier will be ‘earning’ over the next 4 seasons. He’s making just $200,000 less than a superior player in Jerome Iginla and making more than a superior player in Markus Naslund. I realize Prince Vince is the ‘franchise’ and all that (and a bag of chips), but I feel the Bolts got taken to the cleaners on this one.

Just consider ...

1. Lecavalier was FOURTH on his team in scoring last year (behind Stillman, St. Louis, and Richards) and just 27th overall in the NHL.
2. Florida has NO personal state income tax. You’d think the Lightning could use that to their advantage when negotiating contracts. A $6.8mil deal in Florida is superior to a $6.8mil deal in Montreal or Los Angeles due to the tax factor.
3. The Bolts sit at $31,139.379 in salary with just 18 players signed. The Bolts still need to sign Martin St-Louis, who will want some significant change after seeing Vince rake it in like maple leaves in October. Perhaps Martin will be the odd man out and will sign with the Florida Panthers and really give Bolts fans something to cry about.

Poor Brad Richards! Really, the guy has outperformed Lecavalier throughout his NHL career and gets half the money and half the hype because he’s not 6’4” and doesn’t have a bigger chin than Jay Leno.

Let’s compare ...

Brad Richards
2003-04 82GP 26-53-79 +14 12PIM
2002-03 80GP 17-57-74 +3 24PIM
2001-02 82GP 20-42-62 –18 13PIM
2000-01 82GP 21-41-62 –10 14PIM

Playoffs – 34GP 12-19-31 +2 16PIM

Vincent Lecavalier
2003-04 81GP 32-34-66 +23 52PIM
2002-03 80GP 33-45-78 even 39PIM
2001-02 76GP 20-17-37 –18 61PIM
2000-01 68GP 23-28-51 –26 66PIM

Playoffs – 34GP 12-10-22 –4 47PIM

Brad Richards has won both the Lady Byng and Conn Smythe trophies. Vinnie has never won a single NHL award.

Although Vincent has the size, mad stickhandling skillz and plays center, he has been less valuable to his team than Brad Richards has over their tenure. Richards outscores Lecavalier and takes far fewer stupid penalties (which Lecavalier has been known for over his career).

Looks like Jay Feaster got reamed on this one, folks.

Even more perplexing is why Cory Stillman got so little. I realize he's not in the Lecavalier league overall as a player, but, like you said, finished ahead of him in scoring. And yet, he managed to get less than $2 million from the 'Canes.
From the begining of knowing Vinny was going to be an RFA -- I've been cringing knowing he isn't even teh best player on the team and he is deemed the franchise.

Brad Richards -- as you show it - is the guy who puts up the numbers and performs consistantly each and every year. He doesn't just make the team better with his contribution but he makes his linemates better as well.

..Now the question is why didn't I ever write atriade about that on Boltsmag?

I mean, during the lockout - I went ahead and did a rebuke of someone elses "Best player on the team" report and I pointed out Vinny's flaws as to Brad Richards strengths... Yet hearing all the "Vinny this" and "Vinny that" talk this off season, I guess I got meek.

Thank you for pointing out the obvious with regards to which Rimouski Oceanic Alumni on the Lightning is the stronger perofrmer... Now maybe I can pen an article about the abhorration it willb e to lose Brad Richards in time for his dismissal from the team... all thanks to Vinny's big time money
1. He may have scored 80 points last season, but he is still CORY STILLMAN :)

I agree that he seems to be undervalued and I was shocked that the Canes snapped him up so cheaply. Perhaps Stillman needs a new agent, b/c there is no way he should have not been able to get around $2mil a year. If Marek Malik can get $2.5mil...well...

2. John, I can understand how you'd grow weary of the same argument after months and months.

Vinnie was drafted 1st overall and 'should' be the best player. Many people will just never accept that fact that the slower and lower-drafted Richards could be/is a better player than Vincent Lecavalier. Lecavalier needs to spend less time bitching at his coaches and more time using his linemates better. For all of his skills, Lecavalier doesn't seem to make his linemates better as much as Richards does.
I really don't appreciate what this deal will do to Hossa. Forsberg was suppose to cap everyone, dammit!
Actually, I think it would be even more painful for Lightning fans to see SuperMidget sign with the 'Canes. :D
So The Lightning are going with Vinny.

As a fan of a team (Leafs) that has cap room coming up when Richards becomes UFA in 2007, all I can say is gimme! gimme! gimme!
a) cory stillman is a streaky, non- motivated, slug that finds the net for a few weeks at a time. he has been SAT during the playoffs as a motivating tool. let me repeat that. Stillman. Sat. Playoffs. Didn't bring effort to the short season! THAT is why he makes less. and should

b) jes. jes. jes. you saying under the new cba players will start picking teams based on non contract/hockey choices?!?! lol welcome to the dark side!! who coaches in tb? and more importantly, you pick tampa as your florida team or that keenan one? hmmmmm
Richards is the more important player to Tampa... did Jay Feaster forget that Tampa Bay went 31-0-2 in 03-04, including 9-0 in the playoffs, when Richards scored? I find that as a really compelling stat... If the opponent cant shut down Richards, chances are Tampa will win. I like those odds.
Well the state income tax issue is a FINANCIAL issue to all players. If I'm considering two equal $5mil contracts and the teams seem fairly equal, the income tax could be the deal breaker. Tampa Bay and Florida should be able to offer slightly less money because their the weather (at least in Miami) is pretty damn nice.
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