Is Vincent Lecavalier Headed To The Maple Leafs?

Let me say right off the bat that I don’t buy it. However, Louise our Montreal Correspondent dug up this article en francais about the above subject. Let if be known that the rumor mill is in full force when it comes to Vinny. The common theme is that the nay saying Lightning ownership are going to have to move him this summer, prior to his NTC clause kicking in. The Habs have the most money to spend should they decide to spend to the cap. They are one of the few teams that could absorb Vinny’s 7.7m per year cap hit for the next 11 years. In any event, here is what the French scribe had to say… Louise hasn’t of yet provided me with a source so I can’t provide one just yet…

The general gist of the article is that Brian Burke has done some favors for the Lightning (taking some bad salaries off their hands) and therefore, Vincent Lecavalier is heading to Toronto.. In that my french is lousy, Louise has provided both the french copy and a translation of the article:

“Depuis son échange avorté avec Lawton en janvier, Gainey a constaté que les Maple Leafs de Toronto ont rendu de bien grands services au Lightning à la date limite des transactions. À une époque ou le budget du Lightning était tellement serré que Koules et Barrie limaient des coches sur les pièces de dix sous afin de fabriquer d’autres pièces de dix sous, Brian Burke s’est présenté à eux en sauveur.”

Since the failed trade(for Vincent) with Lightning GM Brian Lawton in January, Gainey has come to realize that the Toronto Maple Leafs have done a few favors for the Lightning before the trade deadline. With the Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie facing an extremely tight budget, Brian Burke presented himself as their savior.

“Il leur a fait la faveur d’acquérir le gardien Olaf Kolzig (qui était blessé jusqu’à la fin de la saison), le défenseur Jamie Heward (qui était aux prises avec une commotion cérébrale) et le vétéran défenseur des ligues mineures Andy Rogers (sérieusement blessé au dos) afin d’alléger leurs fins de mois.”

Burke did the Lightning the the favor of taking goalie Olaf Kolzig (injured till the end of the season), defensemen Jamie Heward (concussion) and veteran defensemen Andy Rogers (seriously injured back) in order to save the Lightning a fortune of money.

“Et Gainey sait parfaitement que Burke, un autre de ses bons amis, ne rend pas ce genre de service pour rien.”

And Gainey knows perfectly that Burke, who Gainey considers another good friend, is not the kind of person to do favors for nothing.

“À part Gainey, Burke figure parmi les très rares directeurs généraux qui ont suffisamment d’argent et de marge de manœuvre sur leur masse salariale pour acquérir le contrat de Lecavalier.”

Besides Gainey, Burke is among the veryfew GM’s who have sufficient money under the salary cap to acquire Lecavalier and Vinny’s accompanying contract.

“Voyez-vous le portrait ? Le repêchage aura lieu à Montréal en juin. Et dans un Centre Bell plein à craquer, les partisans du Canadien auront de très fortes chances d’apprendre que Vincent Lecavalier poursuivra sa carrière à Toronto.”

Can you picture this ? The draft is being held in Montreal in June. The Bell Center will be filled to capacity, and there is a good chance that Habs fans could learn in their own arena, that Lecavalier, whom Habs fans clearly covet will move on to play in Toronto!

Let wagging tongue wags! I would be stunned if Vinny ended up in Toronto. However Watters was talking along those lines the other day too. Would Burke take Vinny off the bolts hands to get to number 2? I know, you don’t “take Vincent Lecavalier” off one’s hands…He is a superstar… These are strange times in Tampa though…Wilbur said that the only way the Leafs make a deal for Tampa’s 1st round pick, the second overall, and not include their own first rounder, 7th overall would be if the Leafs took a bad contract off of Tampa’s hands…

All that is a long way from Vincent Lecavalier being a Maple Leaf. The one point that makes this interesting is that Burke doesn’t do favors for nothing. I know he got a 4th round pick back, but Tampa came out way ahead as they were in dire financial straits. Burke took serious cash off their hands… Burke not doing favors just for the sake of doing so, how true that may be. Most rumors have Vinny headed to Montreal…could you imagine him being dealt to Toronto at the Bell Centre????

TSM

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