Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Vinny To Montreal, the non-money side

In a two day two part series on the Lecavalier to Montreal rumors, I'm going to focus on the non-financial aspects of the deal today(part#2 tommorow). It seems to me like we’ve been hearing the same rumours about Lecavalier’s imminent departure from the Bay to his childhood home to play for his childhood team since he was taken first overall in the 1998 NHL draft. Of course every time these rumour’s have all turned out to be bogus and at every opportunity he’s had to become a UFA and join the Habs Vinny has re-signed with the Lightning each time. Most recently he chose to forgo his opportunity at upcoming summer free agency and instead signed a contract for 11 years and 85 million dollars with Tampa. Vinny was one of the many French Canadian players who had really no desire to be the next great Guy Lafleur or more accurately the next Jean Beliveau who Lecavalier has been compared to since he entered the league. Danny Briere, Simon Gagner, Alex Tanguay and Georges Laraque in the past have very vocally talked about how undesirable it was for most French Canadians to play there. However you’ll notice how two of those players are now playing for the Habs(Laraque signing as a UFA and Tanguay waiving his NTC to go there). So maybe it’s not as undesirable as it used to be? It seems to me that while some of the rabid jackals known as the French media still seem to think that a French Canadian superstar is a must, the memories of an offensive French Canadian star have faded to black since Lafleur left. Also the fact that the Tampa Bay organization is a wreck doesn’t help. The ownership group has made so many brutal personnel decisions with trades and UFA singings that has the team near the bottom of the league again but with a lot of money tied up in underachieving players. And of course the story’s are out there that the owners are hemoraging money and so they may be forced to sell the team at which point it would probably move from Tampa Bay. So would Vinny want to risk having to go play in some unfamiliar city with a crappy team with no hope of winning for the rest of his career but he would continue to lead a life under the radar in some US market; or would he accept a trade to a resurgent Habs franchise with a great management team and coaching and great talent on the ice with a chance to win but would be in the smallest hockey fishbowl in the world with the weight of a province on his shoulders? Vinny's got a tough decision to make.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure the habs would be left with much if they traded for Vinny at this point. Gainey is no fool (as you seem to think) and Price for Vinny as would probably be needed to make this deal happen -- won't. What the habs don't need now is another Vinny Ridge.
    PS I wonder if we googled mad jackels what would now come up?