The buyout of Vinny Lecavalier has fans of many teams foaming at the mouth, however, Larry Brooks at the New York Post quells Rangers fans enthusiasm by stating that the Blueshirts are not believed among the serious suitors for the 33-year-old former Lightning center.
Brooks adds that among the likely dozen team interested in his services are the Canadiens, Maple Leafs and Red Wings.
...while I'd love to see Lecavalier in a Blueshirt, I think there's going to be a huge bidding war for Vinny that'll have him laughing all the way to the bank as he'll not only receive a salary from his new team, but the Lightning will still owe him $32 million over the next 14 years under the amnesty clause of the new CBA.
...if Lecavalier is willing to take a discount for a chance to win a Stanley Cup, I'm hopeful the Rangers could somehow steal him for three years, $10.5 million. Big scoring center with Stanley Cup pedigree? What's not to like?
LOLLLLLLL... THE FLYERS ARE SUCH A JOKE
Last week, following the GM meetings in Boston, Sabres general manager Darcy Regier was explaining why the market wasn't quite ready yet for major trades.
"It's too loose right now. Too undefined. Too many variables -- the cap, the potential buyouts," Regier said when we chatted. "It's a little bit like the airlines -- the flight's a little overbooked."
The flight is now ready for takeoff.
The variables are starting to be removed and teams have a better idea of whom they can sign and can't sign. The compliance buyout window is opening and teams are already taking advantage, with the Flyers clearing space with the buyouts of Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere. The Lightning freed up room with the buyout of Vincent Lecavalier and the Rangers are still weighing a Brad Richards decision.
The market is starting to loosen, setting up a draft weekend in Newark that could be one of the most active in recent memory. The cap is coming down, this draft is loaded with high-end talent (making draft picks extra valuable this year) and the Jordan Staal deal last year showed GMs the value in acting decisively in trading a player before his contract gets too close to its expiration date.
Regier has two key players in Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller entering the final seasons of their contract and when we spoke last week there was no talk of contract extension with either player. At this point it becomes about asset management and exploring the best option for each player because teams are learning more and more that talent can't leave the franchise without getting anything in return.
"We have a good idea what we want to do and where we want to go," Regier said. "It's not knowing yet whether what we want to do and where we want to go is going to be supported at this time."
The challenge when you're potentially trading big pieces like these two is determining the timing. Do you wait and try to take advantage of a team that misses out on free agency? Do you trade early when there might be more teams with needs?
But with the Bryzgalov buyout, the Flyers are now among the teams looking for a starting goalie. The only certainty that comes with waiting is that if you wait until after this weekend, you can't capitalize on this year's draft, something that teams trading major players will want to do.
"As the timeline moves along, you can't get to unrestricted free agency or after that and say, 'Oh, I wish I would have done something at the draft,'" Regier said. "You don't get to look at everything on a global basis at one time. Make the assessments as you move along."
Vanek and Miller aren't the only big names who could be on the move this weekend; here are eight more:
Last night, colleague Pierre LeBrun reported that Letang rejected an eight-year contract extension worth approximately $56 million. If Letang wants a salary north of $7 million per season, it may have to be outside Pittsburgh because the Penguins already have big numbers on the books with long-term deals for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The Letang camp is well aware that Ray Shero may move quickly to deal the franchise defenseman if a contract isn't reached, as with Staal last summer.
But the big difference here is that there aren't two other franchise defensemen on the depth chart in front of Letang as there were at center. If Shero deals Letang, he has a huge hole to address on defense, which isn't easy. According to LeBrun, the Letang camp countered with a deal just south of $8 million per season -- which was too rich. There may still be a middle ground there because the preference in Pittsburgh is to get Letang signed.
Louis Jean, a reporter in Montreal, tweets that the Rangers haven’t made a decision on Richards yet because there a differing opinions within the organization.Kevin... when is the latest buyouts can be announced?
Larry Brooks said today that DZ has been talked about as a trade target. Any chance DZ and a prospect could get us in on the Bobby Ryan sweepstakes?
Boyle will have a good year torts messed with his head to much watch this system will be good for the young guys run and gun style
I think the Rangers are interested, but don't see how they can fit him in with Richards and Stepan occupying the 1st and 2nd line center. Can't see Vinny taking a pay cut. He's going get a ridiculous salary due to the demand of a 1st line center. Can't buy out Richards and hope to sign Lecavalier. Too risky that we might not get him and end up without a 2nd line center, assuming Stepan occupies the 1st line C.
@Josh6 Amazing! Now quick... delete before ESPN COMES AFTER YOU!
hahaha... thanks man
This week in a meeting with reporters after hiring John Tortorella, GM Mike Gillis said he remains optimistic that a Luongo trade will still happen. Since the season ended, the Leafs have been removed from the equation and now the Flyers are a possibility. "We've been talking to teams like we have been for a long time," Gillis said. "In this business you do have to be patient sometimes and you have to be absolutely firm in what you want to do."
Ryan has been in the rumor mill now for a couple of years, but there are still those around the league who believe he's very much in play. Corey Perry andRyan Getzlaf are both signed long term, and the emergence of Emerson Etemgives the Ducks a potential replacement in the top six for Ryan. With an aging defense containing the likes of Sheldon Souray, Francois Beauchemin and Bryan Allen, the Ducks may look to spin Ryan into help on the blue line.
Del Zotto has one year left on his bridge deal that comes with a cap hit of $2.55 million this season, and his price tag only goes up from here. Ryan McDonagh is going to get a big deal this summer and the Rangers also have Marc Staal and Dan Girardi as part of a talented defensive corps that is still relatively young. Del Zotto is a guy who may flourish under Alain Vigneault but with so many teams shopping for defense right now, he's a piece GM Glen Sather could use to fill holes elsewhere.
TSN's Darren Dreger was the first to report that Perron is a candidate to be traded in St. Louis. Last summer, he signed a four-year contract worth $15.25 million after scoring 21 goals in 57 games, but his offensive production dropped this season to only 10 goals in 48 games. He finished the season with only 25 points and the 6-foot winger has struggled at times in the playoffs. He was held without a goal against the Kings and has only two in 19 career playoff games. He's still a skilled player with a reasonable cap hit ($3.8 million) who is an attractive option for teams looking for a boost in their top six.
Bolland has cemented himself as a legend in Chicago with the Stanley Cup-clinching goal against the Bruins, but that doesn't make him exempt from a trade. GM Stan Bowman wants to sign Bryan Bickell and can't do it without moving salary with the cap coming down. That makes Bolland expendable, because he has a cap hit of $3.375 million this season -- a high number for a player who spent considerable time on Chicago's fourth line, even if he contributed in a big way to a Stanley Cup. He knows how to win and would be a great addition to a young club trying to make that next step into a playoff team.
This was another bombshell from Dreger, who first reported that Toronto was willing to trade its captain. Dave Nonis has made it clear that there are no untouchables on a roster that currently remains a borderline playoff team. Phaneuf has one season left on a deal worth $6.5 million.
Craig MacTavish has been public in saying that it's time for the Oilers to move on from Horcoff and according to CBC's Elliotte Friedman, the team has given Horcoff's agent, Pat Brisson, permission to search the market. The Dallas Stars are a strong possibility to land Horcoff, with Jim Nill looking to surround his young roster with veterans who know how to win in the NHL. Horcoff and Nill's son trained together in the Detroit area during the lockout.
@Josh6 Midnight on July 4th.
@Josh6 Do you have link to that from Brooks?
@Josh6 Never considered Bolland. Anyone got a scouting report on him? I want someone bigger at center (Horton, Lecav) but if he plays a gritty style I'd be interested.
@KevinDeLury @Josh6 was not Brooks my bad, Craig Custance said it. http://insider.espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/custance_craig/id/9432788/nhl-kris-letang-roberto-luongo-top-trade-candidates
@KevinDeLuryDel Zotto has one year left on his bridge deal that comes with a cap hit of $2.55 million this season, and his price tag only goes up from here. Ryan McDonagh is going to get a big deal this summer and the Rangers also have Marc Staal and Dan Girardi as part of a talented defensive corps that is still relatively young. Del Zotto is a guy who may flourish under Alain Vigneault but with so many teams shopping for defense right now, he's a piece GM Glen Sather could use to fill holes elsewhere.