Monday, January 18, 2010

The Greatest Trade Idea Ever!

We were reading over our blog entry titles here and we realized they were quite milquetoast - they need bombast and verve. Thus our title above, which is sure to be eye-catching.

We read a rumor that purported that Vincent Lecavalier could be headed to the New York Rangers, and we began to turn it over in our mind many times - it makes very much sense. We trust our readership enough to ferret out the reasoning - New York loves big names and is weak down the center and coming out of Tampa Bay have been many rumors of financial hardship. Vincent Lecavalier does have a no-trade clause, but who in the entire NHL lacks the desire to play at the world's most famous arena, for his former coach and with his former linemate?

The impediments to such a deal are New York's staggering lack of assets, and the need for them to clear out the cap room for Vincent Lecavalier's contract, which has 10 years at a $7.5 million dollar cap hit remaining on it. Even if Vincent is unlikely to play the final two years, he likely expects to play the final eight.

We therefore propose this deal:

To New York Rangers

C Vincent Lecavalier (10 yrs/7.5 cap hit)
D Andrej Meszaros (4 yrs/4 cap hit)
LW Stephane Veilleux (0 yrs/ .75 cap hit)
D David Hale (0 yrs/.7 cap hit)

Total Cap Hit: 13.2 M

To Tampa Bay Lightning

D Matt Gilroy (1 yr/1.75 cap hit)
LW Chris Higgins (0 yrs/2.25 cap hit)
RW Ryan Callahan (1 yr/2.3 cap hit)
D Wade Redden (4 yrs/6.5 cap hit)
1st round pick in 2010 or one of Evgeny Grachev/Derek Stepan/Chris Kreider

Total Cap Hit: 12.8 M

What Tampa Gets

Salary Cap Relief, first and foremost. Chris Higgins can be flipped elsewhere - he has been a total bust in New York, but perhaps he lands with a team that can use him (Pittsburgh?). Matt Gilroy and Ryan Callahan are both under team control until July 2012 - Gilroy has excellent physical skills and his underlying numbers suggest that he is a solid defender. Callahan was chosen for Team USA and looks to be a 20 goal RW who can kill penalties and play physically. Wade Redden is another matter - he is not last year's disaster so far, but he's certainly not anything more than average, while he's being paid three times the average. Tampa could buy him out during the off-season, which would cost 2.1 million dollars against the cap for the next 8 years. Bad, yes, but Vincent Lecavalier would have cost 10 million in real dollars (not cap hit) for the next 7. They would also receive a prospect in this deal, something which Tampa seriously struggles to develop - besides star-level players, Tampa has shown no ability to maintain a farm system that can spit out NHL quality players.

Why Should Tampa Move Vincent Lecavalier?

We are always inclined to think that wide variations in shooting percentage, year to year, are fluky and often without identifable cause. Vincent Lecavalier's shooting percentage currently sits at 6.7%, a Jason Blake-like number. However, his Shots On Goal Per Game have fallen in each of the last four seasons, and 112 points in his last 122 games suggest that while Lecavalier is still an excellent player, he may no longer be a superstar. Tampa Bay, if they are in financial difficulties, can not wait around until Lecavalier has exhausted all of his trade value - he will have done so if he has another season where he scores less than a point a game.

What The Rangers Get

Lecavalier, if paired with Marian Gaborik, may rediscover the spark that led him to 52 goals three seasons ago. While the Rangers' depth is skewered somewhat by this deal, that has never stopped them in the past. Meszaros is still rather young and could also improve into his contract on the Rangers' backline. The Rangers do give up some of their precious 'secondary scoring' in this deal, they get back a proven goal man - one whose paltry 11 goals would still rank 3rd on the Rangers right now.

Tampa Bay's New Lineup

Malone-Stamkos-St. Louis


New York Rangers' New Lineup


Del Zotto-Meszaros

We are not entirely sure this works - Tampa Bay receiving no centers for one of the top centers in the game may be an impediment, and Brandon Dubinsky may be a better addition to the deal. However, it is certainly something that both sides should consider - it is a trade absolutely made for the New NHL, where player value is secondary to cap flexibility.


  1. i know he kinda sucks but your rangers lineup is missing a certain $7MM man that was once my favorite non-devil.

  2. wow what a huge oversight. haha, he does suck.