January 26 2009 03:06PM
Oiler fans can stop wondering if Vinny Lecavalier is coming to town, because after conversations I had today he won’t be suiting up for the Oilers, or any other team, anytime soon.
Yes, the Oilers did have some preliminary talks with the Lightning, and while I couldn’t get the exact names that came up, the package that Tampa needed to even start the conversation looked something like this:
- Horcoff or Penner, because the Oilers would have to free up money to bring on #4 (interesting sidenote: If he had come here, would he get to wear #4?),
- One of either Gagner or Cogliano,
- One of the young puck moving D-men in Gilbert and Grebeshkov.
The Bolts are also looking at some young players that won’t cost anything, and from what I understand Jordan Eberle would have had to be part of the package, and then another young D-man. Which would lead me to believe it would have been one of Taylor Chorney, Jeff Petry or possibly Theo Peckham.
Once again, let me reiterate that I couldn’t get the exact names that were involved, but a combination including the aforementioned names would have been necessary. And the conversation was not a serious one, but rather a kicking of the tires type of chat to see what it would take to pry him out of Tampa Bay. The fact the talks happened leads me to believe that the Oilers are still very much interested in landing a bona fide first line player.
I was also told that as of today, Lecavalier is not on the market anymore because the Bolts have received many emails from season ticket holders claiming, “If you trade Lecavalier, I will cancel my seats.” I spoke with a lady in marketing and she said they have received over 1,500 complaints via phone and email since last Monday, and the calls are still coming in.
Lecavalier is huge in Tampa, and the ownership can’t afford to trade him. I don’t believe the Oilers would have acquired him if it meant giving up three NHLers, two prospects and a pick.
Money-wise, Tampa wouldn’t have saved any, but they would have added three players who could play today and two pretty high-end prospects to help them down the road.
Would you trade Horcoff, Cogliano, Gilbert, Eberle, Chorney and a pick? Or Penner, Gagner, Grebeshkov, Eberle, Peckham and a pick? Neither trade looks good, especially when you consider they would be taking on an $8 million contract for one player. His salary is what makes it a hard trade to make, but his overall package makes it hard not to seriously consider it.
It makes for an interesting debate, but you can be guaranteed that Lecavalier will not be a member of the Oilers this year, or any season down the road. Montreal had an offer on the table as well, but right now the Bolts are keeping Lecavalier.
If they change their mind before Jul. 1, they will ask him for a list of teams he wants to go to and then start negotiations with those teams, and according to a non-Oiler NHL executive he wants to stay in the East.