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Eklund recently posted a blog indicating that the rumors of Roberto Luongo to Tampa Bay are heating up and mentioned that the potential deal could be a Luongo for Lecavalier swap. The VL4/RL1 rumblings have been around for a few years now. Since the departure of Khabibulin, the Lightning have really struggled in the goaltending category. Roberto Luongo’s history in Florida along with his family ties makes Tampa the perfect fit for the 33 year old netminder.

The deal Eklund mentioned, in theory, makes a lot of sense. There is a lot of feeling in Vancouver that Ryan Kesler should be moved to the wing in order to utilize his speed, shot and recklessness a little better. Simply put, Kesler isn’t a set-up guy by any stretch of the imagination. Forget about cap-hit or contract for a second, Vancouver fans, and imagine Vincent Lecavalier setting up Ryan Kesler for one-timers on the rush. Put those two together and they should both eclipse the 70 point mark easily. Just remember that for a lot of the season, Lecavalier was playing with guys who aren't recognizable to their own mothers. From the Tampa Bay perspective, the Bolts would be bringing in the undisputed, number one goaltender they have been looking for. Roberto is a classy guy who knows what it takes to win in Florida. At times, the media gives him an unfair shake but let’s get real here and understand that he is, and will be, an all-star. It’s pretty easy to see why this deal makes sense, from a visual point of view.

Since these rumors were floated out there, many fans have been harping on both players’ contracts. Luongo has a cap hit of $5.33million for the next one hundred years while Vinny Lecavalier has a cap hit of $7.7million through 2020. Big numbers? Absolutely. Still, let’s examine this a little further and learn why this deal could actually make a little bit of sense, even from a cap perspective.

The reality of both contracts is that they are front loaded to circumnavigate the salary cap. From all indications, Roberto Luongo will retire in either 2018 or 2019 when his salary drops way off. Lecavalier’s contract is set-up the exact same way. So, in essence, these are six year deals for all-star players who might need a change of scenery. The beauty of the contracts is that when the players retire, the cap hit comes right off the books. Try and find a goaltender of Roberto Luongo’s quality for $5.33million on the open market. I’m telling you right now, it’s not possible. Vincent Lecavalier? Well, yeah he is overpaid for what he can do. He’s not going to score you 100 points (although playing on a team with the Sedin twins, perhaps) or light the world on fire. However, he is going to be close to a PPG player who is all class and one of the best teammates in the world. Because of this, the Lightning would probably have to sweeten the pot with Detroit’s first round draft pick in order to get this deal done.

From a fan perspective, Luongo and Lecavalier’s contracts actually repel us for opposite reasons. Luongo has a manageable cap hit but the term is rather unappealing while Lecavalier’s term isn’t terrible but the cap hit is dreadful. Really and truly, Lecavalier’s contract is manageable for Vancouver just as Luongo’s is probably manageable for Tampa. Would there have to be some shifting? Sure there would, however that shouldn’t be enough to deter these two GMs from making a deal. Ignore cap hits for a moment and think about the talent that could be at play here. Vincent Lecavalier and Roberto Luongo are two world class talents with so much left in the tank. The drive is there, the skill is there, the heart is there.

Thanks for reading.
Filed Under:   tampa   bay   lightning   vancouver   canucks   trade   luongo  
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Blog Archive

01 Lightning News and Notes to Start December
02 Why Bolts Must Get Into Bobby Ryan Trade Discussions
02 Breaking News: Lightning Make Minor Trade with Panthers
03 10 Bold Predictions for Rangers vs. Lightning Game
04 Lightning Lose to Rangers: My Prediction Round Up
06 Simply Embarassing: Lightning Drop 5th Straight to Islanders
08 Lightning Beat Rangers to End Losing Streak - Mixed Bag
10 The 1-3-1 Returns: Flyers Take on Bolts at Wells Fargo
11 Lightning Fall to Flyers: The Slot Looks Like a Drive-Thru
12 From Bad to Worse + Lightning Sign Miettinen
14 Lightning Talk: Defensemen to Target in Free Agent Frenzy
14 Scenario
15 Bolts Squeeze By Flames Thanks to Dominant Second Period
17 Lightning Should Make a Push for Shea Weber
18 Bolts Down Blue Jackets + Rumor Round-Up
20 Why the Lightning WILL make the Playoffs This Season
22 Lightning Embarrassed by Sharks in San Jose: U-G-L-Y
22 Tampa Bay Lightning: I Want Your Opinions
23 Bolts vs. Avalanche: A Long-Winded Game Preview
24 Bolts Lose to Avalanche in Goalie Battle + Rumor Round-Up
25 Risky Business: Victor Hedman and Other Top-5 D-Men
26 Flyers vs. Bolts Shaping Up to be a Great Game -- Preview
27 Next 6 Games Vital for Lightning + My Predictions
27 Bryzgalov Shaky as Lightning Beat Up on Flyers
29 A Tale of Two Underperforming Teams: Bolts vs. Canadiens
29 A V for Vinny, a V for Victory: Bolts Down Habs 4-3
30 Bolts/Canes Preview + HB Hotstove Response + Rumor Update
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