So why wouldn't a team be in a hurry to dump a massive contract like that of Vincent Lecavalier?
A whole lot of people were pleasantly shocked by the events of the past week. There were some trades made and now we have something tangible to discuss.
SB Nation’s BroadStreetHockey claimed that this was a win for the Flyers. Why?
They moved a defenseman that they were unlikely to resign, along with an aging forward that was keeping a press box seat warm and burning a hole in the Flyers’ wallet. They did clear up some cap space and they got a young player back that at least has a chance to play for them.
The author, Charlie O’Connor, does state “Schenn was a fairly useful player in Philadelphia, even if he never lived up to his pedigree. His even strength puck possession statistics (-1.13% Corsi Relative) put him in the range of a serviceable third pairing defenseman, and he even finished in the black during the 2012-13 and 2014-15 seasons,” but, “never seemed an ideal fit for the up-tempo Dave Hakstol neutral zone system.” The current success of the Flyer defensive prospects allowed Ron Hextall an opportunity to move Schenn.
So a serviceable defenseman, in a league that has many teams searching for defensive depth help, was traded for a pick and a young player who has done well in the AHL but not in the NHL yet. I will stress that Weal has potential, but it has not been realized yet. Will it be realized? I leave this as an open question for now.
The victory comes from the fact that they moved a bad contract and only that. If Lecavalier was going to retire after the conclusion of this season anyway, then they wouldn’t need to buy him out.
If they needed to make this move now, it was so they could breathe a little bit and not lose someone that they really do want to keep.
It just goes to show that even when a team feels that they have the chance to win a Cup, they put their future in jeopardy when they spend to the cap. Sure it is a buddy-buddy deal, but it is hardly a win in my books.
There has been some sentiment about how this gives Lecavalier one more chance to earn another Cup ring. I’ll point you back to an past article that I wrote about Dany Heatley. I used Lecavalier as a comparison back then, but now I use Heatley. This is not going to amount to much of anything.
There are two scenarios that would work for you when it comes to pick your playoff pool.
First, Lecavalier gets hurt and it puts any notion in picking him to rest.
Second, Lecavalier gets some extra minutes at the very end of the regular season because the Kings clinch a playoff berth. He earns some useless points, which gets him put on people’s sleeper lists. If that ends up being the case, what you should do leading up to your playoff draft is to talk him up but have no intention to select him. Pique the curiosity of the other owners and let them salivate in anticipation. Someone will bite and will thus ruin their chances to win.
Great, a hockey deal! A young player for young player, and both were highly valued by their former teams. Even so, it is understood that Columbus felt that they had to move Johansen because he and coach John Tortorella were not seeing eye to eye.
Nashville, much like Philadelphia, has a deep defensive core. This plus their available cap space allowed for this deal to occur.
Yost writes, “I highly doubt any trade involving Shea Weber and Columbus could have materialized due to the contractual elements involved. It’s also unlikely the Blue Jackets would consider a 30-year-old defenceman the best return for a 23-year-old centre. But, I don't doubt for a moment that Nashville could have found another suitable trade partner and, by extension, a trade that benefited them more than the Jones-for-Johansen swap.”
Where would Nashville obtain this phantom young star center from and who in their right mind would want a 30-year-old defenseman with 11 years left on a contract that averages over $7.8 million a season?
Because that is his argument. Weber’s statistical performance does not match the value of his rather large contract.
His conclusion is, “I think the most intriguing wrinkle here is a missed opportunity for the Predators organization to get out of a poisonous contract (with or without the cap recapture penalty) and acquire a swath of talent in the process. At the very least, you’re looking at a good chance of shaving salary and improving the roster long-term.”
Did we not see what limited returns the Flyers got in exchange for dumping a bad contract?
Do the Predators want to give up on their captain and do so right now? Moving him would help team morale when they are fighting for a playoff position, right?
Dose David Poile, the Predators’ GM, want an impact center that can help them now and for future seasons? The Toronto Star’s Damien Cox identifies two previous times (Peter Forsberg and Alexander Radulov) that the Predators attempted to get that number one star center and both backfired.
He was willing to trade a young Seth Jones because he’s licking his lips for that legitimate first-line center.