Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lecavalier for Phaneuf?

What a blockbuster that would be, right? I brought it up a few weeks ago, though I think it's too big of a deal to happen.

Phaneuf has been awful, and it's absolutely clear that he needs a change of scenery. There is no shortage of teams who would love to add Phaneuf to their roster, despite his recent struggles.

As for Lecavalier, he's harder to move due to his NTC, his close to $8 million per season salary, and the length of this current contract, which will be with him until he retires.

We've all seen the New York Rangers / Tampa rumour, that says the Rangers would send overpaid d-man Wade Redden, Matt Gilroy, who I believe has unlimited potential, and either Callahan or Dubinsky for Lecavalier. The Bolts would gain some much needed depth, while the Rangers would have their biggest name since they had Jagr a couple of years ago. Yes, they have Gaborik, but I'm still not convinced he can stay healthy for a full season.

I do like this deal for both sides, minus New York taking Redden, but with Lecavalier making so much, it'd be hard for any deal to happen without Tampa Bay taking considerable salary back.

So where could either of these big-name players end up?

I'll start with Phaneuf, and a couple of interesting scenarios. First, what about Kovalchuk to Calgary for Phaneuf. I'm not sure if either side would have to include more, it's really tough to call. Kovalchuk's the better player, but Phaneuf is signed long term.

What about Phaneuf to Toronto? Luke Schenn would fit much better as a fourth or fifth defenseman in Calgary, while Phaneuf would look pretty good in the top Toronto pairing. The question is, how much on top of Schenn would Calgary want from Toronto? The Leafs only have so much future to give up. Getting Phaneuf would make dealing Kaberle in the off-season a lot easier.

Finally, Phaneuf to Dallas would make a lot of sense. The Stars have no offensive presence on the blueline, and are shopping hard for a top-pairing d-man. The Stars have a ton of good, young forwards to shop, and giving one up wouldn't hurt them too much, especially with Brad Richards stepping up like he has.

Flip over to Lecavalier, who's inflated Salary makes him almost impossible to deal. The Montreal rumours are officially dead, as Montreal has no cap room to work with, and won't for a very long time.

The Islanders are another team I would keep an eye on, if Lecavalier didnt have a NTC. Him and Tavares would be a great 1-2, while the Islanders actually have the young forwards to fill out a proper top-two lines, something Tampa Bay currently doesn't.

One source mentioned to me a few days ago that he wouldn't be surprised if Columbus went after Vinny. While I don't think it would be a good fit, a Rick Nash - Vinny Lecavalier combination could be lethal. However, like the Islanders, I don't see Vinny waiving to spend the next ten years in Ohio.

So in closing, Phaneuf I feel will be on the move in the next six months, while Lecavalier will likely spend at least another year in Tampa Bay. However, is a Phaneuf - Lecavalier trade that far fetched? Iginla - Vinny has potential, while Phaneuf - Hedman could be one of the most feared defense combos for years to come.

One thing is for sure, heading into the 2010 Trade Deadline, more of this interesting scenarios are sure to pop up.