Pressure building for Vincent Lecavalier

Pierre LeBrun

Any other year, and Vincent Lecavalier’s so-so start to the season wouldn’t have generated this much attention.But this happens to be the first season of an 11-year, $85 million contract, a deal which pays him $10 million a season for the first seven years.

This also happens to be an Olympic year, which means, at least in Canada, his so-so start has generated big-time buzz.

And believe me, the people who will be picking Team Canada’s 2010 lineup have also noticed. The 29-year-old Lecavalier is very much on the bubble after producing just one goal in the month of October.

Lecavalier, speaking to a handful of us Tuesday night in Toronto, said his first concern is always the Tampa Bay Lightning, but, obviously, the Olympics are also weighing on him.

“It’s also in the back of my mind that I want to be part of this Olympic team,” Lecavalier said after Tampa Bay’s 2-1 overtime win over Toronto. “Even though I struggled a little bit in the first month, I really think if I have a good month of November — I don’t know exactly when they pick that team — but if I have a good month and a half, hopefully I can be part of that team.”

Team Canada will announce its roster Dec. 31. Lecavalier has some work to do in the meantime. He played one of his better games of the season Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre with Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman and his management staff looking on. The relief on his face after scoring his second goal of the season was palpable. He needed that goal.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4622971&name=lebrun_pierre


17 Responses to Pressure building for Vincent Lecavalier

  1. hockey_lover says:

    He HAS to start picking up his play. 2 goals and a -7 is not nearly good enough. He is on pace for what .. 15 goals? No way that a) he will be worth the $10m a season and b) be considered to the Canadian team when there are players playing WELL above him.

    If he picks up the pace and starts playing well, then by all means, he has the leadership and experience to make the team and should be there. but again, if he is playing well.

  2. bbruins37 says:

    very insightful

  3. hockey_lover says:

    Im glad you thought so. At least it shows that you can grasp SOMETHING intelligent. All hope is not lost.

  4. bbruins37 says:

    yeah before i thought that if he played poorly he should make the team, but after you said only if he played well he should make the team, it changed everything for me

  5. hockey_lover says:

    Thats bizarre but you are entitled to your own thoughts (as inane as they are).

    Although, it seemed like a good point to make, especially since in the Olympics thread that was created yesterday, there were a couple of people that said Vinny should be on the team and one specifically said he should be on the team, struggling or not.

  6. Kramer says:

    The NHL can't survive without more trades. Something must be done.

  7. futurebruin says:

    Anything that doesn't involve Lecavlier.  But you're right Kramer we need more trades.

  8. mojo19 says:

    hockey-lover, you missed the memo, we don't respond to trolls anymore. bbruins will be on some other board soon, hopefully he can find bru-magnus and the two of them can argue nonsense for hours.

  9. mojo19 says:

    How many players are really worth $10 million a year when they're age 34, 35, 36? Not many, Vinny needs to play way better, he looks bad. I've watched 2 Tampa games this year and he has been such a non factor (scored vs the Leafs but was not the best player on Tampa, not even close.)

    If you were an NHL GM would you deal for Vinny? Would you want that $7.5 million cap hit in 5 or 6 years? How about in 7 or 8 years, or 10? That's a long contract, which even if he picks up his play, he might only be worth it for a couple more years before being overpaid. And thats IF he picks it up.

    Not cool.

  10. the_word says:

    Fine by me so long as he's doing nothing for another team. Too bad Gainey didn't land him to float in Montreal. Pretty surprising how much he's dropped off, should be a lesson for other GMs that will be burned by long term contracts. How often do we see players be elite producers/league leaders over the coarse of 7-8 years?

  11. mojo19 says:

    yep. The 15 year deal to DP has to be considered a failure so far. Vinny and Zetterberg and Hossa will all be bad in the later years.

    Franzen's I actually like cuz the cap hit is below $4 mil and i will take that for 11 years because its a good cap hit for a quality player.

    Mike Richards is potentially good cuz hes so young, but still could be bad in the later years, time will tell.

  12. the_word says:

    Hossa, Campbell, Gomez, Briere, Drury, Gaborik…

    Even Ovie is dangerous because he'll slow down do to injuries eventually.

  13. hockey_lover says:

    Its hard not to poke fun at him. Its just obvious and easy.

    Although, I do feel bad .. its like picking on the retarded kid at school 🙁

  14. reinjosh says:

    haha, i know what you mean
    its kind of hard not to respond to him
    his responses are just so damn funny

  15. reinjosh says:

    i still maintain that the Hossa contract is the worst in the entire league
    because of how much he will get paid when he is 38, 39, 40
    and because his contract is going to force Chicago to trade away young cheaper players
    i was never a fan of these long contracts
    although I would do a 10 year deal on Crosby
    he would only be 34 when it expires

  16. mojo19 says:

    Yep. The 13 year deal to Ovechkin is solid too because you they get him from age 22-35 on that deal, so its just a full career kind of thing, and its conceivable that at 35 he will still be a really good player.

    Might he be overpaid in the last couple of years of his deal? Sure, but at least they'll never have to worry about any kind of contract dispute with him or anything else for years. It's a solid deal for one of the games best.

    And yes word, Pronger signed from age 35 to 42 for $5 million a year could look bad as soon as 2 years from now.

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