This is part of the larger analysis of the top 2 lines(to come later), but it deserves its own article.
I want Vinny Lecavalier. I also want Scarlett Johansson. The main problem is that Tampa is not going to let go of him easily. But for the sake of getting our mind off the Sabres dismal playoff showing, let's assume that Tampa is open to the idea of a trade.
They’re either going to want Thomas Vanek or another top player plus a #1 draft pick in return. This is assuming they’re even open to trade offers AT ALL! If they’re more concerned with Vinny’s age then they might want Vanek, who is 4 years younger. Vanek makes almost as much as Vinny L, so it wouldn’t save them cap space. If they’re trying to clear space to sign Stamkos next year, taking Derek Roy or Pominville in return would make more sense.
Derek Roy is our best trade bait. Roy makes around 4M and can play #1 center. Most importantly, I don’t think the Sabres are going to win the Cup with Roy on the team. He’s symptomatic of what the Sabres are lacking; size, heart, and clutch scoring. VL is 30 years old and signed for another 6 years at 7.7M per season, a hefty price tag. Lecavalier had a down year this year; only 24 goals and 46 assists, so the ‘Ning could be looking to dump his salary. This would be the best case scenario for this trade to come to fruition.
Lecavalier may be on the decline, but he immediately brings a TON to the table. He can step into your Captain role, improve the PP, be your #1 Center, provides Cup-winning experience, as well as getting some frickin’ size onto the top 2 lines. VL is 6’4”, 223. He’s not a fighter, but he has dropped the mits with fellow NHL star, Jarome Iginla. (Youtube video)
If the Lightning are even willing to make a trade, it would come down to how much we’re willing to give up. It’s easy for us as fans to offer up a 1st round draft pick. As a reasonable fan, I think VL is worth that #1 pick. A #1 pick is no guarantee of a great player, while Vinny is a proven commodity. An even harder question to answer is, Would you give up Thomas Vanek for Vinny? I would say , YES. It’s tough to say that, but I want the Sabres to win the CUP and I think Lecavalier gives you a better chance than Vanek.
Unreasonable people will say, let’s trade Hecht, Stafford, and Butler, and a 2nd round pick for another team’s super-star. Those trades just don’t happen. If you want something, you have to give something of value. I want Hecht and Stafford off the team as much as anyone, but you can’t trade garbage for gold. We're unhappy with a first round playoff exit, Tampa Bay is unhappy with sucking for the past 4 years. Let's make a deal, Boys!