If there’s one thing that we all know about the Tampa Bay Lightning, it’s that Vincent Lecavalier is no longer the face of this organization. That title belongs to Steven Stamkos now. That’s something to keep in mind as the Lightning try and revamp their roster in shaking off a couple years of watching the playoffs from home.
Lecavalier is coming off of a disappointing season for a disappointing team. He had only 32 points on the year in 39 games. It wouldn’t be such an unimpressive total if Lecavalier hadn’t been going through a sharp decline over the past couple of seasons. Could this signal an end to his time with the Bolts?
It’s possible. The captain is signed through the 2019-2020 season. Not the worst term, but the fact that he carries a cap hit way over $7 million over that span is pretty tough to stomach. If the last few years are any indication, he simply isn’t worth that type of money anymore.
Of course, health issues have limited him somewhat over the past couple of years, including this season. The fact that he’s the captain and is part of this offensive core, and that he’s only 33, could help to keep him around. But there’s definitely a sense around the organization that his future with the Lightning is not entirely certain.
Lecavalier is obviously past his days of putting up 90 or 100 points, but is still a top six center, capable of winning over half of his draws and putting 20 or so goals up on the stat sheet. And he’s a leader. There’s plenty of value if the Lightning try to shop him, but with a shrinking salary cap, it won’t be easy.
In the end, we’ll likely see Vincent Lecavalier stick with the Lightning and continue to wear the ‘C’ for them. But don’t be surprised to hear a bit of shopping take place this summer.