The 2013 NHL season wasn’t one that the Tampa Bay Lightning should be very proud of. They experienced a lack of goaltending which doomed their chances of winning on a constant basis and also had to deal with an injury to Vincent Lecavalier. When he was on the ice, though, he was producing just like the other two superstars on the team. If the Lightning have any intentions of winning another Stanley Cup, they are going to need Lecavalier to stay healthy.
Even though he missed nine games with a lower-body injury, he still finished the season though with 32 points in 39 games. There were a lot of teams this season who could have used production like Lecavalier gave. Do I think we will be seeing Lecavalier make it all the way through his long contract with Tampa Bay? No, I don’t see him making it through the 2019-20 season, but at least his salary will go down starting after the 2015-16 season. The salary cap hit will remain the same but he will go from a player making $10 million to just $1 million for the final year of the deal.
I have always like what the Lightning could do with players like Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis. Lecavalier brings another element of scoring to the table. The question will be whether or not all those players will be together much longer. I want to believe that the window is still open for another three years on the three of them being together; however, that probably isn’t going to happen. I think next season is the year to do it, and Lecavalier must remain on the ice to make any sort of run.