The compliance buyouts made available by the lockout are sure to add storylines to what would have been a thin free agent class. There’s not a better example of that than Vincent Lecavalier, who becomes one of the highest profile players available after being bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
There will be no shortage of interest out there for Lecavalier. He’s a veteran guy, a center capable of playing in the top six, and he won’t cost as much as he did before his contract with the Bolts was bought out. There is not a team out there that should pursue Lecavalier harder than the Dallas Stars should.
The Stars’ need for a top six center is well know. Getting one of Lecavalier’s caliber would present a couple of different benefits. The first is that you’re getting an immensely talented player, potentially headed to the Hall of Fame some day. He has a lot of mileage, but is only 33 and still has a couple good years left.
Aside from his rookie year and the lockout shortened 2013 season, Lecavalier has never finished a season with less than 20 goals. He’s also a solid playmaker and a big body right in the middle. Offensively, there are few players available that can top him this summer. Not only that, he could allow this Stars lineup to make one big necessary adjustment.
Getting Jamie Benn out on the wing again. The Stars have been trotting out Benn as a top line center the last couple of years. While he’s been solid there, that’s the old regime’s gameplan. We don’t know if the new folks plan on changing that, but if they do (as they probably should), they’ll need to get someone in there to replace him.
And Lecavalier would fit the bill. The Stars can afford him, even if he is looking for a contract in the neighborhood of $5 million a year. They have money to spend. There’s a terrific fit here, and the Stars need to be all over trying to bring Lecavalier to Dallas this summer.