Some new rumor plot-points, in bold:
Despite all the denials coming out of the Sunshine State, the Tampa Bay Lightning is trying to deal C Vinny Lecavalier. A league source told Sun Media yesterday the Bolts have informed the NHL they intend to spend at the salary floor of approximately $40.5 million next season. They already have $38 million committed to 17 players and have to sign to get to the 23-man roster limit. Getting Lecavalier’s $10 million salary off the books would clear space for the Bolts to sign blueliners. He’s not only the Lightning player being shopped. League sources insist there are others, but didn’t want to give out any names. A proposal deal to send Lecavalier to the Kings for D Jack Johnson is still on the table. Sources say Johnson, who is coming off an entry-level contract, is seeking a four-year deal worth $5.5 million per season. No wonder the Kings want to deal him. They aren’t the only team in pursuit of Lecavalier. Vancouver, Edmonton and Montreal have all made calls.
Well, if JJ is really expecting anything like $5.5MM, or for that matter, anything more than $3MM, DL would have no choice but to deal him. [UPDATE: Rich Hammond talked to DL and debunked the $5.5MM figure, from the horse’s mouth. And re-reading this, I don’t mean to suggest DL would have to deal JJ if he wanted more than $3MM. That’s a little extreme. I just don’t think he’s going to get a contract bigger than high-twos. As if I know anything.]