If you picked up yesterday’s edition of The Province, I’m obligated to advise that you bought the wrong paper. Also, you might have seen an editorial about a proposed solution to the well-publicized relationship problems between Roberto Luongo and a certain segment of the Canucks fanbase. If not, you can still read the editorial on The Province’s website. I encourage you to do so, if only to marvel at the absurdity.
This is a news editorial by “The Province”, not a columnist’s take. It represents the paper, not one particular thinker, which basically means I’m going to hold all of them responsible, particularly since it uses plural personal pronouns throughout: “Here’s our solution” and “we need a power forward.” So what’s their solution? What power forward are they targeting? Their proposal:
Trade Luongo straight up for Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Let’s ignore for the moment that it seems incredibly inappropriate for a mainstream media source to call for a trade, let alone a very specific trade. In fact, let’s not even address this as a newspaper article, especially since it barely manages to rise above the level of a hastily thrown together and ill-considered blog post. So let’s judge it at that level: as a blog post.
I’d like to address a few of the problems with this trade proposal, which would even get laughed out of the HFBoards Trade Rumours forum.
1 Vincent Lecavalier is a centre. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s not really a need the Canucks have, with 5 centres on the active roster and Cody Hodgson playing on the wing on the second line. That in itself should make this proposal dead in the water, but that’s just the beginning.
2 Lecavalier has a no-movement clause in his contract and Luongo has a limited no-trade clause. Lecavalier has expressed no interest in leaving Tampa Bay (in fact, just the opposite) while Luongo’s first escape clause doesn’t kick in until 2015.
3 Lecavalier is the captain of the Lightning. While teams have, in the past, traded their captain away, it’s an extremely rare event and one not likely to happen in Tampa Bay.
4 The Lightning went all the way to the Eastern Conference Final and went to 7 games with the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. They’re in no rush to trade away their third leading scorer in the regular season and second leading scorer in the playoffs as they aim to go deep again into the playoffs. Likewise, the Canucks came one game short of winning the Stanley Cup with Luongo in net: as much as some fans blame him for the loss, I guarantee you the Canucks’ management does not.
5 If those reasons aren’t enough, here’s the kicker: “The Province” suggested that this might be a good deal because Luongo and Lecavalier both have similar contracts. They suggest that Luongo’s “12-year, $64-million no-trade contract” is “similar” to Lecavalier’s “$85-million, 11-year no-trade deal.” You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to see that 64 is not a similar number to 85. The only similarity is that they are both numbers.
The two contracts are 21 million dollars dissimilar.
What’s worse, Lecavalier’s deal is one year shorter than Luongo’s, making the cap hit even higher. Luongo’s annual cap hit is $5,333,333. Lecavalier’s annual cap hit is $7,727,273. That’s an annual difference of just under $2.4 million. But the two contracts are evidently “similar.”
6 The problems don’t end there for this editorial. “The Province” suggests that since Lecavalier is “no longer top dog” in Tampa Bay, he “could use a fresh start.” Well, he certainly wouldn’t be “top dog” in Vancouver. Henrik Sedin has scored 82 more points over the last two seasons than Lecavalier, though to be fair, the Lightning captain was injured for part of last season. How’s this: Henrik has scored 0.41 points per game more than Lecavalier over the last two seasons. And all for a cap hit over $1.6 million lower.
7 It gets worse: over the last two seasons, Ryan Kesler has scored more points per game than Lecavalier as well. Kesler’s cap hit: $5 million, over $2.7 million lower than Lecavalier’s. That would make Lecavalier the third best centre on the team for a cap hit just a million dollars lower than Sidney Crosby’s. And that contract would run through 2020.
“The Province” suggests that this trade would be a “win-win-win-win solution” as it benefits Luongo, Lecavalier, Schneider, and the fans. Let’s ignore for the moment whether it actually would benefit any of those four parties: what about the team that’s backed Luongo all the way? What about those members of the fanbase who have no interest in seeing one of the best goaltenders in the NHL leave town? What about poor Laurence Gilman, who would go into conniptions at the thought of fitting Lecavalier’s monstrous contract under the salary cap for the next 9 seasons? Is it a win for them as well?
What about their families? These guys have the security of long-term contracts and no-trade clauses and their families have laid down roots. They aren’t just going to uproot on a whim or because The Province says they should.
If this trade was proposed in a blog, the writer would be laughed out of the blogosphere. He or she would have to resort to writing for Bleacher Report, where he or she could suggest as many trade proposals as they want. And put them in a slideshow. With pictures of the player’s wives, if they’re attractive or scantily clad enough. Even then, it might not get accepted with their recent tighter restrictions.
If this editorial isn’t fit to publish on a blog, what made the Province think it was fit to publish in their paper?Tags: Blogs are for lists, featured, Luongo, Rant, Roberto Luongo, Seriously?, spotlight, Vincent Lecavalier