August 22, 2008
Absolutely terrific post today from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes about the moment back in Dec. 2001 when Vinny Lecavalier nearly became a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Former Tampa Bay Lightning president Ron Campbell, who was just hired as a senior advisor for the team, tells the blog that the deal was for Nik Antropov, Tomas Hoglund, Tomas Kaberle and either Brad Boyes or a first-rounder.
How close did it get? Campbell actually stopped a conference call with the NHL from happening, asking the rest of the management team to sleep on it. The story's an eye-opener: Vinny requesting a trade, John Tortorella agreeing to one, and the Leafs being mere moments away from being relevant this decade. Only question left: Who would have won that trade, considering what Boyes has become and that the Leafs drafted Alexander Steen one spot ahead of Cam Ward in 2002 ... assuming they wouldn't have drafted even lower.