The Tampa Bay Lightning have denied Vincent Lecavalier(notes) trade rumors so many times in the last few seasons, you'd figure they'd try something new just to keep the refutations fresh. Freestyle hip-hop. Liturgical dance. Having Oren Koules's buddies Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer play general managers, and that tubby kid play Vinny. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Lightning GM Brian Lawton took a more direct tact with the latest Vinny scuttlebutt, which originated where 94-percent of Canada's exported trade rumors are produced: Malkin To The Kings of the Ottawa Sun. From Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, back on the Vinny trade beat:
A report in Sunday's Ottawa Sun suggested that Sather reached out to Tampa Bay counterpart Brian Lawton to inquire about a potential deal. The Sun reported the Rangers would send D Matt Gilroy(notes), D Wade Redden(notes) and either C Brandon Dubinsky(notes) or LW Ryan Callahan(notes) for the Lightning's all-time leading scorer.
The report, however, was dismissed by Lawton on Monday. "It's complete B.S. and nobody ever calls me or even asks me," Lawton said. "I haven't talked to Glen Sather in weeks, so that is completely false that he contacted me to inquire about that. It absolutely did not happen."
A bit more from Lightning Strikes and Spector over on Fadoo. Look, with the emergence of Steven Stamkos(notes), the obvious holes throughout the Lightning lineup, the term of Vinny's contract and the financial realities for the franchise, trading him wouldn't be the betrayal of trust it would have seemed like last season. At least from an outsider's perspective.
That said: A guy with 46 points in 48 games for a team lingering four points out of a playoff seed isn't exactly a star player in statistic regression. (He has 17 points in his last 14 games.) Which is to say the Lightning may not be looking to trade him.
Lecavalier is also due to make $10 million per season through 2016, with a cap hit of $7.727 million through 2020, and now possesses a no-trade clause since the team didn't deal him before last summer. Which is to say the Lightning may not be able to trade him.
Especially if a dance partner can only be found through the acquisition of a dud like Wade Redden. Look, we're all feeling a bit more charitable these days, but seriously ...