Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Vinnie and the Max

Following the Boston Bruins' signing of Joe Thornton to a contract worth $6.67 million per year (3-years, $20 million), the Tampa Bay Lightning yesterday followed suit and signed Vincent Lecavalier to a $6.875 million per year contract (4-years, $27.5 million). While no one is arguing that Lecavalier is an excellent player, I have a hard time accepting the fact that he is worth that much money. Jes Gőlbez agrees. In his post today, Mr. Gőlbez examines Lecavalier's career and stats and compares him to some other notable players, including those within the Lightning.

I'd like to take it another step further and ask - is anyone worth that much money, especially within a cap system?

Lecavalier's contract represents 18% the team's salary cap. Next season, when the salary cap goes down, this increases to 19% - essentially the max percentage a player can make under the cap. With 23 players on the roster, does it make sense to tie up 1/5th of a team's salary cap to one player, and giving the remaining 22 players an average of 2.8% each?

Of course I'm not suggesting that every player on a team is worth equally. I'm simply pointing out that the more cap space one player takes, the less remains for his teammates. In Lecavalier's case, his huge contract means that other key players on the team like Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis will have to settle for far less. Or sign somewhere else. And if one of Richards or St. Louis leaves - is Lecavalier and his huge contract worth it?
posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:11 PM


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