Pierre Lacroix's Bid To Obtain Vincent Lecavalier in 1998

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Stephen, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    After the Colorado Avalanche won the cup in 1996, Pierre Lacroix started a mini retool by shipping out Mike Ricci, Stephane Fiset, and a couple of other guys I forget to basement dwelling teams to have 4 first round picks for the 1998 draft, in hopes of drafting French Canadian prospect Vincent Lecavalier. Things didn't out and the highest of the picks ended up being 12th. I think they offered all the picks to Tampa but they refused the package. With the picks they drafted Alex Tanguay, Martin Skoula, Scott Parker and Robyn Regehr. Regehr was traded for Theo Fleury in 1999, while the other guys worked their way into regular service.

    What would have happened had the Avalanche been successful in obtaining the Lecavalier pick for the four first rounders? With center depth in Sakic and Forsberg already, what would adding Lecavalier have meant? Would they have won more championships? Would they have missed out on the 2001 cup? How could Colorado drafting Lecavalier have altered his development?
     
  2. Blades of Glory

    Blades of Glory Troll Captain

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    If Lacroix was interested in drafting Lecavalier, it was as a possible replacement for Peter Forsberg, who was going to cost a fortune to sign long-term. Remember, Joe Sakic signed an offer sheet with the Rangers in 1997, and Colorado matched it. They were paying him 7M annually for the next 3 years. The reason New York did it was because Colorado had just signed Forsberg to a 2 year deal that paid Forsberg 9M total. In theory, it made sense, but there was no way Colorado was allowing Sakic to walk. Sakic himself said that he signed it for the opportunity to play with Wayne Gretzky. The Avalanche had to scramble to come up with the money to match it, reworking TV contracts and all kinds of other financial assets. Forsberg needed a new deal after the 1999 season, which is probably why Lacroix tried to draft Lecavalier as a possible replacement if Forsberg was going to be too expensive. Obviously, that didn't happen, and Colorado re-signed Forsberg and won another Cup. However, the Avalanche were in financial hell for the rest of that era.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  3. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    I get the feeling Lecavalier would be more highly revered on these boards had he been drafted by Colorado. I have a feeling that hanging around Sakic, Forsberg and Roy would have an impact on you and we wouldn't have seen him fooling around like he did early in his career. He'd have still had that good peak around 2007 or 2008 but it might have lasted longer, who knows. It certainly wouldn't have hurt him to play in Colorado. It didn't hurt youngsters like Tanguay and Drury.

    Hard to believe, but Tanguay was somewhat of a Cup hero in 2001 scoring a pair of goals in Game 7. He was also considered for the 2004 World Cup team which may have surprised some he didn't make it. He was talented especially then for sure, but you get the feeling Lecavalier would have thrived even more under those circumstances. Would he be washed up at age 31 had that happened today?
     
  4. JSmith81x

    JSmith81x Your weapon is guilt

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    June 20th 1996
    - The Colorado Avalanche trade Stéphane Fiset and COL's 1998 1st rd pick (#21, RD Mathieu Biron) to the Los Angeles Kings for LW Éric Lacroix and LA's 1998 1st rd pick (#17, LD Martin Skoula)

    November 2nd 1996
    - The Colorado Avalanche trade LD Curtis Leschyshyn and LW Chris Simon to the Washington Capitals for RW Keith Jones, WSH's 1998 1st rd pick (#20, RW Scott Parker), and WSH's 1998 4th rd pick (#106, LW Krys Barch)

    November 22nd 1996
    - The Colorado Avalanche trade RW Landon Wilson and LD Anders Myrvold to the Boston Bruins for BOS's 1998 1st rd pick (#19, LD Robyn Regehr)

    November 20th 1997
    - The Colorado Avalanche trade C Mike Ricci and COL's 1998 2nd rd pick (later traded to BUF; #50, RW Jaroslav Kristek) to the San Jose Sharks for RW Shean Donovan and SJ's 1998 1st rd pick (#12, LW Alex Tanguay)

    ---

    Colorado was really going after him, making their first trade for a 1998 1st rd pick TWO YEARS in advance. When do teams swap 1sts like that anymore? No one's trading their 2013 1st rd pick for another 2013 1st this summer.

    The Boston trade was terrible. Boston dropped off that season, missing the playoffs for the first time since the late 60s; if that trade had been for their 1997 1st rd pick (unlikely that Boston would have given it up, but they did give their 1998 one for a 4th liner and an AHL defenseman, so who knows?), it would have been 1st overall.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  5. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    Forsberg signed a 3 year $12 million dollar deal that year that grduated from $2 to $4 to $6 million. There was *wink, wink* press speculation that a team would hit both Forsberg and Sakic with offer sheets forcing the Avs to choose. This was prior to the Pepsi Center being built so money was tight. Forsberg's deal allowed them to keep Sakic.

    I don't know if Lacroix had Vinny in mind to replace Forsberg, but money opened up by the time his contract came up with the aborted sale to Laurie and acquisitions like Fluery and Bourque.
     
  6. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    I recall Tampa Bay being very committed to keeping the pick, after all, their owner had dubbed Vinny Lecavalier the Michael Jordan of hockey before he even took the ice for the Lightning. They also landed one of Vinny's QMJHL teammates at the draft when they selected Brad Richards, so I don't think TB entertained the thought of trading the pick.

    Lacroix's collection of four first round picks in the 1998 draft reminded me of the wheeling and dealing of Brian Burke in 1999. He made a similar commitment in his vigor to deliver the Sedin twins to Vancouver.


    Not often you hear about a GM pretty much guaranteeing that he'll be able to get the players he wants, but Burke was successful in doing so.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/hockey/nhl/1999/draft/news/1999/06/26/nhldraft_twins/
     
  7. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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