If you think about taking a session at the University of Montreal, drop by the faculty of Theology, and pick a course named “The Religion of the Montreal Canadiens.”
It isn't new to anyone; Montreal is crazy about its hockey team.
The latest proof we have is that wild trade rumour sending Vincent Lecavalier to Montreal.
All about speculations, all about rumours, but the Media just loves every minute of it! I have got to admit, it is entertaining. I mean, think of it for just one moment: Lecavalier in a Montreal jersey, wouldn’t that be awesome?
Let’s take a look at that crazy month that sent the No. 4 as virtually close to Montreal as possible:
December 10: Former NHL referee Ron Fournier weighs, on local Radio channel CKAC, the possibilities of having Lecavalier with the team. No big deal there, it has been an on-going conversation ever since Lecavalier was born!
January 6: Ron Fournier “confirms that the Tampa Bay Lightning will proceed to important changes before the trade deadline (…) and has more information telling that if everyone wants to work in the same direction, it is possible.”
January 9: His agent, Kent Hughes, declares to RDS that he had a discussion with (owner) Oren Koules and got the confirmation that those are unfounded rumours.
TSN reported the same matter, adding that “Vinny Lecavalier fully expects to be a Tampa Bay Lightning for life.” Steven Stamkos was also announced to be a healthy scratch that day.
January 10: ESPN. Pierre LeBrun has the same speech; they simply won’t trade the man. But it seems “Jussi Jokinen is definitely on the trade block.”
January 12: Back to ESPN. GM Brian Lawton declares that he is not calling teams on Vinny Lecavalier; while another NHL executive replies “believe me, they are talking to teams.”
La Presse's Mathias Brunet was "on the phone for hours," and according to the information he got, Tampa Bay is seriously studying the offers; but disagreement stands among owners on whether or not they are trading him.
For TSN, Daren Dreger says Chris Higgins, Thomas Plekanec, PK Subban, and draft picks might be in the story. Higgins is always virtually traded anyway (Marian Hossa, Mats Sundin, anyone?).
Jacques Demers reports on RDS that his source ensures him that the owners are having a significant debate over the decision of making a trade.
On the other hand, RDS.ca learns that the Tampa Bay Organization was just trying to determine Vincent Lecavalier’s value.
In Montreal, during his mid-season press conference, GM Bob Gainey went as simple as “we don’t talk about trade rumours.”
In other words, “We have been hearing those same rumours in 2001. No Daniel Briere, no Mats Sundin later, it is the same story. Give me a break!”
January 13: SportsIllustrated columnist Michael Farber advises Vincent Lecavalier to say no. “Maybe the circus in Tampa has got you down (…) but leaving the circus for the zoo is not much of an improvement.” Ouch, that was a painful one!
On La Presse, journalist Nicolas Berube reports that Vinny Lecavalier considers Montreal to be in a good position in case a trade had to happen.
On the other hand, when questioned about the possibility of playing in Florida, Tomas Plekanec just replied that he is not really good under the sun. What?
CBCSports. “How would it be to play for the Montreal Canadiens? It would be great, but after 10 years spent in Tampa, in my mind, I want to stay here.” – Vincent Lecavalier
CBC calls this whole fuss “Vinnymania."
Jan 14: Jason Williams goes to the Blue Jackets.
The man himself talks to RDS, saying that these last days have been really hard for him; as he has been following the story over the Internet. “It was pretty busy.”
At least, the player has received the equivalent of a non-trade clause from his team as the organization will consult him and his agent before proceeding, IF they were to proceed.
*Jan 15: The cousin of the best friend of the ex-wife of my friend’s brother’s stepbrother’s son’s best friend reported that one of his sources’ best friend actually saw Vincent Lecavalier’s cousin’s girlfriend’s brother the other day; who confirmed that he is actually on his way to Montreal, in return of Alex Kovalev, Carey Price, the Kostitsyn brothers, Andrei Markov, Guy Carbonneau, and three dozens of autographed sticks by Canadiens legends!
Notes from the side:
RDS’s crew had a few suggestions:
Pierre Bouchard (five Cups with the Montreal Canadiens, son of Emile “Butch” Bouchard): Chris Higgins, Max Pacioretty, PK Subban, Mike Komisarek, and two first round draft picks.
Bertrand Raymond (Columnist in Le Journal de Montreal): Chris Higgins, Thomas Plekanec, Alex Tanguay, Josh Georges, and two first round draft picks. He however précised that if he was on the Lightning’s side, he wouldn’t agree to trade Lecavalier unless Carey Price was included. “Franchise player for franchise player.”
Dave Morissette (played 11 years for the Habs): Andrei Kostitsyn, Sergei Kostitsyn, PK Subban, and two first round draft picks.
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