Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Forget Ales, trade Horcoff!

Trade Ales Hemsky? Fuggetaboutit.

Trade Shawn Horcoff, a player set to make an astounding $6.5 million this season? Now you’re talking.

But any owner with a strong business sense would ignore any pitch from Steve Tambellini to ditch the Oilers top-line forward and his big contract.

That is, unless you’re in Tampa Bay where there are two financially-strapped owners dealing with a much larger contract and they need to do it in an awful hurry if they don’t find any more investors.

OK Hockey, led by businessmen Oren Koules and Len Barrie, bought the Lightning back in June for $206 million and $100 million of that cash was backed by the previous owner, Palace Sports Entertainment and Galatioto Sports Partners.

And since the deal, there’s been a lot of talk that things are not going well in the Bay.

For starters, the club, allegedly, began charging its workers to park at the St. Pete Times Forum and 30 employees were let go over a “restructuring process,” reports the Tampa Bay Tribune.

The team also owes at least more than $210,000 in realty taxes over a parking lot that was due since April 1, and the financial problems have created a ton of rumours, especially around the team’s star forward, Vinny Lecavalier.

Lecavalier will make $10 million for the next seven years as part of his $85 million contract extension that will kick in after July 1, complete with a no trade clause.

Now we all heard what Tambellini said about making drastic changes in the dressing room and about holding players accountable as he made his announcement about losing Craig MacTavish as head coach.

Why not make a statement by getting rid of your heart-and-soul player for a superstar, or at least just make an attempt at the NHL Draft? That’s roughly the same time after Tambellini hires a head coach.

Horcoff’s leadership could be an attractive deal in Tampa Bay where leadership is needed in that dressing room, and it could payoff for the forward who could make a difference in a new city. That’s especially after a mediocre season in Edmonton.

Lecavalier, who has been rumoured to arrive in Edmonton before, would add a lot to an offence that hasn’t existed in three seasons.

It’s obvious he would make Hemsky a better player, possibly a superstar.

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