Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pre All Star Break Chatter

1) The Rick DiPietro situation: Firstly we read with interest that the Islanders have finally conceded what we at FAUXRUMORS stated long ago; That Rick DiPietro's injuries are far more serious than what was being initially reported. AS we wrote here---> we were told by our excellent/reliable Islander sources back then that: the team was is very concerned about DiPietro's surgically repaired knee. We hear he had a 'meniscus tear' that the arthroscopic procedure was possible inadequate in solving, but the team and Ricky didn't want a more invasive open surgery that would have shelved him 3-6 months. Now the possibility is that this may be required anyway and possibly end his season.

2) It appears he has received several new 'opinions' that have said just that, but the team wants to wait and see if total rest for 2-3 months will prevent further surgery. WE continue to be told though that another knee procedure is "inevitable' and if they wait to do it till spring it could make it doubtful that he will be physically ready to start camp or even the season in 09-10 itself. Yes, it could be career threatening.

3) The Lecavalier rumors: We're told that in fact where there is smoke there is fire with regard to the recent/persistent Vinny Lecavalier trade rumours we have been inundated with recently. In fact many independent sources are saying that Lecavalier is one of many players including Martin St. Louis and even last summer's top pick Steven Stamkos who are available if the club got the right offer. (we'll have more on these other rumours in an upcoming post) The reason for the recent urgency in trading away the franchise type player is that:

  • His no-movement clause kicks in afterl July 1. After that date no trade can be made without Vinny's approval.

  • The team may have to cut payroll, and Lecavalier's contract is a huge drain, and with the new economic realities the new owners may want to re-think spending to the cap max

  • What is certain, this is more for financial reasons than anything, but as one source told us "the situation in Tampa is so chaotic its hard to figure what they are and want to do." He went on to say that "its difficult to tell who exactly is making the decisions." Lawton is the GM, but the owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie have been more than a tad 'hands on'. The source doubted that a deal would be made during the season. "Its simply too complicated to get done now. However before the draft a trade is very possible.

3) Sean Avery: The oft maligned (by us as well) forward has been sitting the past 2 months has been attempting to subtly get back into the NHL. The 28 year old LW wants desperately to get back. To review, following his remarks about Dion Phaneuf he received a 6 game suspension from the NHL and had to get counseling. Following this, on December 14, 2008, only hours after the last game of Avery's suspension, the Stars announced that Avery would not return to the team. However, Hull said the Stars would continue to honor Avery's contract and support him while he gets help.

4) Which brings us to today. We're told the Stars have tried and have been told they can not legally get out from under the four-year, $15.5 million contract he signed last summer. They have considered an AHL demotion, but as we mentioned earlier the Dallas affiliate has refused to take him. The also could try to place Avery on LTIR with his 'emotional issues" being the reason. The Stars still have to pay Avery the rest of this season, have him go to 'counseling' with the probable intent of buying out (at 2/3) the remaining money. Of course Avery would have to agree on that option, and we're told he has refused to go along with that.

5) So now what? Well, we were surprised to hear that a couple of teams have shown interest in the super-pest. The Stars should expect very little in the way of a return for him. One player agent told us that: One way in which Dallas could probably quickly dispose of his contract was to demote him and bring him back through 're-entry waivers, thus cutting in half the Stars and new team's financial commitment. So far Dallas owner Tom Hicks wants no part of being saddled with paying Avery for playing for another team, so the situation remains in stasis. One source told us that he would be shocked if Avery WEREN'T dealt at the deadline to an Eastern team (possibly NY). What is clear, we haven't seen the last of Sean!

6) Claude Lemieux- The 43 year old has returned to the NHL. What an amazing turn of events. We never would have predicted that a player who appeared to have lost a step at age 37 would be back in the NHL on one of the best teams 6 years later! We were never huge fans of the "Sean Avery of the 1990's" but we give him credit for the hard work it had to take to get here. It remains to be seen if he can assist the Sharks to elevate their game when it means most, the Cup playoffs.

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