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Tampa 2009 Draft

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07-10-2011, 09:50 PM
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ForsbergForever
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Tampa 2009 Draft

What would the ramifications of Tampa drafting first in 2009 be? Would drafting Tavares instead of Hedman pushed Lecavalier out? Would Tavares have developed faster thus far and thereby making Tampa that much better...

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07-10-2011, 10:45 PM
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Blades of Glory
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Lecavalier signed his mammoth 11-year contract in July 2008, and it took effect after the 2008-09 season. So no, he was not going to be pushed out. He was only one season removed from being a legitimate top-5 center in the league, and everyone expected him to rebound, which of course, he really never did. At least not to become the dominant player he was in 2007 and 2008. Besides, where exactly would Tampa Bay have pushed him out to? A 10M salary through 2016 and a 7.3M cap hit through 2020 does not make for an attractive trade piece, unless that player is a superstar in his early 20's. Lecavalier was no longer either.

If Tampa drafted #1 in 2009, absolutely nothing changes. With Lecavalier and Stamkos locked in as their top two centers for the rest of eternity, they were not drafting John Tavares. I understand the concept of taking the best player available, but you don't do it when it makes absolutely no sense and you have a huge hole at another position. Victor Hedman was the right pick for Tampa at #2, and he would have been the right pick for Tampa at #1. If you really think Tampa would be better with John Tavares instead of Victor Hedman, you clearly do not watch them. Tavares is a fine young player that might one day become an elite center if he ever gets some help, but he would add nothing to the Lightning. Victor Hedman often gets overlooked on a team with Stamkos, St. Louis, and Lecavalier, but he is the backbone of Tampa's defense. Hedman has developed into a legitimate first-pairing puck-moving defenseman, and has far more value to Tampa than yet another center would. Last year, Hedman had a +/-ON/60 of 0.51, meaning that Tampa scores .51 more goals than it allows when he is on the ice. When he is off the ice, that number plummets to -0.28, meaning that they allow more goals than they score. Only 13 defensemen in the league had a superior +/-ON/60 while facing better competition than Hedman. It's far more difficult to find a defenseman of Hedman's caliber than a center like Tavares, especially considering Hedman has developed into a borderline elite player at a position that has a far, far steeper learning curve than the position Tavares plays, while the latter has not yet taken that step.

So, nothing changes.

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07-11-2011, 12:33 AM
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Faidh ar Rud Eigin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blades of Glory View Post
Lecavalier signed his mammoth 11-year contract in July 2008, and it took effect after the 2008-09 season. So no, he was not going to be pushed out. He was only one season removed from being a legitimate top-5 center in the league, and everyone expected him to rebound, which of course, he really never did. At least not to become the dominant player he was in 2007 and 2008. Besides, where exactly would Tampa Bay have pushed him out to? A 10M salary through 2016 and a 7.3M cap hit through 2020 does not make for an attractive trade piece, unless that player is a superstar in his early 20's. Lecavalier was no longer either.

If Tampa drafted #1 in 2009, absolutely nothing changes. With Lecavalier and Stamkos locked in as their top two centers for the rest of eternity, they were not drafting John Tavares. I understand the concept of taking the best player available, but you don't do it when it makes absolutely no sense and you have a huge hole at another position. Victor Hedman was the right pick for Tampa at #2, and he would have been the right pick for Tampa at #1. If you really think Tampa would be better with John Tavares instead of Victor Hedman, you clearly do not watch them. Tavares is a fine young player that might one day become an elite center if he ever gets some help, but he would add nothing to the Lightning. Victor Hedman often gets overlooked on a team with Stamkos, St. Louis, and Lecavalier, but he is the backbone of Tampa's defense. Hedman has developed into a legitimate first-pairing puck-moving defenseman, and has far more value to Tampa than yet another center would. Last year, Hedman had a +/-ON/60 of 0.51, meaning that Tampa scores .51 more goals than it allows when he is on the ice. When he is off the ice, that number plummets to -0.28, meaning that they allow more goals than they score. Only 13 defensemen in the league had a superior +/-ON/60 while facing better competition than Hedman. It's far more difficult to find a defenseman of Hedman's caliber than a center like Tavares, especially considering Hedman has developed into a borderline elite player at a position that has a far, far steeper learning curve than the position Tavares plays, while the latter has not yet taken that step.

So, nothing changes.
I'm not going to adress it all but it's absurd to say they would not have drafted Tavares. This notion of how close Hedman was to Tavares was massively overblown. If they were picking #1 that year and did not want Tavares they would have traded down.

Someone would have been moved to the wing, whether it was Stamkos, Lecavalier or Tavares if they did indeed draft him in this hypothetical situation. Not a problem.

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07-11-2011, 12:53 AM
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Stamkos seems to me like a natural left winger due to his playing style and getting open for 1-timers, I can see Stamkos being converted to left wing if Tampa still had Tavares open at #2, you just make room for these kinds of players. I think Tavares was a league above the rest of his draft class and this is coming from a Rangers fan who despises everything NYI related. The media started to hype Hedman late into the draft as the next Nick Lidstrom with size which was absolute bull.

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