Im what could spell doom for this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to TheHockeyNews.com and Ken Campbell, will be sold to Boston hedge fund manager Jeffrey Vinik as early as today.
Campbell mentioned this yesterday in a column that he said would ultimately spell doom for the team this season and for the franchises future.
Yeah, one guy with lots of money beats two guys with none who spent more time plotting against one another than they did building a hockey team, but if we’re hearing things and reading the tea leaves correctly, there are still all kinds of red flags when it comes to the Lightning.
According to Campbell, Vinik is buying the team as an investment opportunity. Commissioner Gary Bettman has sold Vinik on the fact that if the league gets a new CBA and a new TV deal that the Lightning, who might be overvalued at the apparent asking price of 170 million dollars, will be undervalued after the new CBA and TV deal. Problem is, just like anyone looking at an investment that is potentially overvalued, his first order of business is going to be to cut payroll. The first piece of payroll shipping out, will be team captain, and face of the franchise, Vincent Lecavalier.
There’s also the matter of the Lightning possibly losing its franchise player. From what we’ve been told, if Vinik gets the team, he’ll want to cut the payroll and the most logical way of doing that would be to trim captain Vincent Lecavalier’s salary. Lecavalier’s cap hit is $7.7 million, but for the rest of this year and for six more years after this season, his actual salary is $10 million in real dollars the Lightning will have to pay out.
That’s not good news for a team who currently sits in 8th place in the East, and in my eyes, could beat any team in the East in a series if our goaltending is hot at the time.