Jan 132009

With all the Lecavalier trade talk, the question of the day is this: Is Vincent Lecavalier over rated?

Yesterday I read someone who rated Lecavalier one of the top 10, possibly even a top 5, player in the NHL? Is he this good? Is he even top 20? I am not so sure.

The evidence for Lecavalier being one of the best in the NHL would include the fact that he has won a Stanley Cup, the fact that he has had a 50 goal season and a 108 point season and the fact that in addition to being skilled he can play a physical game. But is this enough to rank him among the elite?

While there is no doubt he is an very good hockey player there is ample evidence to conclude that maybe he isn’t among the best of the best.

In his 10 seasons in the NHL (if you include the first half of this season) he led his team in scoring just three times and was second just two other times.

In his 10 seasons in the NHL he has just two seasons where he achieved a point per game pace.

He has only twice scored more than 35 goals or more than 80 points.

In the season when the Lightning won the Stanley Cup Lecavalier finished 4th in team scoring in both the regular season and the playoffs.

In 752 career NHL games he has just 290 goals and 640 points which is good but unspectacular. For example, Eric Lindros, who also had size and played a physical game, had 372 goals and 865 points in about the same number of games (760).

This year will be just his 4th all-star game appearance, has never won an MVP award and only once was named to the NHL’s second all-star team.

Save for a season or two he has played mostly on bad teams.

That is a lot of evidence against Lecavalier being an elite level star NHL player which many people believe he is. So, is Lecavalier over rated and where would you rank Lecavalier among NHL forwards? Is he worth his 11 year $85 million contract extension he signed in the summer? If you were Tampa, would you consider trading him? If you were Bob Gainey would you trade two or more roster players, a top prospect and a first round pick for Lecavalier?