Feaster says Big 4 is safe
There are so many rumors out there, especially about center Vinny Lecavalier being on the trading block because, as the theory goes, the Lightning cannot afford to keep him, Marty St. Louis, Brad Richards and Dan Boyle. But if general manager Jay Feaster has anything to say about it, the Big 4 will be with the team next season.
"I have no intention of trading the top four guys on this hockey team,'' Feaster said Wednesday.
It is not quite that simple, of course. Much of it depends on the team's final payroll budget. The talk has been of a bottom of $40-million. Feaster, though, has not yet met with owner Bill Davidson to finalize the outlay and you can bet Feaster will make his case that with the core of the team in its prime, it would be a shame to pull back on payroll.
None of this is big news. We have covered this ground before. But it is important to note the emphasis with which Feaster made his statement. There is a caveat, of course, and it is not difficult to figure out. If Davidson puts a further crimp in payroll, things can change.
"Obviously,'' Feaster said, "depending on the player payroll established, that will drive the decisions we need to make.''
But he reiterated, loudly, "I have no interest or desire or intent to trade one of the Big 4.''