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Did Nashville ownership block a trade with Philadelphia?

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A current Flyer might be a current Predator were it not for the Nashville brass.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the summer of 2014, rumors were swirling about Vincent Lecavalier becoming a Predator. It turns out we weren't aware just how close those rumors were to coming into fruition, according to Randy Miller of NJ.com.

In a piece published yesterday, Miller mentions that first the Panthers, then the Predators had essentially done deals with the Flyers to acquire Lecavalier (and more), but ownership apparently stepped in and nixed the deals. The details are very intriguing from the Nashville side:

The next month, the Flyers and Predators discussed a trade involving Lecavalier before and after the Predators found out last July 7 that veteran center Mike Fisher would be lost for seven months due to a ruptured Achilles. The deal appeared to have been very close to being finalized before it broke down.

According to sources, Nashville chairman Tom Cigarran called off both trades.

The speculation is that Predators ownership opposed the deal because it still hadn't forgiven the Flyers for signing restricted free agent Shea Weber to a 14-year, $110-million offer sheet in July 2012. The pact was heavily frontloaded in a way that made it very difficult for Nashville, a small-market franchise, to match and thus retain Weber, a superstar defenseman, but it was within the rules of the NHL's collective bargaining agreement.

There are a few ways to look at this. The first, if you subscribe to the speculation, is ownership childishly interfered with hockey operations because Philadelphia was mean to them once upon a time. Weber exercised his right as a restricted free agent when the Predators weren't getting anywhere with contract talks. It should have never gotten than far, and Nashville paid the price.

On the other hand, even though offer sheets are "within the rules" of the CBA, it's a practice rarely used and generally frowned upon. It's understandable if they wanted to blacklist the organization that designed the terms of their captain and star player and basically tried to cripple the payroll if they didn't get their way.

Lecavalier was a problem for Philadelphia last year. He did not, (and has not) meshed with head coach Craig Berube, and his contract is an albatross for an aging player on the decline. Nashville would really be doing them a favor getting them out from under it. Why help out the Flyers when they obviously aren't interested in common courtesy?

Yet, perhaps the biggest thing to wrap your brain around is that Vinny could have been wearing Nashville gold on two separate occasions were it not for a grudge. Trading for Lecavalier would have been a bad move no matter how you slice it, and Cigarran saved David Poile from potentially having a very expensive mistake on his hands. Would Poile have looked as seriously at Mike Ribeiro had the trade gone down? That rabbit hole is endless.

In the end, Nashville is poised to break their two-year playoff drought, while the Flyers are entering their second early summer in three years. Lecavalier has been a $4.5 million healthy scratch over the course of the season, and racked up just 18 points in 51 games. Whether you approve of ownership getting involved or not, if that's what really happened, it's hard to argue that Cigarran got the last laugh for now.