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Is Vincent Lecavalier a Fit for the Flyers?

Jul 1, 2013, 4:10 PM EDT


It goes without saying that Paul Holmgren was a busy man over the weekend, but the NHL Draft wasn’t the only business that required front office attention. The Flyers’ general manager acknowledged that he also met with free-agent-to-be Vincent Lecavalier on Saturday.

The Tampa Bay Lightning used one of their two compliance buyouts on Lecavalier, which as Flyers fans are well aware makes him a free agent on July 5. The four-time All Star will be one of the most coveted players on what was shaping up to be a relatively thin class.

Just how serious are the Flyers’ overtures? It’s difficult to say. There is a perpetual sense in Philadelphia that a blockbuster acquisition is on the way, and Lecavalier would fit the bill. When pressed on where the organization stands with the long-time Tampa captain, Holmgren replied, “I have no idea.”

There are a couple of issues with pursuing Lecavalier. First and foremost, there is already a lot of competition for the 33-year-old’s services. Tim Panaccio reports no fewer than 10 clubs have shown interest, adding that he expects the bidding to be fierce. There’s really no question it will be.

That could set up like a road block for the Flyers, who even after amnestying Danny Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov are going to be tight against the salary cap. The competition will almost certainly allow for Lecavalier to leverage a deal Homer can’t easily afford, at least not without clearing more cap space first.

Second, there is some question as to whether Lecavalier is really what the Flyers need. Even with Briere out of the picture, the squad is fairly deep at center. Adding another centerman, one that is no less than a second-line player at that, figures to continue pushing Sean Couturier down the lineup, and/or forces Brayden Schenn to play out of position –which could be detrimental to both of their development.

As long as the Flyers are intent on bringing in players from outside the organization to improve the club, the focus should be on scoring wingers, an area the roster is somewhat lacking at the moment.

Lecavalier is a nice player, but would he be worth all of the rearranging that would surely follow? He hasn’t been healthy for a full season since 2009-10, which not coincidentally is also the last time he eclipsed 70 points. His most recent All-Star Game appearance was one year earlier.

It may not matter. The Flyers seem likely to get priced out of the Lecavalier market even if Holmgren can create the space in cap and on roster. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make for an intriguing addition, it’s just difficult to envision how such a move puts Philly over the top in the short-term, much less benefits the Orange & Black further down the road.

If somebody has an idea that satisfies all of the contractual needs under the salary cap without blocking the Flyers’ young talent at center, we’re all ears, because Lecavalier is the kind of player and leader any team would be lucky to have. That doesn’t necessarily make him the right fit for Philly though.

  1. Kevbo - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    If Lecavalier becomes a topic for Holmgren, it means that either Couturier or Schenn is headed out of town. No way the Flyers try the “move a centerman to wing” experiment like they’ve done in the past.

    • 33 - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      First thing I thought of when I heard they were talking to him too—the only way they do it is if they have an agreement in place to trade one of those two for a d-man. They’d need to shed a blueliner as well, in that case.

      • Kevbo - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        Unless they’re working on a veteran goalie to trade for rather than another defenseman. That would’ve made sense with Vancouver until Jersey snuck in there at the draft.

  2. Burn Gorman - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Couturier is a pile of trash. Id trade him for a bag of dog shi.t and call it a win.

    • Matt S. - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      lol ok.

    • mykhuis - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:15 PM

      Kid is one of the top ten defensive centers in the league at age 20. That’s not me spitballing – the numbers are out there to back it up. Plus he has largely untapped offensive potential which is only going to help him become one of the most complete players the Flyers have ever had. Yup, he sucks.

  3. BenE. - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Don’t know about Vinny, but Kris Newbury is DEFINITELY a fit on the Flyers.

    • nyphilsphan - Jul 1, 2013 at 7:37 PM

      Didn’t give up much either. Nice move.

    • Burn Gorman - Jul 2, 2013 at 7:35 AM

      An AHL goon on a squad that already has Jay Rosehill and Zac Rinaldo? Purely a phantoms move

      • BenE. - Jul 2, 2013 at 9:40 AM

        AHL goon? You know nothing, but good effort anyway. 406 points in 472 AHL games and considered a team leader wherever he goes in not a goon no matter how you slice it.

      • MJS - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        He has great offensive numbers in the AHL, which is absurd to think about. His PIM are up there though. His NHL career offense numbers are comparable to Jay Rosehill’s. Regardless if you think he’s a goon or not, this is a Phantoms move. Newbury, at absolute best, probably peaks at Carcillo and that’s even a stretch at this point in his career.

      • Burn Gorman - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        BenE … Nice try though…

      • BenE. - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        LMAO…seriously? Congratulations, you found another person on the internet who thinks Newbury is a goon. Steve MacIntyre is a goon. A nearly point per game player in the AHL is not a goon. Sorry bud. You also think Scooter is trash so I don’t know why I’m even bothering with you.

  4. StuckinNY - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Lets see 10 teams are chasing him and he is going to a team that didn’t make the playoffs and has no established goalie? Wishful thinking but no way he chooses philly

  5. upper90cheese - Jul 2, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    There won’t be a logjam at center if Homer is shipping out Cooter and/or Schenn

  6. Lol - Jul 2, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Drive up the bidding price for his eventual signing, uninspired play, and ostracization with the Rangers.

  7. Mostel - Jul 2, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Ok, so who are the top wingers we can sign to play with Schenn / Simmonds and Couturier / Read on the 2nd / 3rd lines?

    • BenE. - Jul 2, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      To be honest, no one we can really afford. If you’re talking about a true top 6 winger, and not someone who will be in over his head, the Flyers will most certainly have to make a couple trades to clear up space. Anyway,

      David Clarkson would be a great fit on the Flyers, playing with SImmonds on the other side of Schenn. It is rumored Toronto will be gunning hard for him, though.

      Clarke MacArthur might be ok if it turns out he didn’t peak already. He has regressed since putting up over 60 points in 2010-11. However, he is still on the south side of 30, so he should still have a few productive years ahead of him if he gets his act together.

      Pascal Dupuis is another possibility. He is an iron man who has only missed one game the last four seasons. Who knows what his numbers would be like though, without Crosby or Malkin feeding him. Pitt will probably resign him anyway.

      Other than Ryane Clowe and Nathan Horton, who are both damaged goods now (concussions), there isn’t anyone in the UFA pool worth looking at for the 2nd line.

      The third line has players like Mason Raymond, Dan Cleary, Ryan Jones, Brad Boyes, Matt Cooke, and Viktor Stalberg in the pool.

      • galasso2586 - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:01 AM

        I know he’s not 2nd line or maybe even third line material, but I’d love to see Matt Hendricks in a Flyers jersey.

      • BenE. - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:03 AM

        Me too! The Caps don’t plan on resigning him. But he is rumored to be asking for $2.5 mil/year, which is a bit much for a 4th line winger, IMO. He is all heart, though. Flyers fans would love him.

    • Von Hayes - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      Right now, you’re lines look like this:

      FIRST: Gagne / Giroux / Voracek
      SECOND: Read / Schenn / Simmonds
      THIRD: Fedotenko / Couturier / Hartnell
      FOURTH: Talbot / Newbury / Rinaldo

      with Hall, Rosehill & McGinn waiting in the wings.

      • galasso2586 - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:04 AM

        There’s no way they resign Fedo and they’d have to resign Gagne as well.

      • BenE. - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:07 AM

        I wouldn’t expect Fedotenko, Gagne, and Hall to be resigned, though. I’d like to see Hall stay, but we are deep at center, Talbot could center the 4th line, and they just traded for Kris Newbury (who could be headed to the A, but still). That said, I’d prefer Hall over Talbot! I don’t get the love affair with Talbot. He is nothing special. Just a soft 4th line center. Hall is a more physical version of him.

      • Jay D - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        gags an fedotenko wont be back….

        and looking at the rest of them….still not a stanley cup team…thats for sure

      • Mikey - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        You’re right Jay, that line-up doesn’t strike fear in any opponent. Something about it is missing some bite on the first two lines.

  8. Pat - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    I still think there’s no need to get crazy. I think this would do just fine.

    No Need to get Crazy
    Scott Hartnell ($4.750m) / Claude Giroux ($3.750m) / Jakub Voracek ($4.250m)
    Viktor Stalberg ($2.000m) / Brayden Schenn ($3.110m) / Wayne Simmonds ($3.975m)
    Simon Gagne ($2.000m) / Sean Couturier ($1.375m) / Matt Read ($0.900m)
    Tye McGinn ($0.775m) / Maxime Talbot ($1.750m) / Zac Rinaldo ($0.750m)
    Jay Rosehill ($0.675m) /
    Kimmo Timonen ($6.000m) / Braydon Coburn ($4.500m)
    Mark Streit ($5.250m) / Luke Schenn ($3.600m)
    Erik Gustafsson ($1.500m) / Nicklas Grossmann ($3.500m)
    Bruno Gervais ($0.825m) /
    Tim Thomas ($3.000m)
    Steve Mason ($1.500m)
    Buyout: Oskars Bartulis ($0.100m)
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
    SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $60,017,927; BONUSES: $2,800,000
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $7,082,073

  9. Pat - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    This is even better. Swap Gagne for Filpula, move Stalberg to the 3rd line.

    • Stevie - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      I like the idea of Thomas, but Nabokov is also in the mix now for Philly.

      • Pat - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        Nabby would work also… I am not really thrilled w/any of the potential goalies out there. Nabby or Thomas on a 1-2yr deal and we continue to bring Mason along.

  10. Jay D - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Let Mason or someone else young play….

    • MJS - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Who is this young someone else goalie that you speak of that isn’t a free agent?

    • Pat - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      You need to sign a goalie if only to be a backup bc the Flyers currently only have one on the roster. The Flyers are most likely going to sign a veteran that can be part of a tandem so that Mason can be eased back into the starter role and so that he can be mentored.

      • Lol - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        What happened to Michael “Lights Out” Leighton?

        I’m half kidding.

  11. BenE. - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Vinny to the Flyers is being reported by Dreger on TSN:

  12. BenE. - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:40 PM
    • nyphilsphan - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      Astonishing numbers if that’s true. 5 years is a bit steep, but 4.5 mil a year? For Vinny? For another team leader to lead the youth movement? This balances out the Streit contract. We’re going to be dangerous next year on offense, tell you that.


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