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Broken Twigs: Lecavalier and Giroux, Flyers Bachelorette and FGSB Mailbag

Jul 11, 2013, 11:35 AM EDT


Paul Holmgren stands up, fastens the top button of the sports coat he’s wearing over a short-sleeved golf shirt, pauses a moment, and then:

I can show you the world, shining, shimmering, splendid, tell me, princess, now when did you last let your heart decide?
I can open your eyes, take you wonder by wonder, over, sideways and under, on a magic..

“Paul,” Ed Snider interjects, leaning back from the conference room table and resting his cocky smirk on his thumb and pointer finger, “I think we have a deal.”

- – - – -

I am most definitely over-thinking this, but there is something nagging me. 3 words as a matter of fact: let’s just say.

Picture a scene from a TV show. Or a movie. Anything. Hell, real life even. Picture someone saying “let’s just say” and looking all smarmy and superior. There is so much underlying arrogance in those three words. “Let’s just say” is how dudes used to troll other dudes during the Renaissance. Let’s just say, the canvas wasn’t the only thing Mona Lisa let me paint….

Interest is created where there previously was none. Let’s just say is the cousin of the humble brag:

“I really don’t want to get into that, but let’s just say Philly, with the meeting that I had with them, that’s the place I really wanted to go,” Lecavalier said. “I gotta tell you, right after I talked with Philly, even before any offers or anything, they went right to the top of the list. I just liked what they were saying.”

When have you ever heard of an athlete in any sport admit to deciding his future not based on contract terms, not based on what’s best for his family, but solely based on a single meeting with executives that he doesn’t know all that well. What could 3 men with a combined age of 275 have said to this 33 year old star Stanley Cup Champion/Gold Medalist/Mr. L’Oreal Sublime Glow for the Body 2011 that made him so eager to be a Flyer?

Believe you me, I’ve been up nights thinking about this one. Did they promise him he’d be GM in 2017? Did they show him a DVD of people taking pictures with Bernie Parent and Bob Kelley at Gate D of the WFC and say “this could all be yours?” Is The Declaration of Independence involved? Is Nicolas Cage involved? Both?

The only thing that I can think of that the Flyers have and other teams don’t, the only promise that the Flyers could make that no other team can, is Claude Giroux. But I don’t think Flyers Management promised Vinny that he would be on Claude Giroux’s line. Everyone in that room knows better than that. They know that line combinations in the NHL can change faster than a 15 year old’s relationship status . I think what they promised Vincent Lecavalier, or more likely asked of him, was to be Claude Giroux’s mentor.

Vinny Lecavalier is 33. When you get to that age as a player you start to think about your legacy. Even if retirement is 5 years down the road you can clearly see that the spotlight is shifting off of you and onto the younger kids with all their kooky electronic gadgets and Tumblrs. So what is left to be done if you’ve won everything? Why train when you could be sitting on the beach (which Vincent Lecavalier is obviously a fan of) reflecting on all of your accomplishments? Why travel for 6 months of the year when you could be home with your family collecting millions? A big part of that is personal drive and habit, obviously not wanting to let go of something that is so familiar and great when you can still do it well, but adding in a mentor role can really serve to stoke a fire that may have died a little when Tampa Bay Management came into the room with their bucket of water.

By mentoring Claude Giroux you take on two roles, you have two reasons to get up at 5AM and jump up onto a box 500 times. The primary reason, it will always come first, is for your own benefit, obviously. But when that’s just not getting it done and you think you can cut a corner you remember that you are an example, that even thought Claude Giroux is actually leading this team, you are leading Claude Giroux. And in that way you become bigger than yourself, you can become immortal.

Vinny had this in Tampa, and he shared the responsibility with Martin St. Louis. Over the past 3 NHL seasons, the top scorers in their 20′s reads like this:

Steven Stamkos – 245 pts
Claude Giroux – 216 pts
Alex OV – 206 pts
Eric Staal – 199 pts
Phil Kessel – 212 pts
John Tavares – 209 pts
Patrick Kane – 202 pts
Corey Perry – 206 pts
Anze Kopitar – 204 pts
Ryan Getzlaf – 193 pts

Obviously Crosby and Malkin would be on this list if it weren’t for injuries, but the Penguins were never an option due to the fact that Ray Shero keeps handing out 8 year $60M contracts to anyone that will talk to him.

With Vinny not wanting to go to the Western Conference, and Claude Giroux being the youngest, most french-speaking, and possibly (time will tell) gifted player on that list, why wouldn’t he want to come to Philadelphia and serve as the engine to Captain Giroux? Maybe he could accomplish something great again along the way?

And now your questions…

From @GBHeights: With Briere gone, if the Flyers were on The Bachelorette who would make overnight dates and who would get the final rose?
I’m glad Briere is gone. He wasn’t here for All the Right Reasons ™. If I’m just going off Bachelorette logic, and not any specific contestant, it goes like this:

  • Hartnell (too goofy), Timonen (too old), Grossmann (too bald), Voracek (too gross), Adam Hall (blends in with the wallpaper), Luke Schenn (looks chubby next to his brother), Meszaros (crutches don’t work), Gervais and Talbot (too into each other), Gus (unaware he’s on the show) are all gone the first night.
  • Simmonds and Emery have to make to the second week, and second week only, because that’s always when the Bachelorette feels like she’s proven to America that she’s not raycess and can safely send the black guys home.
  • In week 3 Mark Streit creeps out from behind a plant and scares the shit out of everyone. No one knew he was there and he gets sent home immediately. In the rose ceremony she sends Steve Mason home because they can’t talk without him bringing up his Calder trophy.
  • Rinaldo, Coburn, and Couturier (who she calls Wolfie) fade away as the weeks pass, and she’s left with 4.
  • Read is right there at the end because his crow-ish good looks and learned brain leave her intrigued, but the final 3 are Lecavalier, B. Schenn, and Captain Jean-Luc Giroux because it all comes down to looks and power, just like real life.
  • In a surprise ending, after banging all the guys on the overnight dates, the Bachelorette breaks down and admits she is in love with the host of the show, Mr. Ed Snider. Snider tosses his wedding ring into the ocean and exults “make it 5!” has he grabs onto a rope ladder that’s dangling from a helicopter, holding the Bachelorette in one arm like Indiana Jones.

Incest from Enrico: what was the first emotion you felt when you saw the photo of the Legion of Doom back together?
Honestly? I had two thoughts in succession – look at those calves and John Leclair needs some new hair. Everyone kept talking about how much weight he put on and all I could think was that he looked like an old, and yes fat, version of the rapper Snow with those little sunglasses and that receding hairline. But then I went back to their calves and was like, damn those are some big calves. And then I looked closer at Renberg and then back to all their calves and thought “that’s a lot of meat.” And then I looked at Ant J. San and thought “how did you get that job and what do you even do?” And then back to the calves. So to answer your question…confused.

From @Mager_Pls: what’s your favorite cereal? Thanks, Big Fan
My favorite cereal is Frosted Flakes because I imagine that it’s Scott Harnell’s favorite cereal. Can’t you see him sitting at the huge island in his loft apartment in the Old City, so focused on slurping down a giant bowl of Frosted Flakes that he doesn’t even notice HIS OWN HAIR IS IN THE BOWL! What hijinks! I bet he does fun stuff like eats cereal all the time.

From Kristen: where is the next logical move for the flyers to make this offseason?  what is the actual move they’ll make?
Well they have 20 defensemen under NHL contracts and I think you’re only supposed to have like 15. Everyone’s so focused on Coburn/Mesz that I think it’s going to be Grossmann or Schenn, even though the latter would be as heart breaking as the Civil War (the actual war, not the Guns ‘n Roses song). I good rule of thumb with Paul Holmgren seems to be “do the opposite of what everyone else would do” so be ready for anything (for further reading on this topic see The Day Paul Holmgren Traded Away the Entire Team in 2011).

YinzTweet Breakdown of the Week


Even though I want to hate, I actually have to side with @jilldiegsxo’s sentiment here, as much as it really pains me to say someone from Pittsburgh is right about something that is not the best store brand mayonnaise or advice on getting drunk off of windshield wiper fluid. What she’s hipping us too is a twitter handle, @iscrosbyabitch, which I personally don’t see the point of. I don’t really understand where you can go with a trite persona like this. I would expect something this pointless from a Pittsburgh fan but….wait! Maybe it is a Pittsburgh fan posing as a Flyers fan so they can use this against us! Wait again, anyone from Pittsburgh would have run out to play in the dirt mound about half way through such a maniacal thought, so it must be a Flyers fan…. I say shut ‘er down.

  1. 33 - Jul 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Good call on “The Promise.” Worked with Jagr…

  2. gq - Jul 11, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    I think you are right that they sat him down and promised him something. But I don’t think the hook was mentoring Giroux. I think that may have been a piece of it, and I do agree they pushed him about what his legacy would be, but I think it was more of a “prove yourself” push. Everyone knew Vinny didn’t have interest in playing in a big league market, and he hung out on the beach in Tampa and went about his job, being successful there, and that’s about it. Now if Home and Snider sat him down and said, “this is the big league, this is the place where you can prove yourself, and you’re not getting any legacy points by playing with Tampa Bay, and we’re going to make sure that you are happy and taken care of, but if you want to “live forever,” you need to come to Philly.”

    • flyersgoalscoredby - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      I bet that was a component of it to be sure. But other markets could offer that too. Philadelphia just baffles me. It’s like the quarterback taking the janitor to the from.

      Can’t wait until people are hating him for something or the other. Probably say he “doesn’t get” the shore or something.

  3. Lol - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    I’d have been sold with tales of the quantity and quality of the tail that Bob “Hound Dog” Kelly continues to rake in.

    • flyersgoalscoredby - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      Yeah but you haven’t made over $100M already at the age of 33. Dude’s like hockey’s Mark Zuckercorn.

  4. Vin - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    How many ex-Flyers players now work in the front office? I count 12 but didn’t know if there were more.

    General Manager – Paul Holmgren
    Senior Vice President – Bob Clarke
    Assistant Coach – Craig Berube
    Player Development Coach – Derian Hatcher
    Ambassador of Hockey – Bob Kelly, Todd Fedoruk
    Ambassadors – Gary Dornhoefer, Bernie Parent
    TV Analyst – Keith Jones, Bill Clement
    Radio Color Commentary – Chris Therien
    Senior Account Executive – Joe Watson

    • flyersgoalscoredby - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      Jim Jackson didn’t play?

      • Vin - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        No. He’s always been in broadcasting (college at Syracuse, broadcasting start at Utica, replaced Gene Hart on the radio when Hart shifted back to TV, switched over to TV in ’95).

    • Mikey - Jul 12, 2013 at 9:01 AM

      Don’t forget you’ve got Ian Laperriere as Director of Player Development as well.

  5. bachelorette - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    I dunno, if I were the Bachelorette I would take an older Timonen over Steve Mason any day of the week. Timonen is actually a good hockey player, has a great accent and have you seen his hair? Also I think Rinaldo gets cut the first night because you know he’s totally that guy who takes off his suit and jumps in the pool to impress the girl. Otherwise, pretty much spot on.

  6. Greg - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Riley cote…assistant coach phantoms

    • Mikey - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      If you dipping into the Phantoms, you’ve also got John Paddock (Assistant GM), Terry Murray (Head Coach) and Kjell Samuelsson (Assistant Coach).


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