Vincent Lecavalier Signs With Flyers
(Via Getty Images)
After using a compliance buyout on Danny Briere, the Philadelphia Flyers were going to need a replacement to hold down the center spot on the second line.
Many expected it to be a in house choice, with both Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn competent enough to take the reins.
But Paul Holmgren had other ideas.
According to numerous reports from CSN’s Tim Panaccio and TSN’s Darren Dreger, Philadelphia has agreed to terms with veteran Vincent Lecavalier.
Dreger has reported the deal is five years and worth $22.5 million, making the average salary $4.5 million a year. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun also reports that there is a no-movement clause in the contract.
Lecavalier spent 15 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and was the face of the team throughout his tenure. Like the Flyers, Tampa Bay opted to use one of their two compliance buyouts on Lecavalier, ridding his 11 year, $85 million contract from their books.
Lecavalier began meeting with teams, as the Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars, and Philadelphia all fought for his services.
In the end, the 33 year-old French Canadian opted to stay on the east coast, and join the Flyers in a move that immediately bulks up their offense. He had 10 goals and 22 assists in the lockout shortened 2012-13 season.
Health is a concern (he has missed 44 games in the past 3 years), but Lecavalier gives the Flyers a big center with some offensive pop, something they’ve been unable to obtain.
However, this is far from the last of Philadelphia’s wheeling and dealing. The contract puts the club over the $64.3 million cap ceiling, and they will have to shed salary to get under. This could lead to the move of Braydon Coburn, who has been tied to the Edmonton Oilers. Philadelphia also needs a second goalie to compete with Steve Mason, but available finances to address that position are currently minimal.
Lastly, questions once again arise about the future of 20-year-old Sean Couturier, who saw himself get bottom six action for most of last year. The addition of Lecavalier may lead to his subtraction.