Photo credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)
While the Flyers recent surge has them close to a playoff spot, and GM Ron Hextall saying not to expect any moves to buy before the trade deadline. There’s still time for the Flyers to possibly sell. In this case, this move is far more likely to occur over the summer.
Vincent Lecavalier was a controversial signing in Philadelphia after being the casualty of a compliance buyout from the Lightning in 2013. Some thought Lecavalier’s veteran presence and lighter workload on the Flyers would allow him to survive, others thought Lecavalier was done from the beginning.
Lecavalier’s been a disappointment to say the least, despite injuries, he managed to get to 20 goals in the 2013-14 campaign. The 2014-15 season has been quite the disaster as in 43 games played, mostly on the 4th line, Lecavalier has 7 goals, 9 assists and 16 points.
When it comes to his advance stats, there’s not much hope there.
Via Own the Puck
Lecavalier’s numbers, in terms of possession, are quite brutal. His usage adjusted Corsi For doesn’t crack third line standards and his shot suppression ability is below replacement level.
However, his scoring ability and individual shot generation per 60 minutes aren’t that bad. His points are in the 2nd line range and his shots are in the third line range. This is the selling point for Lecavalier in a trade.
Lecavalier’s cap hit is 4.5M until 2018. However, his salary is 4.5, followed by two seasons at 3 million. This is the second part of the selling points of Lecavalier, he’d allow some circumvention to a team needing to get the Cap Floor.
Essentially, Lecavalier’s role is a sheltered bottom 6 forward who can get some points in a powerplay role. There’s probably a few floor teams out there who might want a player like that. Ottawa’s ownership is noted as being tight for money; Lecavalier could fit in the Senators as they rebuild and reset their roster.
Another place where Lecavalier could fit is Carolina, the Hurricanes are about to start a rebuild, and if they sell off their more expensive pieces, they might look to Lecavalier to help stay above the floor during the firesale.
If the Arizona Coyotes look for a long term rebuild; they too could use Lecavalier as a Captain whose off-ice charity work and name recognition might even sell a few tickets.
Finally; if the NHL expands this offseason, Lecavalier just might find himself on an expansion team.
The case for Lecavalier to be taken by an expansion team is simple. They’re likely not going to win right away, the team will need time to build a roster and create a farm system, so acquiring talent right off the bat isn’t a necessity. Lecavalier’s cap value would keep this team above the floor and would help them tank for top level draft picks in their first few years.
And, once again, Lecavalier’s experience and name recognition would make him a logical choice as the first team Captain for a potential expansion team. Sure he’s not the guy you build around, but he is the guy who helps you tank in order to create a long term success story. Also, if Vinny builds a good relationship in the expansion city, he could find himself in a front office role as soon as he retires, whether that be in 2016, 2017 or 2018.
The short form is, the Flyers aren’t going to be expecting any value back for Vinny. A seventh round pick is more than enough if anyone takes the full contract back. That said, any trade is better than a buyout in that the cap hit goes away faster. Of course, all of this requires Lecavalier’s consent as he does possess a full No Move Clause.