Weight: 215 lbs.
Cap Hit: $4.5 M
10 G, 22 A, 32 Pts
Lecavalier was not slated to become a free agent for another seven years but the Lightning decided that was too long to hold onto their captain who was not the 100 point player he once was with a cap hit of $7.727 million. After using their amnesty buyout on Lecavalier, he hit the free agent market. The Flyers jumped at the opportunity and met with the 33 year old at the NHL Draft in Newark, NJ.
Peter Laviolette and Paul Holmgren impressed Lecavalier so much that he signed a five-year, $22.5 million deal to become the newest member of the Flyers. His cap hit is a reasonable $4.5 million which is significantly less than Danny Briere’s $6.67 milllion he would’ve been owed had the Flyers not amnestied him.
By his standards, he had a down year scoring 10 goals and dishing out 22 assists for 32 points in 32 games. In his last full season, Lecavalier tallied 22 goals and 27 assists for 49 points in 64 games. He has played in 65 and 64 in each of the last two full 82 game seasons. The last time he played in all 82 games was in 2009-10 when he scored 24 goals and racked up 46 assists for 70 points.
Lecavalier is six, going on seven, years removed from his 52 goal, 56 assists, 108 point season in 2006-07. That might be the Vinny Lecavalier everyone remembers but that is not the guy the Flyers are getting.
Standing at 6’4”, 215 lbs. in the center of the ice, Lecavalier is certainly an imposing body who still has the ability to shoot and distribute the puck but isn’t the sniper he once was. He has not topped 70 points since his 92 point season in 2007-08. Part of which could be in part because of the addition of Steven Stamkos in Tampa at the beginning of the 2008 season.
Lecavalier figures to fit in on the Flyers second line center replacing the departed Briere. With players like Wayne Simmonds, Matt Read, and Brayden Schenn all potentially playing around him, Lecavalier will be able to get his own shot when he wants to but also be able to distribute the puck to an able scorer on the wing.
He is not the game-changer that Claude Giroux is but he is still a very productive player who gives the Flyers some size down the middle. His ice vision is still there, his quick hands are still there, and, probably the biggest thing, his leadership is there. Lecavalier captained the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 2004. He was the captain in Tampa for nearly a decade making him the fourth former/current captain on the team, joining current captain Claude Giroux, Kimmo Timonen, and the newly acquired Mark Streit.
Lecavalier is a big name who has big expectations in Philadelphia. He knows how to win a Cup, now we hope he gets the opportunity to do that with the Flyers.
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