The Vinny Lecavalier rumors are heating up now that the NHL offseason has officially begun. Sportsnet's Josh Rimer reports, to the surprise of no one, the Flyers are shopping Lecavalier because he doesn't fit. What is interesting is Rimer reports Lecavalier would be willing to accept a trade to the Florida Panthers.
Lecavalier is in the driver's seat when it comes to trade talk around him as he has a full no-movement clause meaning any trade agreed upon must be approved by Lecavalier. Sunrise, Florida isn't far from Tampa where Lecavalier spent the first 14 years of his career. The Panthers certainly have the room to add salary as they currently have $30+ million in cap space and have one forward signed beyond 2015 and that is Brad Boyes, who is signed through 2015-16.
They'd be the perfect team to take on Lecavalier's $4.5 million cap hit through 2017-18 but would they want to take him? That's the real question here.
This isn't the first time Lecavalier's name has been mentioned as a possible name on the move this offseason. His name popped up as a possible target of the Nashville Predators in the wake of Nashville's hiring of former Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. One of the reasons Lecavalier cited for signing with the Flyers was Laviolette and his system. Lecavalier only got to play three games in that system before the Flyers fired the coach back in October.
The former No. 1 overall pick didn't seem to fit in all that well in head coach Craig Berube's system and found himself relegated to a fourth line center role and a power play specialist on the Flyers' second power play unit. To show how far the former All Star had fallen in the eyes of Berube, Lecavalier only played 8:45 in Game Seven against the Rangers on April 30th and did not play in the third period.
In any move, the Flyers would likely have to eat part of Lecavalier's contract as his cap hit does not match his impact on the ice. The 34-year-old scored 20 goals and dished out 17 assists for 37 points in 69 games this season for the Flyers but only had one goal and one assist in the seven-game series against New York in the playoffs.
For a team as center-heavy as the Flyers being able to unload Lecavalier would be a God-send. New general manager Ron Hextall said he prefers younger players so if it comes down to picking between Brayden Schenn and Lecavalier, it appears Hextall will side with the youthful Schenn.
Follow Steve on Twitter @SDolan3
Follow Whiz Wit on Twitter @WhizWitSports