When former Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette was hired as the head coach of the Nashville Predators earlier this week, the trade rumors started flying about players who could join Laviolette in Nashville. One name that has appeared more than once is Flyers center Vinny Lecavalier.
CBC's Elliotte Friedman speculated on Tuesday the Predators could come calling for Lecavalier to pair with Laviolette. It got more interesting on Tuesday when The Toronto Sun's Chris Stevenson reports it is a possibility the Flyers could move Lecavalier to Nashville.
It should be noted that Lecavalier has a full no-movement clause and is signed through 2017-18 with a $4.5 million cap hit. 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. That could be a selling point in an attempt to get him to waive the no-movement clause.
The former No. 1 overall pick didn't seem to fit in all that well in 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.
From a Nashville standpoint, Lecavalier would come in and have a chance to be a top-six forward for the Predators as he would likely slide in ahead of Matt Cullen and Paul Gaustad on the depth chart. Not to mention his desire to play in Laviolette's system which he displayed last summer when signing in Philadelphia.
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