What's Buzzing:

Puck Daddy

Flyers sign Vinny Lecavalier to 5-year deal; let the cap space clearing begin!

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

View photo


Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers began the day among the top three teams in the Vincent Lecavalier Derby. But the free-agent center’s demands were too rich for the Detroit Red Wings, and the Dallas Stars later confirmed they were out of the running as well.

The last team standing was the Flyers, who put Vincent Lecavalier in orange and black with a 5-year, $22.5 million deal for a $4.5 million cap hit – making him the second-highest paid forward on the team behind Scott Hartnell ($4.75 million.)

As a straight one-for-one upgrade over Danny Briere, it’s a win for the Flyers. But it’s more complicated than that.

There’s going to be a lot of attention paid to the other salaries on the Flyers, because the team began the day with just $4.18 million in cap space, per Cap Geek. That’s without a goalie to complement Steve Mason. That’s with new contracts due to Claude Giroux, Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier and (if they keep him) Kimmo Timonen next summer.

(Wait … the Flyers might overspend at other positions and try to go goaltending on the cheap? It’s like the 1990s never ended!)

One imagines Braydon Coburn’s $4.5 million cap hit, and three remaining contract years, will be shipped out to compensate. His name was being bandied about at the NHL Draft, with the Edmonton Oilers a specific target.

Here’s Broad Street Hockey’s take on the cons for the Vinny deal:

The deal puts the Flyers right back over the salary cap. They had $4.18 million in space before the deal, and they still need to sign a starting or tandem starting goaltender. This is probably where the Braydon Coburn trade talk from the weekend comes into play, but I'd still rather trade Andrej Meszaros for a bag of pucks to get some cap savings. Once the season starts, Chris Pronger's LTIR relief will help as well. There's also a full no-move clause in the deal, because Lecavalier was going to get that from just about any team at this stage of his career. High-powered free agents get NMCs.

Why the Flyers for Vinny? They came close to the 5 years at $5 million he was looking for and play in the Eastern Conference. (Hey, he can knock off some dough from the price tag, getting $32.667 million over the next 14 years from the Tampa Bay Lightning.) His versatility at forward means he could play up with Claude Giroux or as a second-line center.

Why Vinny for the Flyers? They wanted a second line center with size. They wanted some veteran leadership. And let’s face it: There’s never been a big name that Ed Snider didn’t covet, whether or not it made fiscal or strategic sense.

Does this make sense? Again, they did have a need at forward, although the solution didn’t necessarily have to be a 33-year-old and a 5-year contract. But their needs were so much more glaring on the back end that this signing feels abjectly irresponsible.

Yes, they’re going to sell a metric ton of Lecavalier Flyers gear; perhaps that’ll offset the cost of having Steve Mason, Affordable Other Goaltender and a questionable defense on the backend.

We much preferred last summer’s Philadelphia Flyers Star-[expletiving].

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Syrian boys warm to Canada's 'beautiful' game, scoring goals — and fans — along the way

      Syrian boys warm to Canada's 'beautiful' game, scoring goals — and fans — along the way

      Mohammed Al-Masri grins from ear to ear as he gives a play-by-play of the goal he scored during his first hockey game. The nine-year-old arrived with his family from Syria eight months ago, and Mohammed and his two brothers started asking to play … More »

      CBC - 5 hours ago
    • No sweet return to Mile High for fumbling Osweiler

      (Reuters) - A sweet homecoming was never likely for Brock Osweiler in Denver on Monday but the Houston Texans quarterback got much more than he bargained for as he delivered a nightmare performance against the Broncos in a 27-9 loss. Returning to … More »

      Reuters - 5 hours ago
    • Jets-Stars Preview

      When the Winnipeg Jets and Dallas Stars hit the ice Tuesday night at American Airlines Center, both teams will be looking to get past disappointing losses. Winnipeg (2-3-0), tied for last in the Central Division, lost 3-0 to the visiting Edmonton … More »

      AP - Sports - 7 hours ago
    • Blue Jackets, Kings both on a roll

      After a sluggish start, Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella is pleased with the way his club has responded the past two games. "We're coming together," Tortorella told NHL.com. The Blue Jackets open a three-game West Coast swing at Staples … More »

      AP - Sports - 7 hours ago
    • Tired Canucks return home to face Senators

      The Vancouver Canucks will test their early-season fatigue levels when they host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the Senators (3-2-0-0) will attempt to adapt quickly to playing in Western Canada after a long flight -- and overcome … More »

      AP - Sports - 7 hours ago