Welcome to the inaugural Broad Street Buzz Mailbag. I asked for some questions over on Twitter and received some good ones. Hopefully this becomes a regular feature here at the site. Thanks for the contributions by the people below and if you have a question you want answered please tweet me ( @BCanneyBSB ), now onto your questions.
@3DPhillySports “When is Vinny getting taken to the vet to be put down?”
When Vincent Lecavalier was signed by the Flyers during the previous offseason I was excited. Looking at it from the perspective that he was being brought in as a replacement for the recently bought out Danny Briere I thought the move was a good one. Vinny was coming off a season in which he averaged almost a point a game and was hoping he would be more willing to play a two-way game. Watching him play this year however has been absolutely brutal at times. He’s been a greater liability on defense than I had anticipated and whatever offensive game he had appears to have been consumed by age. Want to read something depressing? Daniel Briere actually has more even-strength goals (8) than Vinny does (7). Don’t think about it too hard though, or blood might start pouring out your nose. And after looking at Capgeek in regards to a buyout, the signing appears even worse.
Vincent Lecavalier buyout from CapGeek.com
- 2015-16: $1,166,667
- 2016-17: $2,666,667
- 2017-18: $2,666,667
- 2018-19: $1,166,667
- 2019-20: $1,166,667
- 2020-21: $1,166,667
And here is the buyout calculation if they were to wait until the following season.
- 2016-17: $2,500,000
- 2017-18: $2,500,000
- 2018-19: $1,000,000
- 2019-20: $1,000,000
Even with him playing out of position I didn’t expect this kind of futility. So, if the call is for Vinny to be put down, you may want to put it off a couple of years or it’s going to be an expensive divorce.
@FranklinSteele “What do you think Scott Laughton‘s chances of making the NHL next year are? Been impressive in the OHL.”
I don’t really know what the Flyers are going to do with Scott Laughton. The Flyers have an over abundance of centers on this team right now and are already playing one of them out of position ( Vincent Lecavalier). He did play left wing on the 2014 Canadian Juniors team that was held in Sweden, but I’m concerned a position change could affect his development. The scouting reports on Scott seemed to come to a consensus that he had the potential to become a very good defensive forward with a great hockey acumen but would be just average offensively. But as you mentioned in your question, he has really impressed with his play for the Oshawa Generals this year. I actually just happened to write an article chronicling Scott Laughton recently that highlighted his offensive evolution this year. As of this writing Scott Laughton places…
- 9th in Goals (39)
- 9th in PP Goals (13)
- 5th in PP Assists (28)
- 3rd in SH Goals (5)
Also to keep in mind, he has only played in 53 games while most guys ahead of him have played in at least 60. I know this seems long winded considering you really just wanted to know if I think he’s ready to play at the NHL level and that’s because I REALLY REALLY like this kid. I think he’s ready for the NHL, but I don’t like his chances of making the Flyers roster next year unless there are some roster moves.
@BleedinBlueFS “How are you guys feeling about Steve Mason? Good enough to be No. 1 for the foreseeable future?”
Another topic I covered in an article I wrote for BSB. It’s like you guys are reading my mind. I like Steve Mason and can say without a shadow of a doubt without his stellar play in the beginning of this season the Flyers would not be in a position right now to make the playoffs. With that being said I feel like I’m in the minority here when I say I don’t think he is a true number one goaltender. He is truly maddening sometimes because he will come up with a stellar save to only let in a softy that absolutely needs to be stopped. The problem with him right now is consistency and frankly it has always been his problem, even when he won the Calder Trophy when he was with the Columbus Blue Jackets. For example, during the Flyers most recent loss at the hand of the New Jersey Devils the deciding goal scored by the ageless Jaromir Jagr was one of those softies I alluded to earlier. That kind of save needs to be made, and I feel would have been by a true number one goaltender. And I want to make clear that I know the defense in front of him is not helping make his job any easier, but it shouldn’t allow Mason a free pass. I was and still am rooting for Mason to prove me wrong, but my gut tells me the Flyers won’t be hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup with Mason in net.
@TMMOTS “#Flyers are just holding on to the WC spot. What’s it going to take to lock it in and make a run?”
Talk about a loaded question. Thanks for taking it easy on me guys for the inaugural mailbag. But, to answer your question, there’s a lot that needs to go right if the Philadelphia Flyers want to make a deep run into the playoffs. The defense needs to get better at skating and moving the puck. While I believe you can get better at the latter of those points, you can’t teach a guy to skate better or faster. Again, referring back to the Flyers most recent game against the Devils, you saw how much trouble the Flyers defensemen had at moving the puck out of their defensive zone. It led to the first goal they gave up and also saw newly acquired Andrew MacDonald exhibit poor defensive positioning. Defensive positioning and a failure to exit the defensive zone has been a problem for this team that’s been exacerbated by having guys like Nicklas Grossmann and Luke Schenn who are not strong skaters. This is why I still don’t understand why Erik Gustafsson doesn’t get more ice time, but I’m done calling Paul Holmgren and leaving voicemails. I should note because of that I am not allowed within 1000 feet of the Wachovia Center (Not True BTW). As far as the offense this team feeds off of Claude Giroux. If he’s having a strong game you can see how his confidence just permeates across the rest of the lines. However, when he’s getting shutdown the Flyers look lost. Whether it’s at even-strength or with a man advantage the team chemistry is completely thrown out of whack. When this happens the Flyers need to look around and find their offensive muse on their second or third line. Someone needs to help shoulder Giroux’s offensive burden to give the Flyers a chance to make a playoff run. So to summarize all this babbling, it’s going to take A LOT for the Flyers to make the playoffs much less take a run at the Cup.
Once again I want to thank everyone who wrote in a question and look forward to the next edition of the Broad Street Buzz mailbag.
As always, please send all your hate mail to bear[dot]canney[at]gmail[dot]com and your angry tweets to @BcanneyBSB.
Cap information provided by CapGeek.