Ron Hextall and Co. have tried shopping Lecavalier to several teams throughout the offseason. So far, the Flyers have not found a dance partner. The common deal-breaker seemed to be Lecavalier’s salary. A few teams have agreed to take Lecavalier’s cap hit in exchange for the Flyers paying most of his salary. He is due $6 million next season.
Hextall has refused each offer.
He remains firm in his stance to only retain a small portion – some reports at no more than $1 million.
The Lecavalier signing was one of Paul Holmgren‘s mistakes as GM. During this past offseason, it appears that Hextall is trying to undo some of Holmgren’s bigger mistakes.
Vincent Lecavalier’s first year as a Flyer was less than stellar. He bounced up and down the lineup and only totaled 37 points. Coach Craig Berube demoted him to the fourth line and Lecavalier saw little ice time in the playoffs. Lecavalier did not point fingers. He vowed to get better in the summer.
Hextall made the right move in keeping Lecavalier on the team. Lecavalier’s first season was not dreadful from start to finish. He was one of the team’s best forwards during the first 20 games of the season. After he returned from a back injury, Lecavalier never re-gained his form.
The Flyers are jammed at the center position, and Lecavalier has shown he is not a competent winger. He is more well-suited to play at center, but the only vacant space at center is on the fourth line. It may not be the most appealing option, but having Vincent Lecavalier as our fourth-line center may have more benefits than drawbacks.
The best teams in the NHL roll out four competent lines each game. Lecavalier is not a bad option on the fourth line. His linemates will not be as skilled as Brayden Schenn or Wayne Simmonds, but a potential fourth line of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Michael Raffl sounds much better than previous fourth lines.