Philadelphia Flyers Offseason: Must Buyout Lecavalier


Philadelphia Flyers Offseason: Must Buyout Lecavalier

When the Philadelphia Flyers acquired Sam Gagner from the Arizona Coyotes this past Saturday, everyone’s initial thoughts pointed to the former 6th-overall pick being bought-out by the orange and black.  It is now Monday afternoon and Hextall has yet to place Sam Gagner on waivers, which means he may be second guessing himself.

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This comes as a bit of a relief because Gagner is not the player the Flyers should be buying out. In reality, they should hold on to Sam Gagner for the remainder of his contract (2015-2016 season), and buyout Vincent Lecavalier’s contract. The 35-year-old from Ile Bizard, Quebec has been nothing but a burden for the Flyers since he was signed in the summer of 2013.

Dec 20, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Philadelphia Flyers center Vincent Lecavalier (40) talks to left wing Michael Raffl (12) against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Flyers beat the Maple Leafs 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of Philadelphia’s offseason, it seemed as if Ron Hextall had very little interest in buying out Vincent Lecavalier. However, they are now in a perfect position to do so. Although Sam Gagner has not live up to expectations since being drafted 6th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 2006, he is still only 25-years-old and is looking to turn his career around. In his eight seasons in the NHL, Gagner has averaged around 40 points per season. This is an upgrade from Lecavalier who recorded 37 points and 20 points in his two seasons with the Flyers. Gagner’s statistic may not be strong evidence for why the Flyers should hold onto him instead; but his age and contract length is. As I mentioned before, Gagner is only 25-years-old, and he only has one more year remaining on his contract. He is a low-risk/ high-reward player that is in a similar situation to what Michael Del Zotto faced last season; and that turned out pretty well for the Flyers.

Dec 2, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Arizona Coyotes center Sam Gagner (9) celebrates his second period goal on the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Lecavalier’s glory days are far behind him and he is not worth the amount of money he is currently making. Some may want to blame his lack of success with the Flyers on how Craig Berube treated him; and although it might have played a part, it is not the only reason he has stunk. It is clear that he is unhappy in Philadelphia, and that the Flyers would be better off without him. It is time for the two parties to go their separate ways; but it is going to be impossible to trade away Vinny and is ridiculous contract. For this reason, a buyout is the only option at this point.

Hopefully at some point, either today or tomorrow, Vincent Lecavalier will no longer be a member of the orange and black.

Next: Which Forwards Should the Flyers Pursue This Offseason?

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