Brendan Lemieux was acquired by the Flyers this year during the trade deadline for Zack MacEwen. The 27-year-old enforcer had played in just 27 games for the LA Kings after struggling through injuries this season.
When he came over to the Flyers, he made his mark quickly. In his first six games, he had two goals with three assists. Not bad. He seemed to enjoy the chance that the Flyers had given him to play this season. Overall, he would tally one more assist for Philly. In 18 games, he had six points as a fourth liner. He averaged 12:43 minutes of ice time but also doled out a brutal 52 hits. That’s tied for 18th on the team considering he was here for just 18 games. That’s also tied with Kevin Hayes. He also had a plus minus rating of +3.
With the Flyers heading into a youth movement/rebuild, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to re-sign Lemieux. However, there are some positive things that he brings to this team that makes him worth keeping around.
First of all, for a team held back by the salary cap, he’s gonna be cheap. His contract was only $1,350,000 for this season. If he were to re-sign, you could probably get him back on a deal that is worth $1-1.5 million. That could be a one-year “prove it deal” or a two- three-year contract. He’s 27, so it’s not like he’s an aging vet that needs to be pushed out. And since financial assets are limited, perhaps a cheap deal on a depth piece can help with directing assets to an extension for a young player or for bringing in another veteran to Philly.
Secondly, he’s a fourth liner. He’d be paired up with Nic Deslauriers. That is a pretty formidable line as far as punching power goes. They may not put up points, but they will batter any team into the ground.
If there is one thing that will hurt his chances, is that he was a bit out of shape this year John Tortorella did not approve of that. But to be fair, he had just come off of an injury before he was traded.
In his second year in the NHL, he scored 12 goals. He hasn’t scored more than nine since. He’s not going to light the lamp much. He’s not going to provide a lot of offense. What he can do, however, is be a good teammate. The players seemed to like him in the locker room and fans appreciated his effort on the ice. If anything, that might be a good reason to keep him around for one more year.