Realistically, there is no bigger hurdle for Flyers general manager Ron Hextall to clear in his first offseason calling the shots than finding a way to get Vincent Lecavalier and his $4.5 million cap hit off the books. The acquisition of the aging center was a move seemingly made with the intention of appeasing former head coach Peter Laviolette. Under new bench boss Craig Berube, Lecavalier’s waning skills and inability to play on the wing had him relegated to a diminished role, especially considering the money he was getting.
After trading away Scott Hartnell, the Flyers look much more committed to their young crop of forwards than some of the aging veterans whose lackluster performances in the playoffs were all too apparent. Unlike Daniel Briere, the player Lecavalier was seemingly brought into replace, the former 1st overall pick could not provide timely scoring in the postseason. Given his lack of versatility and apparent role on the team, the Laviolette-driven experiment could ultimately be considered a failure.
Unfortunately, much like several of the larger contracts he handed out, Paul Holmgren included a no-trade clause in the five-year deal Lecavalier signed prior to the start of last season. Though it would come as little surprise if he no longer desired to play on a team that can take advantage of the skills he possesses, it is clear that the Flyers are looking for little more than cap relief when it comes to possibly shipping Lecavalier elsewhere. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported earlier Thursday that Hextall has given Lecavalier’s agent permission to seek out a favorable destination for his client.
Lecavalier’s agent, Kent Hughes has permission to speak to teams re: trade. Vinny gets a $2 mil bonus on July 1, so trade before is tough.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 26, 2014
As Dreger noted, Lecavalier is due $2 million as long as he remains on the roster for another five days. Given Ed Snider’s bottomless wallet, it’s tough to imagine this would be an issue for the Flyers if it assured them the cap relief they so desired. Some speculate that the Florida Panthers, a state where Lecavalier still has a home from his time in Tampa Bay, could be a possible destination.