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Flyin’ High: Philly signs Lecavalier — five years, $22.5 million

Jul 2, 2013, 6:55 PM EDT

Vincent Lecavalier AP

The Philadelphia Flyers have pulled the first major stunner of free agency.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Philly has won the Vincent Lecavalier sweepstakes, but at a price:

Five years, $22.5 million, an average annual cap hit of $4.5 million.

The move is wild on a number of fronts.

One, Philadelphia had already spent a ton of money this offseason buying out players, namely $28 million in total salary to Ilya Bryzgalov and Daniel Briere.

While those moves did give the Flyers some wiggle room, the Lecavalier deal puts them $300,000 over the cap — though that figure includes Chris Pronger‘s deal ($4.9 million), which will be put on long-term injured reserve.

Of course, that doesn’t put Philly out of the woods.

The club is still looking for a goalie to work alongside Steve Mason, has pressing needs on defense, already expressed an interest in bringing back Simon Gagne and — next season — needs to re-up with key RFAs Claude Giroux, Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier.

(That’s going to prove difficult, considering Philly has $43.5 million committed to 13 players for 2014-15.)

As for Lecavalier, the former Bolts captain ends days of speculation about his playing future with this signing.

He’d already ruled out Detroit and Dallas — two prominent suitors — and, prior to inking in Philly, seemed to be leaning toward either Boston or a return to his hometown province of Quebec and the Canadiens.

The 33-year-old now stands to make a boatload of money over the next half decade. His Tampa Bay buyout will net him $2.3 million annually (over the next 14 seasons) while his new deal with Philly earns a cool $4.5 million per.

What’s more, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Lecavalier’s deal features a full no-movement clause, which will likely keep him in Philly until he’s 38. RDS’ Renaud Lavoie says the deal will play $6 million in salary next year and 2014-15, $4.5 million in 2015-16, and $3 million in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

One more thing to note? Lecavalier carries the exact same cap hit as defenseman Braydon Coburn ($4.5 million), believed to be a trade target for a number of NHL clubs.

130 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. somekat - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    The Flyers are actually still In an OK spot if they can move Coburn and Meszarjos. Between the 2 of them, that would be a little over 8 million in space, and in reality they are actually about 4.5 under the cap because Pronger won’t count when the season starts (same for the 13-14 number, take 1 player and 5 mil off that number, they’ll have 38.5 to 12 players, doesn’t seem doom and gloom to me). So all in all, I think they could still sign a moderate goalie, and top 2 defenseman while still filling out the rest of the roster with young guys, which they have been great at doing the last few years.

    As far as this signing goes, I’m not a huge fan, it saves you 2 million on Brierre (and Vinny has a much more complete game), but you were done with Briere next year. I still think the Flyers should of went the route of full on rebuild, but with a couple move savy moves, this team could be a contender next year. The problem is, I think it would also require a system change, and I don’t know if Lavy is willing to do that

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:48 AM

      Yh I would start to have some faith in this team but there coaching system IMO is terrible, it’s not defensible responsible, especially for the goalies

  2. blackhawks2010 - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Hey, I remember when Vinny was good…in 2004.

    • bman7206 - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:57 AM

      Flyers continue to prove why they are by far the dumbest team in the league…

    • c9castine - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      Must be forgetting those 100 point seasons around 2007. I remember when Philly lost their core and their young goalie and they won a cup in LA and the goalie won a vezina while Philly is busying missing the playoffs and buying out 7 million dollar goaltenders. The only reason holmgren still has a job is because snider is equally clueless.

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  3. aldog83 - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:53 AM

    I think he would have been a better fit in Montreal. As a leader for the young forwards they have.

    Especially playoff time.

    • lordstanley65 - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      Why, is he good at golf?

    • somekat - Jul 3, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      young forwards like Voracek, Giroux, Simmonds, Reid, Shenn, Corturier, Rinaldo and Leighton?

      The flyers have holes, young forwards with talent is NOT one of them. If the only reason he’d be a “better fit” in Montreal is to be a mentor to the younger guys, he’s in a better spot to do that in Philly

  4. tmoore4075 - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Yesterday I posted on another article that a small market who felt they needed to market he deal (Dallas) or a dumb market would sign a 33-year old to a 5 year deal. It was the dumb market. This team never looks long term do they? They just bought out two guys who had bad contracts and now they sign a guy on the decline to a 5-year deal with a NMC?!?

    • c9castine - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      Yep. That’s Philly for you. It’s why they have either been one of the leagues best or the leagues worst overthrows past 10 years. Sure they sign good players but they poorly mismanage them and their contracts. A lot of people hating on Pittsburgh right now but they have a cup and have been To at least to the conference finals 3 times in 6 years and are smart enough to keep their core together to keep doing it. Or they could send them all to LA and let them win one there.

      • coopjr - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        First shift… still hurts huh?^

  5. maylikethemonth - Jul 3, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    We have a young goaltender in the minors, Anthony Stolarz, look him up. Flyers will be building around him in the future. He is a beast at 6’6.

  6. pghcityofchamps - Jul 6, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Yeah, you can always look forward on signing day for Philadelphia to blow their load paying ridiculous money for players past their prime that no one else will touch for long term deals that they get buried on after a couple years. This years recipient is Vinny Lecavalier and his full no movement contract….what does that make him 40 before he can be traded or let go???? lol….I’m surprised they didn’t try for Daniel Alfredson….he’s in his late 30’s right??? That’s just another contract they’ll have to buy out in a couple years…Now that’s a business savvy organization!!!

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