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Lecavalier demoted to fourth line, Berube says he expected more from veteran

Mar 28, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT

It looks like the Philadelphia Flyers will have a $22.5-million fourth-liner tonight at home versus Toronto. Vincent Lecavalier was skating between wingers Zac Rinaldo and Adam Hall this morning, two days after going minus-2 and playing just 12:44 in a 3-1 loss to the Rangers.

Tye McGinn is expected to take Lecavalier’s place playing the left side with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.

A couple of tweets to add fuel to the fire:

Lecavalier has 15 goals and 15 assists in 59 games, his 0.51 points per game ranking him seventh on the Flyers.

While plus-minus can often be misleading as a statistic, it may be telling in the case of Lecavalier. The 33-year-old’s minus-16 is the worst on the team, and that’s while starting a high percentage of his shifts in the offensive zone.

  1. jpelle82 - Mar 28, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    the more i hear berube talk the more i like the guy as a coach. he’s always succinct and deliberate and he doesnt play favorites it seems now. good on him, i didnt think lecavalier was terrible but i guess i dont watch the flyers enough to really gauge where he’s coming from on this decision but berube’s obviously not scared to send a message to a decorated veteran…which i respect.

    • govtminion - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      Absolutely agree. It’s a gutsy call by Berube, but I like it. The Flyers bet the farm on this guy being a big part of their team this year- even the most optimistic fan would have to admit he’s been pretty lame when he’s been healthy. I’m all for sending him a strong message, particularly with the playoffs right around the corner.

    • kaptaanamerica - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      no one has bothered to say where it all went wrong for Vinny? what happened to this guy, he was a dominant force and now this… kind of like how Markus Naslund just stopped producing one season and that was it. the guy couldn’t score anymore. at least Markus had the decency to hang up the skates even though he could have collected a pay cheque for millions. Unlike Mogilny who played out his contract in the minors collecting millions, or that guy wade redden who kept playing while collecting millions in the minors.

      • joey4id - Mar 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        Why would Mogilny or Redden have to stop playing if they have legally binding contract with the organization buying them? This ought to be good.

      • joey4id - Mar 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        *paying them

  2. jb8588 - Mar 28, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Guess Berube hasn’t thought that maybe Vinny isn’t producing as much because he’s playing LW…he has never played wing in his pro career before this.

    • hockey412 - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      Good point. So is the +/- thing, though – not that it’s all that important, just that Vinne has hardly ever been a plus player in his NHL career (twice in 14 years). Not that it means much, just interesting in some way:

      SEASON TEAM GP P +/-
      1998-1999 Lightning 82 28 -19
      1999-2000 Lightning 80 67 -25
      2000-2001 Lightning 68 51 -26
      2001-2002 Lightning 76 37 -18
      2002-2003 Lightning 80 78 0
      2003-2004 Lightning 81 66 23
      2006-2007 Lightning 82 108 2
      2007-2008 Lightning 81 92 -17
      2008-2009 Lightning 77 67 -9
      2009-2010 Lightning 82 70 -16
      2010-2011 Lightning 65 54 -5
      2011-2012 Lightning 64 49 -2
      2012-2013 Lightning 39 32 -5
      2013-2014 Flyers 59 30 -16
      NHL TOTALS 1,096 904 -133

    • goodolejr - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      That’s part of the issue. You have a young center in Schenn who plays much better at his natural C, Vinny seems like his only spot is 4th line. I’m sure they’re all well aware that Vinny needs to play C, problem is the only open spot is on the 4th line.

  3. elmerbrownelmerbrown - Mar 28, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    CHIEF ain’t playin !

  4. nobandwagoners - Mar 28, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Hmm, trade you a David Booth (8G, 9A in 59 games), $4.25m cap hit for the next yr, for Vinny ($4.5m through 2017/2018).

    Yeah, I know – that’s not going to happen. But man, that’d redeem Gillis somewhat in Vancouver.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      idk man. if that happened, the Philly Fanatic may end up shot dead and tweeted. talk about trophy game….

      • ibieiniid - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        oh, Phanatic*

    • rbbbaron - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      It could be worse. I was happy for all of about two days when news was out that Ken Holland was passing on Lecavalier (due to the cap hit and term) in favor of Weiss, thinking that Holland was about to make amends for those crappy 2012 off-season signings by going the cheaper, shorter-term route. We know how that worked out…

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      I would not trade Booth for Lecavalier. Booth is at least eligible for a compiance buy out, and I’d take nothing (and nothing on the cap) over either player at this point.

    • hosewater2 - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      Flyers would do that deal in a heartbeat because Booth can still be bought out.

      • rbbbaron - Mar 28, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        The Flyers have another compliance buyout at their disposal? Weren’t their two used on Bryz and Briere?

  5. ironyisadeadscene - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    better to send that message now than during the playoffs

  6. joey4id - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    idk, it’s 9 goals less than Giroux & Simmonds, 6 less than Voracek, 3 less than Schenn, and each has played 19 more games than Lecavalier. The guy in Philly playing the Philly game which requires a lot of grinding and bruising along the walls. Not quite Vinny’s game. I think Montreal would have been better suited for Vinny’s style of play.

  7. crazemastercraze - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Another awesome free agent signing from Flyer management.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      thoughts on Matt Read? Michael Raffl? Adam Hall?

      • ibieiniid - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        in fact, name another bad signing in the past 5 years other than Bryz. yeah, I can hear google churning as we speak.

      • rbbbaron - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        How’s Mark Streit working out for ya? Steve Mason has been alright so far, but that doesn’t stop him from being terrible when his 3-year extension kicks in.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        Streit is doing fine. I’m higher on him than a lot of people, but I think he’s brought a lot of puck movement and is no slouch for PP minutes on the point.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        and if you’re talking future situations, I’ll kindly bow out of making predictions. my point’s already been made. crazemaster knows nothing about the Flyers, yet he won’t shut his f’ing mouth about them.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        the Read and Raffl signings are enough for me to forgive homer and the scouts for Bryz though. those were two team-changing discoveries there.

  8. raoool - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Tough call but had to be made. Vinny looks like his skates weigh 30lbs out there and if his shift exceeds 20 seconds, might as well use an orange cone. He needs to apply to the Jagr school of off-season training for old guys or this contract will go down as Homer’s final debacle.

    But hey, if he’s pissed, maybe that’ll stir some energy.

  9. phillyphanatic77 - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    I thought Vinny looked very good the first 20 games or so. But ever since he had those back issues he’s been a shell of himself. He just looks like he has no explosion and skates are too heavy. Idk if it’s just age or is he fighting nagging injuries. I still think he’s a good lockerroom guy with 20 goal ability but this wakeup call is probably necessary.

  10. 19inarow - Mar 28, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    Another Holmgren strikeout.

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