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Berube: Lecavalier needs to ‘get over’ trade rumors

Aug 26, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

LecavalierPhilly Getty Images

Vincent Lecavalier was the the center of numerous trade talks this summer, none of which came to fruition.

As such, he’s headed back to Philadelphia this fall as a member of the Flyers, set for a reunion with the head coach he clashed with on occasion last year — Craig Berube, who had some advice for how Lecavalier should deal with the whirlwind last few months (from NJ.com):

“Get over it,” [Berube said].

Berube’s response to apparently being stuck for another season with an aging four-time All-Star whose defensive liabilities outweighed the 20 goals he scored in 69 games as a new Flyer in 2013-14?

“He just needs to change his game a little bit,” Berube said during a recent interview. “We talked about that after the season and he’s willing to do that. And I’m willing to bend a little bit here, too, so I’ve have to do a little bit better job managing him and he’s got to buy into the team.”

Lecavalier, 34, had been on the trade block for most of the summer at, and one point, Flyers brass reportedly OKed his agent to seek out a deal. Ottawa, Florida and Nashville were all rumored suitors, with the Preds apparently being the closest to acquiring the former Lightning captain; a move to Nashville would’ve reunited Lecavalier with former head coach Peter Laviolette, who was turfed just three games into Vinny’s career with the Flyers.

It’ll be interesting to see how Lecavalier and Berube get along moving forward. Last season, Lecavalier was visibly frustrated after a demotion to the team’s fourth line, and Berube seemed disappointed in the production the club was getting from him.

Following the Flyers’ opening-round loss to the Rangers, Lecavalier admitted he had a tough first season in Philadelphia and the Flyers’ brass acknowledged they expected more from him this year.

  1. lowenni - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    I don’t really know if Berube is being fair here. It’s the flyers who are trying to trade lecavalier, not lecavalier who requested to be traded. To say “get over it” and “buy into the team” as if scolding a young child is a bit harsh for a vet who hasn’t made a big deal out of it to the media, and while probably understandably upset, has handled his role pretty well for a guy who used to be one a superstar and captain. I don’t know, I’m over analyzing it a bit, but I think it’s Berube who needs to work with Lecavalier more than vice versa. He was good for the first quarter or so of last season for them but Berube never really gave him a chance. Would he possibly be a fit on the top line with Voracek and Giroux or is he too slow now? I feel like that could actually work if given time to develop chemistry.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      Berube is a demanding coach while Lecavalier is a respected professional… so I’d probably agree that the coach needs to show a little more flexibility here. Not every player is going to fit your scheme precisely so it’s up to the coach to find a way to make the pieces fit as best they can.

      As for Vinny on the 1st line… it would never work. He showed, time and again last season, that he does not fit on the left wing. And unless the Flyers are willing to move their best center, in all aspects, (Giroux) to wing it won’t work. Plus, he really doesn’t have the wheels necessary. Far too often Hartnell was behind the play and it messed up the lines ability to press in the offensive zone or quickly retreat to play D in their own zone. Lecavalier would present the same issues. I’ve said it several times on here but Raffl is the best fit IMO. And then put Vinny at #2C until he proves he can’t handle that.

    • ibieiniid - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      I’m not sure about this line: “but I think it’s Berube who needs to work with Lecavalier more than vice versa”

      In cases, that’s right, but this isn’t 24 year old Vinny, it’s 34 year old Vinny. They didn’t bring him in to build the team around. They brought him in because he had a hole in an already established offense to fill. HE’S the one that needs to adapt at this point in his career if he wants to extend it. He’s not at the point of no return right now as he’s still a player that could join the right team and score 25-30 goals, but he needs to start adapting. If Berube restructured the team to be more like what fits Vinny, there’d be hell to pay in Philly. (rhyme unintended)

      • ibieiniid - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        jk, I suppose Vinny and Philly don’t rhyme.

      • lowenni - Aug 26, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        Yes, but my point is Vinny has done what he can to “adapt”, so to speak. He’s been moved to wing, he’s been tried at center on grinding lines, all the way to being fourth line center. And he’s played in those roles and accepted it–I know there were a few reports of him being upset at it or something but that’s hardly a surprise and I think that’s totally fair. I know they didn’t bring him in to build the team around, and so does he, but there’s six openings in the top-6 and I think he expected to be in one of those openings. He didn’t really get a shot there, and for the brief time he did, he actually played pretty well. Berube doesn’t need to restructure the team, I do think he should give Vinny a chance though. That wasn’t even my point, I was just saying I don’t think he should be scolding lecavalier when it’s the Flyers management themselves making the drama, not Vinny.

      • ibieiniid - Aug 26, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        I think the disconnect here is that in the full article (linked in the story), it’s way less of “scolding” and sounds a bit more like coaching, especially towards the end. I wasn’t aware that was what you were addressing.

        Hey, nobody said the Chief would be nice, did they?

      • ibieiniid - Aug 26, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        also, after getting bought out, you’d think he’d do a BIT more to try to maybe change his role. I know his name’s Lecavalier, but any other aging, recent buy-out would do MORE adapting to try to find their place in the league again. I doubt he’ll be beating out G or Schenn or Couturier too, so he’s gotta do something and try to settle in on the 4th line (as phillyphan said, LW def won’t work). He’s only a year out from being bought-out and hasn’t necessarily done anything to prove he shouldn’t have been yet (assuming his prior contract value).

      • blackandorangeforlife - Aug 26, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        They didn’t bring Vinny in to fill a whole….They were already loaded with centers….They were short on left wing….Which begs the question Why did they bring him in?……Answer……Who knows but it is why Hextall is now the G.M

    • mebailey700 - Aug 26, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      The biggest problem for Vinny is he will have a tough time breaking into the top-6 of the flyers with Claude being the obvious #1 center and Schenn the likely #2. He doesn’t seem to play very well on the wing and with Couturier being a natural third line center the only place to slot him in would be on the fourth line. I agree with you about the comments seeming harsh though. Vinny didn’t seem to make too much of a fuss about playing on the fourth line so I don’t see where Berube’s criticism is coming from.

  2. petersteelewannabe - Aug 26, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    I would prefer Berube keep these discussions “in house”. As a former player, he of all people should know better than to chastise a player through the media. Unless I’ve missed it, I have yet to hear VL say anything that would make it seem like he is being a problem, at least publicly. There are worse problems for Philly to deal with than working out a trade to get rid of Vinny right now…

    • ibieiniid - Aug 26, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      I did read a little bit of animosity between the two in this line:

      “”First of all, he needs to come to camp in great shape,” Berube said. “Not in good shape. Great shape just like everybody else. That’s a start if he does. We’ll see at camp.””

      He didn’t say it straight up, but I imagine Vinny came to camp in sub-top shape last year, based on that comment. Then he threw me for a loop with some nicer comments after that. Idk, I’m thinking these two don’t really like each other. Just how I’m reading it. It’s definitely something I’ll be keeping an eye on the early part of this season.

      • ntvd7 - Aug 26, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        Vinny has an attitude and still thinks he’s a top center when he’s clearly not

        The sooner he gets over that the better off everyone will be…..

  3. 19inarow - Aug 26, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Messier was about the same age as Lecavalier is now, in 1994.

    • ibieiniid - Aug 26, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      he’s also Mark Messier, not Vinny Lecavalier.

      • 7mantel - Aug 26, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        That is so spot on !

      • jinx21fan - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:05 AM

        It’s always a very different game on the ice compared to 1994.

  4. kastout11 - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Vinny needs to accept that he is not the player he once was, contract aside. It stinks that Philly will have to pay their 4th line center $4.5 million, but they have to deal with it. Talent level, Vinny is a 4th line center, but his style of play does not fit here. They will not break apart Read and Couterier as their 3rd line, so if he is not on the 4th line, the only option I see is putting him on the 2nd line, even though he does not have 2nd line talent anymore. I will be interested to see what plan Berube comes up with for Vinny. This should be an exciting year for Philly and I expect a pretty deep playoff run, providing things pan out the way I think they should.

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