Well, of course that happened. The one big name free agent most really didn't think the Flyers would have a ton of interest in signs with the Philadelphia Flyers. Never a dull moment with this team, huh?
TSN's Darren Dreger, as reliable a source as any in the world when it comes to hockey news, reports that Vincent Lecavalier, the Tampa Bay Lightning star who was bought out last week, has been signed by the Philadelphia Flyers. It's a five-year contract worth $4.5 million per season, or $22.5 million in total.
Okay, pros: Vinny Lecavalier is really good. He more than replaces Danny Briere, and $4.5 million per year is more than fair for his services. He's 33 years old, so a five-year deal isn't the worst thing in the world. He'll be a very, very good hockey player for at least three of those years, if not for the whole deal.
Cons: The deal puts the Flyers right back over the salary cap. They had $4.18 million in space before the deal, and they still need to sign a starting or tandem starting goaltender. This is probably where the Braydon Coburn trade talk from the weekend comes into play, but I'd still rather trade Andrej Meszaros for a bag of pucks to get some cap savings. Once the season starts, Chris Pronger's LTIR relief will help as well.
There's also a full no-move clause in the deal, because Lecavalier was going to get that from just about any team at this stage of his career. High-powered free agents get NMCs. That's what happens.
I don't worry too much about down the road with this deal -- not like with the Mark Streit deal, at least -- because of recent reports that the cap is going to fly upwards next season and beyond. $4.5 million is less than Scott Hartnell makes. It's hard to be mad about getting Vinny friggin' Lecavalier for that money.
People will laugh at the Flyers for this, but it's not as PAUL HOLMGREN CRAZY as it seems.