Maybe it's all just wishful thinking, but for the second day in a row, Vincent Lecavalier's name has been involved in trade rumors and/or speculation. Is there a chance that Lecavalier finds his way to Nashville to play under newly-installed head coach Peter Laviolette?
First, we have this on Tuesday from CBC's Elliotte Friedman:
Pure speculation on my part, absolute guesswork: Paul Holmgren said this week one of the reasons Vincent Lecavalier struggled is because Peter Laviolette, who recruited him, left, and Lecavalier wasn't a fit in Craig Berube's system. Is there a trade fit now that Laviolette is in Nashville? Flyers would probably have to eat a good chunk of his salary, but Holmgren and Poile have a history of getting deals done.
Again, Friedman says it's purely speculation, but it does make a lot of sense.
Then on Wednesday, we have this from Sun Media's Chris Stevenson:
Hearing Vincent Lecavalier to the Predators to reunite with Laviolette is a possibility. Laviolette apparently pushed for him in Philly.— Chris Stevenson (@CJ_Stevenson) May 7, 2014
That's two days of this coming up in a row now from two different media people. And again, it all makes sense. It's no surprise that Peter Laviolette played a big role in Lecavalier coming to Philadelphia last summer, and now-former general manager Paul Holmgren alluded to that last week when talking about Vinny's tough 2013-14 season.
"I think a lot of things went against him this year," Homer said. "Some of it revolves around the coaching thing. Peter was part of the recruitment process when we went to New York to get him. I think a lot of things that Peter Laviolette said to Vinny steered him toward coming to the Flyers. And then there’s a coaching change, a complete change in style."
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Lecavalier would have felt more comfortable playing this full season under Peter Laviolette than he did under Craig Berube. That seems obvious at this point.
It's also pretty clear that he's a square peg in a round hole here, whether you look at his awful numbers from this past season -- possession-wise, he was worse than every player on the team aside from Zac Rinaldo and Adam Hall -- or how he dragged his linemates down with him -- here's an example of how he did that to Brayden Schenn -- or his eventual demotion to the fourth line. It just didn't work out and there's no guarantee he becomes anything more than a power play specialist here, especially with the well-publicized logjam at center the Flyers have.
You could certainly foresee him waiving his no-movement clause to go play under Laviolette again, and Nashville's big issues has always been offense. The Flyers would certainly have to eat some salary, but it's a simple question: Eat some of the money and get something in return, or pay a fourth liner $4.5 million against the salary cap for four more seasons?
Let's hope there's some reality to this talk, because it's clear which option is better.