TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the Philadelphia Flyers have reportedly agreed upon a five-year, $4.5 million per season contract with former Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lecavalier cannot officially sign with the Flyers until July 5, but at this stage if he’s agreed to this deal, he’s effectively off the market. This move eats up the remainder of the Flyers $4.181 million cap space and puts them in the red, though under the CBA they’re allowed in the off-season to go over the cap by up to ten percent of the ceiling. If they’re still over the cap when the season begins, they’ll get some relief by placing Chris Pronger on long-term injury reserve, enabling them to be cap compliant.
Once again, another bold move by Flyer GM Paul Holmgren, but will it work out? Lecavalier is still a talented center, but he’s lost a step and in recent years was hampered by wrist and shoulder injuries. At this stage he may no longer be a reliably effective first line center. The dollars aren’t bad but the length of the deal could become a problem if his play noticeably deteriorates over that time. Still, because he’s 33, if he retires before the deal expires he’ll come off their books with no cap penalty.
It’s a gamble by Holmgren, especially when he’s reportedly in the market for a veteran goalie, but one he evidently believes will work out. Say what you will about Holmgren, but few GMs in the league can thrive so dangerously close to the cap ceiling year after year and still ice a competitive team.