It was only the first practice of the season, but the Flyers liked what they saw from new linemates Vincent Lecavalier and Wayne Simmonds.
“I thought [Lecavalier] looked great,” GM Paul Holmgren said, as per NHL.com. “He was out there a lot with Wayne and the two of them seemed to have some chemistry right away. They both like to control the puck down low and they can move around.”
Head coach Peter Laviolette was equally effusive with his praise.
“To get him out there in that first group, to see a big body like that moving up and down the middle of the ice, I thought he looked terrific,” Laviolette said. “His skating was great.
“You can tell that he came here and he wants to dig in and enjoy this, and the way he’s working and the way he’s fitting in with the guys, he’s going to be a big piece for us this year.”
Lecavalier, 33, does bring a physical dimension the Flyers haven’t had at the center position in recent years. The 6-foot-4, 208-pound veteran often uses his strength to ward off defenders and create space for others.
Simmonds, who was one of Philly’s bright spots in an otherwise disappointing 2013 campaign, projects to open on the second line as Lecavalier’s winger, along with Brayden Schenn.
It’s a nice fit for Lecavalier, a noted table-setter.
Simmonds, who has scored at a 0.34 goals-per-game clip in each of the last two seasons, should be pushing for his first 30-goal campaign with Lecavalier in the middle.