Report: Lecavalier-to-Nashville deal falls through


Earlier today, Brough wrote about the pressure Nashville GM David Poile’s under to land a top center.

Today, Poile reportedly came close to pulling it off — in the form of Philadelphia’s Vincent Lecavalier.

From CSN Philly:

On Monday, the Flyers nearly had a deal with Nashville that would have seen the Predators take Lecavalier’s $4.5 million salary off the Flyers’ hands.

What — if anything — the Flyers would have got in returns remains muddled, but in the end the deal fell apart.

According to a league source, the Preds were willing to take the full cap hit for two of Lecavalier’s remaining four years but not the entire contract.

Another league source said Flyers general manager Ron Hextall spent most of Monday trying to find a deal for Lecavalier.

Lecavalier, 34, has been on the block for a while — TSN reported before to the draft that Philly granted permission for his agent, Kent Hughes, to find a trade partner prior to July 1. That date’s a key one as it’s when the Flyers owe Lecavalier a $2 million bonus, one they’d obviously prefer not to pay if they plan to part ways with the ex-Lightning captain this summer.

And parting ways seems like it’s going to happen.

Things have been slowly building up to this point — Lecavalier, signed under the pretense he’d be a good fit in Peter Laviolette’s offensively-inclined system, struggled under Craig Berube and was demoted to the fourth line late in the season, which prompted this:

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 next year.

Now, that script seems to be flipped. With Lecavalier set to earn $6 million in salary next season (and another $2M via bonus, as mentioned above), it sounds as though the organization simply wants to get out from under a deal that carries a $4.5 million annual cap hit until 2018.

It’s those numbers, though, that seem to have torpedoed a deal with the Preds. Though they’re borderline desperate to add an offensively-minded center — especially after Jason Spezza rebuffed their advances over the weekend — the Preds clearly had a tough time stomaching all of Lecavalier’s cap hit and salary…and it’s hard to blame them, especially following a year in which Vinny had just 37 points in 69 games with a minus-16 rating.

Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

Peter Chiarelli
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It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

You can see and hear his full comments below:

If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

Is he right to take that Netflix-and-chill approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.

Slump busters: Simmonds, Couturier end long scoring droughts in win over Rangers


It’s been a good few days to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, as their team delivered not once, but twice during Thanksgiving weekend.

The Flyers picked up a 3-2 OT win over the Predators on Friday before shutting out the New York Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.

It was a good afternoon for three players in particular.

Both Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier ended long scoring slumps.

Simmonds’ two goals were his first in seven games, while Couturier scored for the first time in his last 13 contests.

Goaltender Steve Mason also had a solid outing against the Rangers.

The 27-year-old turned aside all 24 shots he faced including this great save on Dominic Moore:

The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Schultz to an upper-body injury in the first period after he took a big hit from Dylan McIlrath.

Luke Schenn defended his fallen teammate by dropping the gloves with McIlrath, which didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

The Rangers are now on a season-high three-game losing streak. Their lack of effort has to be concerning for their head coach Alain Vigneault.

The Flyers outshot the Rangers 30-14 over the final 40 minutes.

Video: Flyers lose Schultz after big hit from McIlrath


It looks like the injury bug has taken another chunk out of the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Flyers, who are already without Mark Streit, Ryan White and R.J. Umberger, have now lost Nick Schultz to injury.

Schultz left Saturday’s game against the Rangers in the first period after taking a hit from Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath.

Luke Schenn went after McIlrath right after he delivered the hit and both players dropped the gloves.

Schultz did not return.

You can watch the entire sequence by clicking on the video at the top of the page.

The 33-year-old has just one assist in 23 games, but he leads the Flyers in blocked shots with 54.

Goalie nods: Bernier has a ‘huge’ opportunity to prove himself vs. Caps

Jonathan Bernier
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Jonathan Bernier hasn’t been very good in ’15-16, but he’ll have a great opportunity to right the ship on Saturday night.

Facing the Washington Capitals is never an easy task if you’re a goaltender, of course, but Bernier can’t afford to be picky with his chances.

The 27-year-old is still looking for his first win of the season, as he has an overall record of 0-7-1. His 3.17 goals-against-average and a .895 save percentage are just as bad as his record.

Starter James Reimer is out tonight after suffering an injury in practice and although Bernier probably can’t win the starting job with just one good game, a solid performance would go a long way.

He’ll go head-to-head with Capitals goalie Braden Holtby.


Cory Schneider will face the Habs for the second time in two nights. The Canadiens will do the same with Mike Condon. Montreal beat New Jersey, 3-2, in a shootout on Friday.

-The Islanders have yet to confirm a starter, but they’ll likely go up against Ben Bishop on Saturday night.

-Expect Linus Ullmark to go up against Pekka Rinne when the Sabres and Predators clash in Nashville. Rinne is on a season-high four-game losing streak.

-The Oilers may turn to Anders Nilsson against the Penguins. Pittsburgh will decide between giving Marc-Andre Fleury two starts in two nights or going with Jeff Zatkoff.

-The Stars, like Pittsburgh, will have to decide if they want to give Antti Niemi a second game in two nights. They will be going up against Darcy Kuemper, who will be making just his second start of the season.

Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start in Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. He was solid in a 2-1 OT win over the Penguins on Friday night. The Blues will counter with starter Jake Allen.

-The Jets have yet to confirm a starter in Denver. They’ll be going up against Semyon Varlamov, who was pulled in Wednesday’s game against Ottawa after he allowed three goals on 15 shots.

Craig Anderson will look to win his fifth straight game when the Senators take on Arizona. The ‘Yotes still haven’t named a starter.

Jonas Hiller is likely to get the start against San Jose, while the Sharks will definitely be countering with starter Martin Jones. The Sharks goaltender is coming off a loss to the ‘Hawks, but previously won five in a row.

Scott Darling will put his 2-2-1 record on the line against the Kings. Jonathan Quick will probably be between the pipes for the Kings. Quick has a 7-15-1 record against the ‘Hawks in his career.