The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have inked Chris VandeVelde to a multi-year extension.
The terms of the contract weren’t released by the team, but it’s a two-year deal worth about $1.4 million, per the Philadelphia Daily News’ Frank Seravalli. He was coming off of a one-year, two-way contract that was worth $575K at the NHL level.
Going into the 2014-15 campaign, VandeVelde spent parts of the previous four seasons in the NHL, but he had never logged more than 18 games in a single season. He was able to firmly establish himself with Philadelphia though, scoring nine goals and 15 points in 72 contests. He logged 11:43 minutes per game, including an average of 1:41 minutes in shorthanded situations.
Philadelphia doesn’t have a lot of vacancies left on its roster and its cap position is fairly healthy. That being said, the Flyers still need to re-sign restricted free agent Michael Del Zotto and find an understudy for starting goaltender Steve Mason.
Craig Berube doesn’t think “it’s an effort thing” with Vincent Lecavalier; the Flyers’ head coach just doesn’t believe the 34-year-old is well-suited to playing center in Philadelphia’s system.
Because playing that role requires a lot of effort, you see.
“In the middle of the ice in our system, it’s a lot of work,” Berube said. “You have to skate and get back and play both ends of the ice.”
Possible translation: Lecavalier’s trying. He just can’t do it like he used to.
Saturday versus San Jose, Lecavalier will play the right side of a line centered by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, with Chris VandeVelde on the left side.
And after being a healthy scratch for three straight games, all it took for him to get back into the lineup was for Wayne Simmonds to break a leg.
Is Lecavalier offering to retire early to facilitate trade out of Philly?
Much to his relief, Lecavalier will start season at center
Very interesting comment from the agent of unhappy Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier.
“The situation hasn’t met either side’s expectations in Philadelphia,” Kent Hughes told NJ Advance Media. “If Vinny wants the opportunity to end a fantastic career on a good note, it’s not going to happen so long as Craig Berube is head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. I’m sure if Vinny found a good environment … an opportunity to go to a new team and end on a good note, I wouldn’t be surprised if he retired before finishing the term of his deal.”
Lecavalier, 34, is signed for three more seasons at a cap hit of $4.5 million. If he were to retire early, his team would not be stuck with his cap hit.
Lecavalier has seven goals and 11 assists in 51 games this season, while averaging just 12:48 of ice time. He last played March 17 in Vancouver and has been a healthy scratch in the three games since.
A four-time All-Star, Lecavalier’s most common linemates in 2014-15 have been fourth-liners Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Chris VandeVelde.
Related: You should buy Vinny Lecavalier’s house