Tag: Vinny Lecavalier

Craig Berube

Berube surprised by firing: ‘I expected to come back and coach again’


To hear Craig Berube explain it, his dismissal in Philadelphia came as a bit of a shock.

“I think yeah, you’re always surprised when you get let go,” Berube told Philly’s 94WIP Morning Show on Tuesday. “I expected to come back and coach again.

“Decisions are made, Ron [Hextall, Flyers GM] has to do what’s best for the hockey team and that’s what he did.”

Berube, who inherited the Flyers gig from Peter Laviolette three games into the 2013-14 campaign, went 75-58-28 over the course of two seasons, making the postseason in ’14 before falling short this year.

As both he and Hextall suggested, missing the dance led to his dismissal.

“Well I just think that, like he [Hextall] said, I didn’t get enough out of the team,” Berube said. “He believed it was a playoff team and I do believe it was a playoff team too, but there was some stuff.

“Injuries, different situations that came up that costs us the playoffs and a lot of times it comes down to the coach.”

As for the “stuff” Berube’s referring to? Well, his handling of starting goalie Steve Mason — and, to a lesser degree, dismissed goalie coach Jeff Reese — came under scrutiny this season, as did his relationship with veteran center Vinny Lecavalier. The Flyers also had a subpar penalty kill (77.1 percent, fourth-worst in the NHL) and took the 11th-most penalties in the league, though their disciplinary issues did improve from Berbube’s first year on the job to his second.

All those issues seemed to pale in comparison to underachieving, however. Hextall wasn’t alone in thinking the Flyers were a playoff team — owner Ed Snider was pretty outspoken about his belief Philly should’ve been in the postseason as well.

“It’s not like we don’t have pieces,” Snider said, per Philly.com. “Now the question is, do we want those pieces to just die on the vine? And go for a long-range plan? And eventually they’re gone? Who’s going to replace them?

“So there’s a question of potential trades, free-agent signings, draft picks surprising you. I don’t like to give the impression that, ‘Hey, we aren’t going to win.’ It’s Ron’s job to analyze why. Why did this same team that made the playoffs fall?”

Is Lecavalier offering to retire early to facilitate trade out of Philly?


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

Flyers announce Simmonds, MacDonald done for the season with injuries


The Philadelphia Flyers may have scored a convincing win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, but the good news ended there.

The Flyers announced afterward that forward Wayne Simmonds, who scored his 28th goal of the season earlier in the evening, and defenseman Andrew MacDonald were both done for the season due to injuries suffered against the Blackhawks.

In Simmonds’ case, he suffered a lower-body injury. MacDonald suffered an upper-body injury.

But surely as the evening continued, more details have leaked out.

From CSN Philadelphia:

The injuries leave two roster spots open. Vinny Lecavalier is currently the only healthy extra player at the Flyers’ disposal. Defenseman Luke Schenn has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury and forward R.J. Umberger had season-ending surgery last week on his hip and abdomen.

The team could recall Brandon Manning, who was just returned to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms last week after a short stint with the FLyers, to take MacDonald’s place. Forwards Jason Akeson, Scott Laughton and Petr Straka could be called up as an extra option on offense.