Vinny Lecavalier

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 “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.

You should buy Vinny Lecavalier’s house


According to, former Lightning star Vinny Lecavalier is selling his Tampa mansion, listing the 7,636-square-foot “Mediterranean-style home” for $4.45 million.




As you can see by the pictures, you should totally buy this house. It has dock access. For your boat. And a climate-controlled wine room. For all your wine. And a workout room you enter through a trapdoor in the library. For working out.

Umberger: ‘I feel like I’ve let Hextall down’


The Flyers acquired R.J. Umberger from the Columbus Blue Jackets along with a 2015 fourth-round draft pick in exchange for Scott Hartnell over the summer and so far that move hasn’t worked out for Philadelphia. If you want evidence of that, you need only watch tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars and notice the absence of Umberger, who will instead be in the press box.

Umberger, who initially broke into the NHL as a Flyer before spending six seasons with Columbus, has reached or surpassed the 50-point mark on three separate occasions, but he’s been limited to nine goals and 15 points in 67 games in 2014-15. Meanwhile, Hartnell has 43 points and 88 penalty minutes in 60 contests with Columbus.

“When things aren’t going well, that’s [the comparison to Hartnell] added pressure. You feel that,” Umberger told the Courier-Post. “I think the biggest thing that’s bothered me is that I feel like I’ve let (general manager Ron) Hextall down. He believed in me bringing me here and I feel like I just haven’t been the player for him that he needs.”

It’s worth noting that while he’s being regarded as a healthy scratch, he doesn’t appear to be 100 percent. He has been seen moving with a limp and has a somewhat bloodshot eye. Umberger, who has set an unwanted career-high by going 18 games without a goal, doesn’t want to use that as an excuse though.

“Everybody has injuries,” Umberger said.

Vinny Lecavalier will be inserted into the lineup as a fourth liner while Zac Rinaldo will move up to the third line due to Umberger’s absence.

Umberger comes with a $4.6 million annual cap hit and is signed through 2016-17.