Former Bolts captain Vincent Lecavalier is in the media doghouse after a unsuccessful first season in Philadelphia.
It’s disappointing because he seemed to be on the upswing in his final season in Tampa, and after chasing a chance for playing for coach Peter Laviolette, his coach he wanted to play for was canned.
So was his season.
The Flyers righted its ship with Vinny flailing in the wind, certainly not as one of the ship’s sails.
Randy Miller from NJ.com called up former Flyer Jeremy Roenick to ask what would cure a superstar whose stock has plummeted down to fourth-line minutes. Roenick, as always, was blunt:
“He has to want to protect his image and how he’s going to be remembered as a player,” Roenick said. “He has the ability to do that, but he has to find his fuck you again.”
Roenick continues to say how much he realizes he wasn’t caring as much as he should when he had that terrible season after the 2004-05 lockout with the Los Angeles Kings and once he gave a fuck again, an indeterminable amount, he started playing better finishing up his career in Phoenix and San Jose. I mean, clearly Vinny gives a shit, but he needs to be in a “fuck you” mode, which is the difference between putting in some effort and being a workhorse and letting nobody getting in your way.
I honesty wish there would be a weekly NHL on HBO, allowing Roenick and other hockey analysts to just go off 24/7 style. The 14-year-old in me still smiles when I hear a “fuckin’ a” slip through the game action mics from the players
Anyway,Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal also ponders if Lecavalier could be one of those double buyout victims, too:
Can Vincent Lecavalier be a buyout victim in Philadelphia? The Tampa Bay Lightning used a compensatory buyout (which doesn’t count against the salary cap). Now, one year into a five-year, $22.5-million package with the Flyers, he’s reduced to playing eight minutes and 45 seconds (10 shifts, only four minutes and change over the last 40 minutes) in the biggest game of the season for Philadelphia — Game 7 vs. the New York Rangers. A fourth-line centre making $6 million this season and next? The Flyers used their two allowed “get-of-jail cards” on goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and forward Danny Briere last year.
I don’t see that happening, really. It’s the first year of a five-year contract, his coach was fired, his role was changed and he had a fractured vertebrae, which is not an easy injury to come back from. Think about all the power that you drive from your back while on skates?
Now that Laviolette has a job in Nashville, Elliotte Friedman threw out there in his 30 Thoughts that maybe GM Paul Holmgren can send Vinny to Music City:
11. Pure speculation on my part, absolute guesswork: Paul Holmgren said this week one of the reasons Vincent Lecavalier struggled is because Peter Laviolette, who recruited him, left, and Lecavalier wasn’t a fit in Craig Berube’s system. Is there a trade fit now that Laviolette is in Nashville? Flyers would probably have to eat a good chunk of his salary, but Holmgren and Poile have a history of getting deals done.
Vinny is confident he can bring it next season, according to CSN Philadelphia:
“I believe in myself,” Lecavalier said. “I believe in what I can do. I’ve gotten kind of a freak injury this year with the cracked vertebrae. I’ve got crosschecked there about 500 times in my career if not more, and for some reason it cracks. It’s not because of old age, you know what I mean?
“I believe in what I can do. I missed 13 games. I believe I can bring [better] numbers for sure.”
Don’t dream about a return to Tampa either. The Bolts spent the second most in the league toward the cap, right behind Washington, and Ryan Callahan’s acquisition clearly showed that general manager Steve Yzerman is looking for grit and toughness and not flash-and-dash.
Or as J.R. said, players who’ve found their “fuck you.”
(Updated: May 6, 2014)