Flyers to Sign Vincent Lecavalier for Five Years, $22.5 Million

Flyers to Sign Vincent Lecavalier for Five Years, $22.5 Million

The Flyers just fired the first shot in free agency, and the signing period doesn’t officially begin until Friday.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Tuesday evening that the Orange & Black have come to terms with four-time All Star Vincent Lecavalier on a five-year deal worth $22.5 million, a cap hit of $4.5 million per season. The agreement includes a full no-movement clause. The organization confirmed the story, although they can’t ink the contract before July 5.

Lecavalier, 33, was amnestied by the Tampa Bay Lightning on June 27. Within two days he was already meeting with the Flyers as teams numbering in double digits were contacting the center. It was unclear how serious talks were however – until now, general manager Paul Holmgren had managed to leave the media in the dark.

Lecavalier – 6-4, 208 – has spent the entirety of his 14-year NHL career with the Lightning. The long-time Tampa captain’s best season was in 2006-07, when he led the league in goals with 52.

That’s not the player the Flyers are getting though. The first-overall pick in the 1998 NHL Draft, Lecavalier hasn’t played a full season since 09-10 due to injuries, nor has he recorded a 70-point season in equally as long. He was last chosen for the All-Star Game one year earlier. Through 39 games in 2013, Vinny posted 10 goals and 22 assists while skating just under 18 minutes per night.

In 1,037 games, Lecavalier's 383 goals ranks ninth among all active skaters, 874 points overall. He's appeared in another 63 games in the postseason as well, logging 24 scores and 28 helpers.

There’s no arguing Lecavalier is still a tremendous player. and one who brings a strong presence to the dressing room. We asked on Monday how he might fit on the ice though with the Flyers being fairly deep at center. This could open the door for a Sean Couturier trade later, or for Brayden Schenn to move to winger.

The Flyers must make additional moves to fit Lecavalier under the cap. Per Tim Panaccio, the Flyers only have $4.1 million in space, and already have qualifying offers out to several of their restricted free agents, plus still need to find a second goaltender to compete against Steve Mason.

According to reports, the front office continues to hold talks with the Edmonton Oilers about a possible swap for Braydon Coburn. Coburn’s cap figure is $4.5 million. Andrej Meszaros, on the final year of his contract, is also expendable at $4 million if anybody will have him.

It would appear this is the blockbuster move Flyers observers have been waiting for, so you can exhale. It’s hard to argue with adding a talent like Lecavalier, even if center wasn’t the club’s biggest need, and might result in one or more role players departing.

The Flyers get better with the acquisition, but does Lecavalier put them that much closer to hoisting the Stanley Cup?

Best of NBA: Curry, Warriors demolish Cavaliers, 126-91, at home

Best of NBA: Curry, Warriors demolish Cavaliers, 126-91, at home

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors certainly looked ready to trade some more blows with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers come June.

The two-time reigning MVP hit five 3-pointers and had 20 points while matching his season best with 11 assists in Golden State's 126-91 rout of the defending champs Monday.

Klay Thompson scored 26 points with five 3s, and Curry made four steals. Draymond Green produced his third triple-double of the season with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists while matching his career best with five blocks -- and had another dustup with King James in the process.

James had 20 points on 6-of-18 shooting and eight rebounds, and he and Green became the talk once more as their relationship turned even more testy.

Kevin Durant added 21 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocks for the Warriors in a much-hyped matchup merely weeks after Golden State lost 109-108 in Cleveland on Christmas (see full recap).

Thomas explodes for 17 in fourth quarter to lift Celtics over Hornets
BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas scored 17 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, and the surging Boston Celtics beat the Charlotte Hornets 108-98 on Monday night for their ninth victory in 11games.

It was Thomas' 25th straight game with 20 or more points. He's been putting up big final quarters of late -- scoring 20 or more three times this season. No other NBA player had done it more than once entering Monday.

Al Horford had 22 points, while Kelly Olynyk and Jae Crowder added 15 apiece for Boston, which has won all three meetings with Charlotte this season.

Kemba Walker scored 24 points and Marvin Williams 21 for the Hornets, who lost their fifth straight -- all on the road.

Thomas scored 13 straight points, pushing Boston ahead 93-83 with his 3-pointer from the left wing with 7 minutes left.

Boston led 80-71 entering the final period (see full recap).

Wizards remain hot with win over Trail Blazers
WASHINGTON  -- Bradley Beal scored 25 points and John Wall had 24 as the Washington Wizards took a page from the Portland Trail Blazers' playbook by hitting 13 3-pointers in a comfortable 120-101 victory on Monday afternoon.

The Wizards, who rely less on the 3-pointer than almost any NBA team, were 13 of 23 from beyond the arc in their 12th consecutive home victory. The 3-pointer-heavy Trail Blazers shot 8 of 26 on 3-point attempts.

After Washington coach Scott Brooks called Portland guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum as good as any backcourt in the league, Beal and John Wall outplayed them. Lillard led the Blazers with 22 points and McCollum had 12, but they combined to shoot 11 of 29 from the floor.

The Wizards have won four of their last five games (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Penguins halt Capitals 9-game streak with wild 8-7 OT win

Best of NHL: Penguins halt Capitals 9-game streak with wild 8-7 OT win

PITTSBURGH -- Conor Sheary scored 34 seconds into overtime and the Pittsburgh Penguins ended the Washington Capitals' nine-game winning streak with a wild 8-7 victory Monday night that included nine second-period goals.

Sheary had two goals and an assist for the Penguins, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Evgeni Malkin picked up his 11th career hat trick during a frenetic second period, and Sidney Crosby collected his NHL-leading 27th goal to go with two assists. Bryan Rust and Nick Bonino also scored for Pittsburgh, and Matt Murray got the win despite allowing seven goals on 28 shots.

The Penguins trailed 3-0 before scoring six goals in less than 11 minutes in the second period, more goals than the Capitals had allowed in a game all season. Pittsburgh led 6-5 after 40 minutes.

Lars Eller scored twice for Washington, and T.J. Oshie, Brett Connolly, Nicklas Backstrom, Justin Williams and Andre Burakovsky also found the net. Philipp Grubauer made eight saves after coming on in relief of Braden Holtby, who was pulled during Pittsburgh's second-period deluge (see full recap).

Eichel scores twice to give Sabres' 4-1 win over Stars
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Jack Eichel scored two goals and the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Dallas Stars 4-1 on Monday.

Tyler Ennis scored 19 seconds into the first period. Ennis returned after missing 30 games with a groin injury that required surgery.

Jake McCabe also had a goal and Robin Lehner made 31 saves after missing the past three games with an illness.

The Sabres snapped a two-game losing streak and beat the Stars for the first time in four matchups.

Radek Faksa scored for the Stars in the opener of a three-game road trip. Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 shots. Dallas has lost two in a row and six of eight (see full recap).

Bishop anchors Lightning to 2-1 win over Kings
LOS ANGELES -- Brian Boyle scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning opened a six-game road trip with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.

Ben Bishop made an early mistake that led to Kyle Clifford's goal for the Kings, but bounced back to make 31 saves in his second start back from a three-week absence with a lower-body injury.

Tyler Johnson scored in the first period for the Lightning, who won for just the second time in seven games.

Peter Budaj stopped 27 shots for the Kings.

Both teams played without stars due to illness. Kings captain Anze Kopitar missed his first game since Nov. 20, and All-Star defenseman Victor Hedman missed his first game of the season for Tampa Bay (see full recap).