Vinny Lecavalier to miss at least 3-4 weeks after "back spasms" turn into a back fracture

Vinny Lecavalier to miss at least 3-4 weeks after "back spasms" turn into a back fracture

Courtesy of the Flyers, here comes the rain – no corny snow puns here, folks – to put a bit of a damper on your parade of a Philadelphia sports day.

If the 5-1 pasting they took in Dallas on Saturday afternoon wasn’t bad enough, it turns out Vinny Lecavalier is injured much worse than we thought.

General manager Paul Holmgren announced Sunday evening that Lecavalier, who missed the team’s last three games with what the Flyers originally called “back spasms,” is expected to miss at least the next three to four weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his back.

For those wondering, WebMD says a non-displaced fracture occurs when “ the bone cracks either part or all the way through but does not move and maintains its proper alignment.”

That’s a major ouch for Lecavalier, who last played two Saturdays ago in Nashville when he scored the shootout winner, and maybe even more so or the Flyers, who currently sit just a few precious points out of a playoff spot.

Along with Matt Read, Lecavalier is tied for the team lead in goals with nine. He’s also tied with Read and Sean Couturier for third on the team in points with 14.

That’s a huge piece to lose for a Flyers team that, despite its better play in the last month or so, still struggles to put the puck in the net. The Orange and Black’s average of 2.17 goals scored per game is still second worst in the entire league. They’ve scored more than three goals just seven times in 28 games.

A key to the Flyers’ resurgence has been stable line combinations but

Lecavalier’s injury puts his second line with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds into a state of limbo.

In the three games Lecavalier has missed so far due to the fracture, Schenn has slid from the wing over to his natural center position to replace Lecavalier and rookie Michael Raffl has moved up to fill the vacant wing spot to unimpressive results. Raffl has looked a bit in over his head on that line so far.

The line has been on the ice for just one of the Flyers’ seven goals scored in those three games and Raffl’s only point in that span was an assist on Couturier’s empty-net goal in Detroit on Wednesday.

In his story, the Daily News’ Frank Seravalli says that Holmgren insists the Flyers won’t look to the trade market for a replacement and will look to fill the void from within the organization.  But you’ve all heard that little diddle come from Holmgren’s mouth before so take it for what it’s worth.

But, for argument’s sake, let’s say he passes the lie detector test this time. That means someone will be called up from the Phantoms.

Hello, Tye McGinn?

I’ve read your comments. I know how much some of you love Tye McGinn. If he is indeed the one who gets the call, don’t be shocked to see him go right up onto that second line.

Even though it’s due to an unfortunate injury to another player, he or whomever else Holmgren’s magical call-up wheel lands on will have an extended period of time to prove that he deserves to be playing important minutes and should stay with the big club.

Now, go head back outside and enjoy your unexpected snow day. That is, unless you are one of those poor, poor bastards who still had to go in today. In that case, just go ahead and keep reading the site while you’re at work or school. It’ll make the day go by faster. I think.

Buccaneers promote former Eagles WR Josh Huff to active roster

Buccaneers promote former Eagles WR Josh Huff to active roster

Josh Huff is back on an NFL active roster.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are calling the wide receiver up from their practice squad to their 53-man roster. The Eagles released Huff just over a month ago following his arrest for unlawful possession of a firearm. 

The 25-year-old Huff was originally a third round pick by the Eagles in 2014. He made 48 receptions for 482 yards and four touchdowns over three seasons. He excelled on special teams, returning two kicks for touchdowns. One of those kick returns came in his penultimate game with the Eagles, a 21-10 win over the Vikings on Oct. 23. 

Huff replaces Cecil Shorts III for the Buccaneers after Shorts suffered a season-ending knee injury on Sunday in San Diego.

Meanwhile, the Eagles have filled Huff's role in the offense with rookie receivers Bryce Treggs and Paul Turner. 

MLB Notes: Red Sox acquire ace LHP Chris Sale from White Sox

MLB Notes: Red Sox acquire ace LHP Chris Sale from White Sox

OXON HILL, Md. -- All-Star ace Chris Sale is joining the reloading Boston Red Sox, leaving behind his shredded reputation with the Chicago White Sox.

Boston acquired Sale on Tuesday for a package of four prospects, including high-priced Yoan Moncada.

Sale was a top trade target at the winter meetings and the AL East champion Red Sox were getting him instead of Washington, which also pursued.

A few hours earlier, Boston got prime setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee. After that deal was announced, without tipping his hand, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said: "We're trying to win now, as you can see."

Boston acquired Sale for minor league pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, outfielder Luis Basabe and Moncada, a third baseman (see full story).

Red Sox get setup man Thornburg from Brewers for INF Shaw
OXON HILL, Md. -- The Boston Red Sox have gotten the setup man they wanted, acquiring right-hander Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers in a package that included infielder Travis Shaw.

The deal was announced Tuesday and was the first trade at baseball's winter meetings.

Milwaukee also got minor league infielder Mauricio Dubon, minor league right-hander Josh Pennington and a player to be named or $100.

The 28-year-old Thornburg will become Boston's eighth-inning guy, setting up closer Craig Kimbrel for the AL East champions. Thornburg was 8-5 with 13 saves and a 2.15 ERA in 67 games for the Brewers, striking out 90 in 67 innings.

The 26-year-old Shaw hit .242 with 16 home runs and 71 RBIs last season. He mostly played third base, and also saw time at first.

The 22-year-old Dubon hit a combined .323 and scored 101 runs between the Single-A and Double-A levels. The 21-year-old Pennington was 5-3 with a 2.86 ERA in Class A (see full story).

Yankees to retire Jeter's No 2 on May 14, last single digit
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter's No. 2 is being retired, the last of the New York Yankees' single digits.

The Yankees said Tuesday the number will be retired on May 14 before a Mother's Day game against Houston, and a plaque in his honor will be unveiled in Monument Park during the ceremony.

Jeter's number is the 21st retired by the team. He won five World Series titles and was a 14-time All-Star during a 20-season career that ended in 2014 and he is sixth in career hits with 3,465.

Jeter set Yankees records for hits, games (2,747), at-bats (11,195), doubles (544) and stolen bases (358) (see full story).