Questions abound as the Flyers head into the offseason, but not with goalie Steve Mason.
Mason was superb and outplayed Henrik Lundqvist in the four games the two of them were in net together, but the Flyers ultimately fell to the Rangers in seven games.
The biggest riddle for the Flyers to solve is what to do about Vinny Lecavalier.
Coach Craig Berube tried Lecavalier at left wing. It didn’t work. He tried him at right wing. It didn’t work. Tried him at center. Didn’t work -- except on the fourth line.
Lecavalier, even at age 34, can’t be playing a fourth-line center spot. The obvious place is to bump Brayden Schenn, but he’s a young (turns 23 this summer), natural center and Berube tried this with mixed results by having Schenn as Lecavalier's winger.
Lecavalier has four years left on his deal ($4.5 million salary cap hit). His contract is virtually impossible to move. There’s too much invested in Lecavalier to have him languish as a player with less than 11 minutes playing time on a fourth line.
Berube knows that.
Unless Schenn is traded, then Lecavalier becomes Berube’s problem -- not general manager Paul Holmgren's -- to solve. That is Berube’s single biggest player “challenge” next season.
“I understand the center position is his position, and he’s a better player at center than he is on wing,” Berube said of Lecavalier. “All I can look at is that right now. He’s going to come to camp like everybody else and he’ll be evaluated then.”
That may be Berube’s way of telling Flyers management this is their problem to solve, not his, because as things stand now, Lecavalier still isn’t going to push either Schenn or Sean Couturier out of their respective spots.
The only solution is to trade Schenn, who has far more value given his age.
That, however, falls on management -- not Berube.