Is it possible for the Flyers to trade Lecavalier?

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Is it possible for the Flyers to trade Lecavalier?

Coach Craig Berube struggled to find a suitable place for center Vinny Lecavalier. General Manager Ron Hextall could be facing a similar challenge.

TSN hockey analyst Darren Dreger reported the Flyers are now interested in dealing the 34-year-old center after just one year in Philadelphia, and with the organization fresh out of compliance buyouts (see: Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere), the Flyers would have to find a suitable partner for an offseason swap.

To facilitate a trade, first and foremost, the Flyers would have to eat a portion of Lecavalier’s salary. He’s due $16.5 million over the next four years, including $6 million for 2014-15, and under current CBA guidelines, the Flyers could retain as much as 50 percent. Assuming they’re willing to do that, the acquiring team would pay Lecavalier $8.25 over four years, which would give general managers something to seriously consider.

The $4.5 cap hit is completely transferrable, so the benefit for the Flyers is two-fold: creating some needed cap space, and opening up a spot on the active roster -- addition by subtraction. The return for the Flyers would have to be minimal. It’s a far reach to think the Flyers would receive a younger player in return, so the asking price should be nothing more than a draft pick.

Secondly, Lecavalier would have to be completely willing to waive his no-movement clause with no strings attached. If Lecavalier comes up with a short list of teams, then it could easily kill any potential deal. But the most difficult component of a trade will be finding a team and GM that still believe Lecavalier has some productive years left while remaining healthy into his mid-to late-30s. Where should Hextall start his search? Here’s a few potential destinations:

Nashville: This may seem like the obvious connection now that Peter Laviolette is behind the Predators' bench. It was Lavy’s up-tempo system that was a real selling point for Lecavalier here in Philadelphia. The Predators are desperate for a scoring center and GM David Poile likes a bargain if the Flyers agree to pick up half of Lecavalier's contract.

Ottawa: The Senators could be in the market for a first- and/or second-line center, especially if they elect to deal captain Jason Spezza, who has reportedly asked management for a trade. Adding to the Senators' concerns, they currently have just four forwards signed after next season.

Florida: After spending his first 14 seasons in Tampa, Lecavalier could see returning to Florida as an enticing option. The Panthers, too, are desperate for centermen. Like Ottawa, Florida has a lot of holes on its roster after 2014-15. Lecavalier’s wicked one-timer from the right circle would give a boost to the league’s worst power play that connected on just 10 percent last season.

Dallas: Last year, the Stars were one of the teams reportedly in hot pursuit of Lecavalier. Outside of the deadly combination of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, the Stars would like to find some secondary scoring. Dallas finished 23rd on the power play last season, and they too could benefit from Lecavalier’s presence.

Calgary: Another team in dire need of talented players is the Flames, and Brian Burke has shown a preference for big, skilled centers. Cap space isn’t an issue with over $30 million of room, and for much of last season the Flames were a competitive team that couldn’t get over the hump. Right now, Matt Stajan is Calgary’s highest-paid center at just over $3 million/season.

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rickard Rakell broke a tie with his second goal with 2:34 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped Boston's four-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins on Wednesday night.

Rakell also scored in the second period for the Ducks and has 24 goals in his outstanding season. Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first victory since Jan. 23.

Frank Vatrano scored the tying goal in the third period for the Bruins, who hadn't lost since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7. Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara scored early goals, and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots.

Anaheim beat Boston for the seventh straight time (see full recap).

Rare goal from Russell lifts Oilers over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kris Russell's goal with 7:58 left was his first in more than a year and lifted the Edmonton Oilers over Florida 4-3 on Wednesday night to snap the Panthers' five-game winning streak.

Russell's goal was his first since Feb. 11, 2016, when he played for Calgary. He went goalless in his first 48 games with the Oilers.

Fellow defenseman Oscar Klefbom also scored for Edmonton, as did forwards Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Connor McDavid, who came into the night leading the NHL scoring race, had an assist on Russell's goal.

Aleksander Barkov, Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida. Keith Yandle had two assists for the Panthers, giving him 400 points for his career.

Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots for the Oilers, who have won their last eight games at Florida -- last losing on the Panthers' ice in 2002. James Reimer made 31 saves for the Panthers, who just completed a 5-0-0 road trip (see full recap).

Another solid effort for Flyers not enough in loss to NHL-best Capitals

Another solid effort for Flyers not enough in loss to NHL-best Capitals

BOX SCORE

You see it in their faces. Feel it in their voices.
 
And you wonder how it affects them night after night.
 
The Flyers played another pretty solid loss, as they say, Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals at Wells Fargo Center.
 
A lot closer than 4-1 makes it appear (see Instant Replay). It was a lot like that solid loss last week in Calgary, too.
 
“Maybe a little bit similar,” coach Dave Hakstol said. “Our effort was good start to finish. There’s always a couple mistakes you make you want to clean up and do better. I thought tonight we had more opportunities than we did in the Calgary game.”
 
They had more goals, too. Except two got taken away.
 
One for goalie interference. The other hit the crossbar and even after a long celebration and delay, was ruled no good.
 
That’s been the Flyers’ no-luck this season. It’s all gone wrong for them as their wild-card aspirations slip further away.
 
“It’s very frustrating,” team captain Claude Giroux said. “Same story. We need to find a way here. We say the same thing after each game. I like the way we’re playing.
 
“We played a good hockey game, not good enough. We have a challenge in front of us. In the past, we’ve been a team that doesn’t back down. We have to keep our heads high and battling.”
 
The Flyers had the right approach, coming out fast and aggressive on the Caps. In fact, Jakub Voracek scored 23 seconds into the game during a net scrum.
 
Thing was, Caps coach Barry Trotz correctly saw goalie interference as Dale Weise actually pushed Braden Holtby aside. It was an easy coach’s challenge to overturn the goal and that’s what happened.
 
Weise was beside himself after the game.
 
“What I was trying to do was brace myself so I didn’t bowl him over and it comes back the other way,” Weise said.
 
“I don’t know what else to do there. I’m trying to poke the puck with one hand and brace myself so I don’t hit him.”
 
Naturally, six minutes later, Brandon Manning turned a puck over along the boards with T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin and it resulted in Nick Backstrom getting a great setup in the high slot for a 1-0 Caps’ lead.
 
“Even after that, we came back and played well and had good chances,” Weise said. “It’s the same story every night. We don’t capitalize on it and give up a few chances and they score on their opportunities.”
 
That’s when frustration seeped in on the Flyers and the penalties began to mount. Sean Couturier tried to get away with an elbow. Didn’t work.
 
The Caps dazzled the Flyers with brilliant puck movement, culminating with Evgeny Kuznetsov’s goal to make it 2-0 at 16:28. He had two goals in the game.
 
While that could have ruined them, the Flyers came out hard in the second as Ivan Provorov appeared to score in the opening minute. However, replay confirmed his shot hit the crossbar. Two near-goals for the Flyers.
 
“I shot it and saw that [the puck] went up and I didn’t hear a sound,” Provorov said. “I thought it went in.”
 
No matter. Manning atoned for his first-period miscue by saving a puck from leaving the zone and then firing on net where Brayden Schenn scored a rare five-on-five goal by batting the puck out of the air to cut the Flyers’ deficit in half.
 
Of Schenn’s 19 goals, 14 have come on the power play.
 
Giroux’s line with Schenn and Wayne Simmonds consisted of the Flyers’ only players on the right side of the plus-minus category. And to show how deceiving that can be, Voracek worked his tail off, too, but was minus-3.
 
That’s how it goes these days for this group.
 
“It’s been a lot of games where it’s been one- or two-goal hockey games and it’s tough to do,” Schenn said. “We’re generating shots, but I don’t know if we’re generating enough chances.
 
“At the end of the day, you feel you play hard and a pretty good hockey game and end up scoring one goal again. Whether it’s 3-1, 4-1, you score one goal, you won’t win many hockey games.”
 
The Flyers are 3-6-1 since coming out of the All-Star break. Of those seven total losses, including overtime, they have scored more than one goal just once.
 
“We’ve got to rise above it, each and every one of us,” Hakstol said. “Get back at it. And that is what this group has continually done. We have to do that one more time here.”