35-Year-Old Center – Philadelphia Flyers
Vincent Lecavalier Contract Information:
Signed as a free agent with the Flyers in July of 2013. The deal is for five years at $4.5 million per season.
Lecavalier got an assist in his season debut Thursday, a 4-1 loss to the Devils.
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Vincent Lecavalier: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Vincent Lecavalier.
After he was the subject of persistent trade rumors last season, Lecavalier remains in the fold for the Flyers for his second campaign. While he was used to top-line minutes during his prime in Tampa Bay, he had a difficult time adjusting to his new role on the third line in Philadelphia. With Scott Hartnell's departure to Columbus, Lecavalier will have an opportunity to audition for a wing spot on one of the top two lines, but we wouldn't hold our breath. Lecavalier's best days are behind him and his minus-17 rating last year just wasn't good enough to justify his usual ice time. Many will get drawn to his name like a moth to a light bulb and draft him earlier than they should. Let those individuals add this possible, fourth-line anchor -- we mean pivot -- on their rosters. Draft him only if you're willing to gamble.
Lecavalier signed a five-year deal with the Flyers in July. With opposing defenses likely to key in on Claude Giroux, Lecavalier should still see enough scoring opportunities to be a valid fantasy contributor. Still, exercise caution in where you draft him--the 33-year-old is not the same center who scored 52 goals in 2006-07.
Is this the year Vinny slips from fantasy relevance in standard 12-team leagues? He's a shell of the player he was right after the lockout and injuries have seen him miss significant time the past two years. We fear more of the same this time out and if we're right, Vinny will probably finish with the same point totals he had in 2010-11 (54) and 2011-12 (49). Center is deep -- a low 50s point total just doesn't make the cut, at least not as a regular activation. Yes, we're in mourning, too.
When is being a 70-point player a complete disappointment? Easy -- when your name is Vinny Lecavalier. It was but a few short seasons ago when Vinny's name was being tossed about as the best player in the game. Then along came injury, a huge anchor of a contract and disappointment after disappointment. But the reality is quite simple -- Vinny is a 70-75-point player who just happened to peak for two seasons. And those two seasons coincided with his opportunity to sign the most majestic contract of his career. Don't draft Vinny for more than 30 goals, 70 points and 50 PIMs. That's still pretty sweet considering only 24 guys hit 70 points last season. And only 28 hit 30 goals.
One word -- rebound. Lecavalier never seemed right last season or the one before. Injuries and incompetent linemates contributed to his frustrations and both his confidence and production sagged. He says he's completely healed and if that's truly the case, we could see the return of the elite centerman who was, at times, one of the NHL's top-five (if not THE top) performers as recently as 2007. Fingers crossed that both he and new wing-man Simon Gagne stay healthy -- if so, 45 goals and 90 points could easily result.
Vinny has been through a lot in the last 18 months or so. A torn labrum derailed his 2007-08. A bad wrist resulted in another offseason surgery this year. Then there was the very public battle over his big contract and the possibility of a trade. And now thereís speculation he may not be good enough to make Team Canadaís Olympic team! We think Vinny will prove everyone wrong with a major rebound season but we just donít know how fast heíll get out of the blocks this fall. His start will mean the difference between a 40-goal, 90-point effort or just another 35-80. And thatís the difference between a sure-fire first round pick and a second-round grab. Either way, itís great output. And if youíre in a keeper league, you should prey on his owner right now in an attempt to get him at 90 cents on the dollar. Talk up those injuries and the off-ice junk. You wonít regret the move.
There were times last season when Vinny was being touted as the best player in the NHL -- yes, ahead of even Alexander the Great and Sid the Kid. We're not sold on that this year -- he is coming off surgery to repair a labrum in his shoulder so a slowish start will likely be in order. But he's a definite top-five fantasy player with size and skill, so draft with confidence.
Vinny is supremely talented and one of the flashiest players in the league. Unfortunately, that flash and dash has never earned him more than 75 points in any one season. He often overhandles the puck and gets all cutesy in the offensive zone, a trait that raises the ire of his coaches and fantasy owners everywhere. Will this be the year he finally explodes offensively into a top-20 or 25 guy? Or is he merely one of the most exciting top-40ish guys you'll ever get to see? We think it's the latter so draft with your head and not your heart.
Lecavalier has finally become the franchise center he was touted to be when drafted several years ago. He helped lead his team to the Stanley Cup and then was the Team Canada's best player on the ice at the 2004 World Cup. With his extraordinary vision and buttery soft hands, Vinny's offensive (and fantasy) output is about to take a jump now the NHL's rules have been changed. And at only 25, Vinny will be one of the rulers of the NHL for a good decade more. What more could a fantasy owner want?