The recent void left by playoff hero Danny Briere has been filled. GM Paul Holmgren can now sleep easy.
The Philadelphia Flyers announced Monday that they have signed former Tampa Bay forward Vincent Lecavalier. The contract is reportedly worth $22.5 million over five years. Lecavalier was bought out by his former team recently, having played 14 seasons with the club. A dozen teams were said to be in on Lecavalier, who choose the Flyers as his final destination. Many claim that the presence of top-line center Claude Giroux pleased Lecavalier, who did not want to encumber said burden.
Lecavalier was selected first overall in the 1999 draft. Over his Tampa career, Lecavalier scored 383 goals in 1,037 games played. His best season came in 2006-07, when he scored a whopping 52 goals in 82 games played. Lecavalier has also wreaked havoc in the postseason, scoring 24 playoff goals in 63 games. Last year, the captain played in 39 contests, recording 10 goals and 32 points overall.
In a weak free agent class, Lecavalier was touted as the top name on the list. The Flyers won the bidding war for the proven star, albeit at a premium cost. Lecavalier will slot in nicely in the Flyers’ top six, playing as the second-line center. This one-two punch with Giroux will undoubtedly improve the Flyers goal-scoring, possibly putting them among the top three in the league. Lecavalier, along with the newly-signed Mark Streit, have surely placed the Flyers back into the playoff conversation, and even for Stanley Cup contention.