The Contrarian – Drooling at the Chance

Demetri Fragopoulos

2016-01-10

So why wouldn't a team be in a hurry to dump a massive contract like that of Vincent Lecavalier?

A whole lot of people were pleasantly shocked by the events of the past week. There were some trades made and now we have something tangible to discuss.

Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn for Jordan Weal and a third-round pick plus money retained

SB Nation’s BroadStreetHockey claimed that this was a win for the Flyers. Why?

They moved a defenseman that they were unlikely to resign, along with an aging forward that was keeping a press box seat warm and burning a hole in the Flyers’ wallet. They did clear up some cap space and they got a young player back that at least has a chance to play for them.

The author, Charlie O’Connor, does state “Schenn was a fairly useful player in Philadelphia, even if he never lived up to his pedigree. His even strength puck possession statistics (-1.13% Corsi Relative) put him in the range of a serviceable third pairing defenseman, and he even finished in the black during the 2012-13 and 2014-15 seasons,” but, “never seemed an ideal fit for the up-tempo Dave Hakstol neutral zone system.” The current success of the Flyer defensive prospects allowed Ron Hextall an opportunity to move Schenn.

So a serviceable defenseman, in a league that has many teams searching for defensive depth help, was traded for a pick and a young player who has done well in the AHL but not in the NHL yet. I will stress that Weal has potential, but it has not been realized yet. Will it be realized? I leave this as an open question for now.

The victory comes from the fact that they moved a bad contract and only that. If Lecavalier was going to retire after the conclusion of this season anyway, then they wouldn’t need to buy him out.

If they needed to make this move now, it was so they could breathe a little bit and not lose someone that they really do want to keep.

It just goes to show that even when a team feels that they have the chance to win a Cup, they put their future in jeopardy when they spend to the cap. Sure it is a buddy-buddy deal, but it is hardly a win in my books.

There has been some sentiment about how this gives Lecavalier one more chance to earn another Cup ring. I’ll point you back to an