Updated: 8:51 p.m.
Vinny Lecavalier’s agent, Kent Hughes, spoke with Flyers general manager Ron Hextall recently and says he laid out a scenario of why this may not work for both his client and the club.
Hextall admitted Friday he had a candid conversation on what to do about a guy making $4.5 million and playing less than double-digit minutes on some nights, but isn’t sure what’s next.
“I’ve had discussions with [Hughes] but I’m not going to discuss where it’s going because quite frankly I don’t know,” Hextall said. “It’s something we’ll deal with internally here and when we come up with something we’ll let you guys know.”
Hughes said he told the Flyers that Lecavalier is not asking for a trade right now.
Lecavalier has a no-movement clause and can request a trade to a handful of clubs. Hughes told CSNPhilly.com he has not given the Flyers a list of teams, but one league source said the Flyers are aware of what would satisfy Lecavalier and they are looking to move him.
The Flyers came into Friday with $6.5 million salary cap space and now that’s reduced $2 million with the re-signing of defenseman Kimmo Timonen (see story).
If Lecavalier could be moved, it would free up valuable dollars to fortify the defense, which is still too slow and older than it was last season given Erik Gustafsson’s departure.
TSN first reported that Hextall and Hughes had spoken and discussed options.
“If [Craig] Berube wants him as a fourth-line center, Philly is not going to pay him those dollars but we haven’t specifically asked for a trade nor have they come to us saying they want to trade him,” Hughes told CSNPhilly.com.
Hughes said he also told Hextall that when his client signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract last summer with the Flyers, it was noted with then coach Peter Laviolette that Lecavalier could play right wing, if needed, but not left wing, which Berube had Lecavalier at for parts of the season.
The left wing experiment was a disaster.
“We all know they don’t want to pay him $4.5 million to be a fourth-line player,” Hughes said. “Going forward, I imagine we will be hearing from them. If not, then we go forward with next season.”
Hughes said Hextall seemed “neutral” right now and wanted to “think this through” before making any decision on a trade.
If the Flyers re-sign Brayden Schenn –- as Hextall reiterated they intend to do -- and keep him at center, then the prudent decision next is to move Lecavalier, which won’t be easy given his age (turns 35 next season) and cap hit.
The Lecavalier contract represents the biggest headache outgoing GM Paul Holmgren left for Hextall to resolve this offseason.
“There’s not much to all of this at this point, but that’s not to say there won’t be in the future,” Hughes said.
Schenn and Emery
Hextall said he was playing phone tag with Schenn’s agent -- Newport Sports and Don Meehan -- on getting a new contract. Schenn is a restricted free agent.
“I have not talked to him as of yet, but hopefully in the next few days we’ll have our first discussion,” Hextall said. “Brayden’s our top priority in terms of wanting to get a guy signed, but there’s no real timeline there where you say this has got to happen by July 15 or July 30. It’s something that who knows how long it could go on.”
As for re-signing backup goalie Ray Emery, Hextall said he needed to see where Timonen’s contract landed first.
“We don’t even know what the final cap number is going to be,” Hextall said. “So we have some things we have to work through here before we get to a point where we can look at other pieces or other people. So Ray right now is on hold.”