Vincent Lecavalier: A love poem

Your newest Flyer

Vinny looks happy to be a Flyer… you should be, too! (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

By now, we have all heard the news about Vincent Lecavalier’s decision to take his talents to Broad Street. Like many of you, I found the initial announcement completely shocking; but after letting it sink in, I can’t help but fall in love with the decision to bring in Vinny Lecavalier through free agency.

I know what you’re thinking: this is the Flyers throwing in the towel on the youth movement to amuse their regular free agent infatuation. This time, something is different: this match actually makes sense. A lot of sense. So much sense, that this love story might have a happy ending.

A happy ending? I’m having a hard time comprehending this feeling, so like many of the long-lost Shakespeare’s and Ricky’s of my 90’s generation, I have decided to make a mix tape write a love poem to express myself.

Ten things I love about Vinny:

I love it when Vinny talks,
I love it when Vinny walks,
I love it when Vinny drinks,
I love it when Vinny blinks,
I love it when Vinny says, “Hi!”,
I love it when Vinny says, “Vous voir en anglais!” *cheesy wave*

No but seriously:

I love the way Vinny talks, and I love the way Vinny will walk..

… Into that locker room with a sense of purpose and swagger. Last year, the Flyers were unable to replace the lost leadership of Jaromir Jagr, who signed with the Dallas Stars. Now, the they have added one of the most respected Canadian hockey players in the game for their Canadian core of forwards to learn from. Just having Lecavalier in the locker room will make every one of the kids play that much harder to show him what they can do, Claude Giroux included. Put yourself in their skates; wouldn’t you do the same?

Then, look at it from Lecavalier’s perspective. Do you think he’s not going to bring his A game to show the Lightning what they are missing and prove himself to his new teammates and fans?

I love that not much cap space was lost, because I love how much Vinny will cost..

For as shocked with I was about the signing, I’m even more taken aback over the response to his cap hit of $4.5 million per season. Ignoring the length of the deal for a second, the cap hit itself is actually lower than what was initially expected. He is making less than Scott Hartnell, and will make less than Claude Giroux when he signs his extension. Simply put, he’s being paid to be a secondary option, which is perfectly aligned with the role he will be expected to play and his current rate of production. This should alleviate some of the pressure to perform, since he isn’t necessarily being paid like the star he used to be.

Vinny.. So Hawt right now

Vinny.. So Hawt right now (Getty Images)

As for the length of the contract, find me in four or five years and we’ll talk. If I had a dollar for every time someone complained about the length of the Danny Briere deal, I could have fielded my own all-star roster. Did that burn the Flyers? What about the terrible contracts Chris Drury and Scott Gomez signed with the New York Rangers? When the time comes the big spenders have proven time and time again that they will find a way to make it go away; the friendly nature of the cap hit only makes it easier.

The ladies will love his face, but I’m going to love the way he will grace..

… The faceoff circle as the team’s second line center. Four of his last five seasons have seen him finish with a faceoff percentage above 50%, which will be a huge boost down the middle. The plan would seem to be to put Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds on his wing, which has sneaky potential when looking at it on paper.

Furthermore, it locks Sean Couturier into a 3rd line center role without the pressure to perform as a top six forward. Entering just his third professional season, Couturier can focus on his defense and provide offense when necessary, a crucial ingredient for offensive dominance in the NHL. With Vinny on the depth chart, suddenly the Flyers offense is stacked again.

It is for all the above that I love the former number four, but it’s not over yet; I’ve come back for more.

Is playoff success what you truly desire? When it comes to the postseason, this former Lightning is more like a roaring fire..

I find it interesting to note that Lecavalier witnessed first hand the raucous Philadelphia crowd in the Eastern Conference Final in 2004 en route to his lone Stanley Cup victory. One of my fondest memories as a Flyers fan is that memorable run, but particularly the comeback in Game Six of the Tampa Bay series. We remember it for the Flyers stunning victory – I wonder if he remembers he scored the Lightning’s first two goals in that game.

In 18 playoff games two years ago, Vinny netted three game-winning-goals and 19 points, the latter second only to Marty St. Louis (20). Overall, he has 52 points in 63 playoff games.

When it comes to these numbers, what’s not to admire? For when the going gets tough and conditions are dire, this crafty veteran will rarely misfire.

Since my poetry writing skills are as weak as my backhand, I think it is time to retire; but it is for all this and more that I love the newest Flyer.

What do you think of the acquisition of Vinny Lecaval(yre)?

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  • BigPoppaPuck

    What’s next though? What’s the next move? They are really banking on the whole salary cap increase next year. Should they chase after a young d who is a RFA like Alex Pietrangelo, Cody Franson or jumping after blake wheeler, patric hornqvist, nazem kadri. Really I would love to see them go after a offensive weapon sort of like how Chicago signed Hossa years ago. Someone that just scores like Pat the Bat used to in Philly

    • Marc Siciliano

      I’m not really sure what’s next, and it’s a valid question to ask. The thing is, what are the options if they wish to hold onto their youthful core? Cap hit aside, they signed arguably the best available free agent defender in Streit, and there aren’t many enticing free agent options in net. The options at forward are just as thin – Clarkson for 6 million? No thanks

      Maybe the best move is no move until another opportunity like this arises; but that doesn’t sound like the Flyers…

      • BigPoppaPuck

        would love to see them move Coburn and try to convince Mezaros to get on the Long Term Injury list with Pronger. it would free up some salary.

        Do you think Vinny and Schenn and maybe Simmonds?

  • templarwd

    Have to agree. I’m not sure it’sw good or bad. You know Holmgren is melting the battery on his cell phone right now. Stablizie the goaltendning and beef up the D then I’ll fell something about this .