Hockey News: Lecavalier vs. Berube; NHL Playoff Previews

With a couple of coaches already fired, and talk of more jobs being available, Craig Berube’s name hasn’t escaped the headlines. The Philadelphia Flyers failed to make the postseason despite having a talented roster, and when healthy, a goalie in Steve Mason who wasn’t terrible. It seemed as though the Flyers have regressed under Berube, leading many to speculate if he’s the next coach to be fired. [Broad Street Hockey]

There’s been no indication yet whether or not the Flyers will keep Berube around, but one guy who isn’t a fan of the coach is Vincent Lecavalier. The 34 year-old veteran expressed that he has no intentions of retiring, but he doesn’t want to play for Craig Berube anymore. See the quotes here: [Two Many Men on the Site] and [CSN Philly]

Vincent Lecavalier (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Vincent Lecavalier (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Lecavalier wasn’t happy with his usage or being scratched. Makes sense. Every player wants to play. But has he earned more playing time? After winning the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2007 with 52 goals, Lecavlier’s point totals have steadily declined, leading to the Tampa Bay Lightning buying out his contract in 2013. The Flyers wasted no time signing him a five-year deal, one that was far too long and far too expensive, and as expected, it hasn’t been working out. He scored eight goals and 20 points in 57 games this season, seeing most of his time in the bottom six.

Lecavalier isn’t the fastest skater, and his buyout by Tampa certainly sent off a warning that the game may have passed him by. I’m not saying he can’t help a team, but he’s a goal scorer, and when he isn’t scoring goals he isn’t doing much else. You can’t really blame Berube for his sparse usage of Lecavalier. But the problems in Philly are deeper than the ever-declining career of Vinny, and Berube wasn’t shy to point out the issues in the dressing room [Delaware Online].

We won’t have to wait too long to hear about Berube’s fate, as GM Ron Hextall is set to speak to the press on Wednesday. The Flyers have a decent core. They don’t need to rebuild or start over. They should have challenged for a playoff spot this season. They fact that they underachieved may end up costing Berube his job. Either that, or they just want to keep Lecavalier happy.

In other news…

With four games left in the Penguins season, it’s not too early to look ahead to next year. Should they consider trading Brandon Sutter? [Today’s Slap Shot]

Not a bad looking forward group for Team Canada. Sidney Crosby may be available soon too. [CBC]

(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)
(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

A Western Conference playoff preview. [Grantland]

I think fans in Winnipeg are excited to watch some playoff hockey. [Yahoo]

It may be the end of the road for Todd McLellan in San Jose. [Mercury News]

An interesting preview of the Predators upcoming series with Chicago. [The Tennessean]

Would the Bruins consider parting ways with Milan Lucic? [HockeyBuzz]

(Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
(Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

The Minnesota Wild aren’t just happy to be here. They’re in it to win it. [Twin Cities]

Could Mark Giordano make a return if the Flames go deep in the playoffs? [National Post]

The wait is over. Feast your eyes on this great playoff video. [Hockey Films]

Some key points heading into the Senators/Habs series. [Ottawa Citizen]

And finally, thoughts go out to family and friends of Sens assistant coach Mark Reeds. [Globe and Mail]