On Wednesday Jan. 6, the Los Angeles Kings traded center Jordan Weal and a 2016 third-round draft pick to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn. Schenn is on the last year of his five-year, $18 million deal he received from the Toronto Maple Leafs before being traded to the Flyers in June 2012 and Lecavalier and his agent have expressed that this will be Lecavalier’s final season.
Lombardi confirms what Kent Hughes already told me and others, that Lecavalier will retire at end of season. Key for Kings to make deal
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) January 6, 2016
In the deal, the Flyers chose to retain half the salaries of both Schenn and Lecavalier. According to CapFriendly, Lecavalier now has a $2.25 million cap hit and Schenn $1.8 million. In Weal, the Kings sent over a former Calder Cup champion and AHL Playoff MVP, but in the 10 games Weal played for the Kings this season, he had zero points and a zero plus/minus rating. Weal has yet to play a game for the Flyers. Both Lecavalier and Schenn have played in all seven games since being traded to the Kings.
What Lecavalier Provides for the Kings
In June 2013, the Tampa Bay Lightning used a compliance buyout to buyout the final seven years of an 11-year, $85 million contract. Less than a week later, the Philadelphia Flyers signed the former Stanley Cup champion to a five-year deal worth $22.5 million.
In his first year with the Flyers, Lecavalier scored 20 goals and 37 points in 69 games. The following year, Lecavalier put up only eight goals and 20 points in 2014-15 causing him to be a healthy scratch for the first time in his career and when playing, reduced to bottom-six minutes.
This season, Lecavalier had only played seven games for the Flyers and only had one assist in those games. In the seven games Lecavalier has played for the Kings, he has three goals and four points with an even plus/minus rating. All three of Lecavalier’s goals have been scored on the power play where he has averaged over a minute per game on the Kings’ second power play unit.
Lecavalier has seen time on the penalty kill averaging 0.61 minutes a night and is averaging over 10 minutes a game at even strength according to war-on-ice. While Lecavalier has a negative Corsi differential of -13 at even strength play, the veteran big-bodied center has enough offensive versatility that he has been moved up and down the lineup skating alongside Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik in the last game against the Minnesota Wild and Carter and Tanner Pearson against the Dallas Stars.
Schenn Fortifying Kings’ Defense
Schenn played 29 games for the Flyers this season before being traded to the Kings. In those 29 games for the Flyers, Schenn had two goals, five points and a minus-7 rating.
In the seven games played for the Kings, Schenn has zero points and a minus-3 rating. Schenn has averaged more than two minutes a game in short-handed situations and ranks fifth in Kings’ defensemen averaging 18.43 minutes per game in all situations. That’s roughly three minutes more than Christian Ehrhoff has averages per game and almost six minutes more than Jamie McBain averages per game. Schenn also has 20 hits and eight shot blocks in his short time with the Kings.
Holding down first place in the Pacific Division with a 10-point lead over the San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks, the Kings currently sit fourth in the Western Conference and fifth in the entire league. The Kings will play the first game of a back-to-back situation tonight against the Arizona Coyotes before heading to San Jose to play the Sharks on Sunday. Both Lecavalier and Schenn are expected to be in the lineup.
Cole R. Querry resides in Southern California. Having played hockey through college and a background in science and math, he promises to bring an objective analysis to the team and sport he loves.