New Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol made the announcement on Wednesday when it was revealed that on top of being down center Sean Couturier, the team has lost Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who sustained a lower body injury in Tuesday’s game against the Sabres.
Lecavalier’s numbers have been dipping for a while, but he had something of a mini-bounce back when he came to the Flyers in the 2013-14 season, scoring 20 goals and 17 assists in 69 games. Last season was a bit rougher, with Lecavalier getting scratched 17 times and posting just eight goals and 12 assists through 57 games.
This season, the 35-year-old has been a healthy scratch in each of the team’s first eight games. He’ll get a chance to show he’s in shape and worthy of a depth position with the team on Thursday and until the team has some more healthy centers ready to go.
Asked how Lecavalier has handled going from being one of the elite scorers in the NHL to being a healthy scratch to start the season, Hakstol said he’s been a “good teammate” and a “good pro,” noting that he’s “done as much extra to stay ready, to stay sharp” as he can. Hakstol played coy after saying that Lecavalier is likely to play left wing when he returns with Chris Vandevelde playing center, when they’re probably both most comfortable flopping spots.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.