Rumor Roundup: Vinny Lecavalier and Joe Thornton trade buzz

Vincent Lecavalier (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Vincent Lecavalier (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Earlier this summer there was speculation the Philadelphia Flyers were shopping center Vincent Lecavalier. If Lecavalier is troubled by the trade rumors, Flyers coach Craig Berube told NJ.com’s Randy Miller the veteran center should get over it and focus on the upcoming season.

Lecavalier struggled last season, with only 37 points in 69 games. Miller notes Flyers management allowed the center’s agent to speak with other clubs hoping to drum up trade interest. Rumored deals to Nashville and Florida reportedly fell through. There was also talk Lecavalier’s no-movement clause made finding trade partners difficult.

Berube believes Lecavalier simply needs to change his game a little bit to become more effective. The coach is hoping Lecavalier becomes more defensively responsible. Berube claims the 34-year-old Lecavalier trained hard this summer and will be competitive when training camp opens in September.

An improved performance by Lecavalier would benefit the Flyers, as well as improve his trade value. His contract, however, remains a sticking point. In addition to his full no-movement clause, he’s earning $4.5-million annually over the next four seasons.  Interested teams could insist the Flyers pick up a significant chunk of his salary to facilitate a deal.

BIG D A BIG NO FOR BIG JOE
The trade status of San Jose Sharks’ veteran forwards Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau remains a hot topic in this summer’s rumor mill, especially when Thornton was recently stripped of the captaincy. If the Sharks decide to move either player, however, the Dallas Stars won’t be among the suitors.

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, responding to a reader’s question in a recent live chat, points out Thornton and Marleau both have full no-movement clauses they’re apparently unwilling to waive.

Heika notes both players would be expensive to acquire in term of dollars and return. He also points out the Stars’ acquisition earlier this summer of Jason Spezza means they have no room for Thornton.

Future moves by the Stars could be to address their defense. Their three defensive pairings are all left-handed shots. They also attempted to trade veteran blueliner Sergei Gonchar earlier this summer but couldn’t find any takers.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED…
With NHL training camps opening on Sept. 18, several unrestricted free agents could soon receive tryout invitations.

NorthJersey.com’s Tom Gulitti reports (http://fireandice.northjersey.com/fire-ice-1.174987/tomas-kaberle-also-in-line-for-training-camp-tryout-with-devils-gelinas-carter-still-unsigned-1.1076872) the New Jersey Devils invited former Devils forward Scott Gomez to camp on an unsigned tryout basis. They could also extend a similar offer to former NHL blueliner Tomas Kaberle.

Internet chatter suggested the Flyers might offer training-camp invitations to forwards Dustin Penner and Ryan Malone.  However, The Courier-Post’s Dave Isaac reports (http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/flyer-files/2014/08/26/flyers-kimmo-timonen-new-uniforms-jerseys-dustin-penner/14626059/) GM Ron Hextall dismissed that notion.

Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).

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