Flyers Active Early in Free Agency

After what many considered to be a lackluster day at the 2013 Draft, the Flyers made their big splash through free agency. Philadelphia signed former Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier to a multi-year deal worth $22.5 million.

Lecavalier was bought out by his former club last week freeing him up to hit the open market before the frenzy of free agency. The buyout of the $110 million contract provided the Lightning with a needed surplus and provided Lecavalier a fresh, new life to his career.

The Flyers, just releasing veteran Danny Briere, had the cap space and the cash to lock up the 14-year veteran to a five-year deal sliding him into Philly’s attack-first offense.  Nothing short of a change of scenery for Lecavalier coming from a more defensive, trap style play in Tampa Bay. Last season he netted 10 goals and 22 assists in the abbreviated season. His goal scoring numbers will surely rise to higher levels in the new system alongside Claude Giroux and Philadelphia’s plethora of young speed.

The Quebec native fielded offers from a slew of teams including his “hometown” Montreal Canadiens, but chose to Philadelphia where in all likelihood he will be moved to the wing and play without the direct responsibilities of being a captain resting on his shoulders.

The Flyers used the weekend free agency period to fill the goaltending void left by the departing Ilya Bryzgalov with the signing of former Phiadlephia net minder Ray Emery.

Emery, coming off a Stanley Cup winning season, returns to the city after a three year absence.  Emery signed a one-year, $1.65 million deal with the Flyers and will battle Steve Mason for the starting position going through training camp. Last season Emery posted a 17-1 record with a 1.94 GAA and a .922 save-percentage.

Perhaps the biggest move General Manager Paul Holmgren made this week came in-house. The Flyers locked up captain Claude Giroux to an eight-year, $66.2 million contract that will kick into effect for the 2014-15 season.

In an electric 2011-12 campaign, the Ontario native racked up 93 points during the regular season, the most for a Flyer in over 12 years. Giroux lead the Flyers past arch-rival Pittsburgh Penguins to advance to the second round of the playoffs that season. This past year he netted 13 goals and 34 assists in all 48 games of the season.

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