Philadelphia Flyers fans will get their first taste of Dave Hakstol's team with future Hall of Famer Vinny Lecavalier in the lineup on Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils. With Pierre-Edouard Bellemare sidelined due to a right knee/ankle injury he suffered during the Flyers' game against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, Lecavalier looks set to fill the empty spot left in Philadelphia's lineup, according to Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly.
Per Panaccio, Lecavalier took a "regular shift" on Chris VandeVelde's wing during a short practice on Wednesday. Veteran Ryan White rounded out the group.
"It was nice to get a practice with a line and having to go every time and not jump in here and there when you kinda lose that flow," Lecavalier said, via Panaccio. "It was good to get that flow and get a real skate."
Lecavalier has been a healthy scratch through eight games for the Flyers and Hakstol. He was reportedly told prior to this season by Philly GM Ron Hextall that just because the Flyers had made a coaching change, jettisoning Craig Berube, a bench boss Lecavalier never seemed to see eye-to-eye with, didn't mean he was assured a larger role with the team going forward.
Some have even suggested that Hextall's ultimate goal is to see Lecavalier's pride injured enough that the Stanley Cup champion walks away of his own volition.
It's certainly a situation that bears monitoring.
Elsewhere, another future Hall of Famer who's had no trouble staying in the lineup, despite his advancing age - the ageless, mullet-less wonder is now 43 years young - may finally find himself a scratch for the Florida Panthers. Jaromir Jagr, one of the game's all-time greats, is day-to-day as he deals with a lower body injury.
"I think it's a groin or hip, something minor," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said, via NHL.com. "Hopefully tomorrow he's fine."
Jagr was injured during the first period of a game against the Colorado Avalanche that the Panthers would go onto win handily. He currently leads Florida in goals with six and points with 10. He's currently fifth on the all-time goals scored list, three behind Marcel Dionne.