Vinny Lecavalier a Healthy Scratch for First Time in Career
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
SAN JOSE – Vinny Lecavalier, a veteran of 1,122 NHL games, four All-Star games and a Stanley Cup championship, sat on the visiting bench at the SAP Center with his helmet off, staring off into the distance.
Most of his teammates had showered and boarded a bus back for the team hotel. Injured center Ryan White and healthy defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo were being skated by assistant coaches while Michael Del Zotto sat on the other bench.
Coach Craig Berube has decided that Lecavalier, for the first time in his career at any level, will be a healthy scratch.
"I'm not going to start arguing. It's his decision," said a visibly upset Lecavalier. "There's nothing I can do about it, so I'm going to work hard in practice and when I get back. I'm going to do my best to help the team."
Berube told Lecavalier Monday before the Flyers practiced at SAP Center that he wouldn't be playing against the Sharks as the Flyers try to end a losing skid of four games and eight of their last nine.
"It's very difficult," Berube said. "He's a respected hockey player that's been around a long time. He's done a lot. It's not easy for him. It's not an easy conversation, but it's part of being a coach."
It's a conversation that Berube has had a lot recently. Del Zotto will be a healthy scratch Tuesday night, for the first time since the Flyers signed him to a one-year contract in August. He also told Andrew MacDonald, he of a six-year, $30 million contract, that he wasn't playing when the Flyers lost to the New York Rangers Saturday. First-year NHLer Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was scratched in that game as well.