PHILADELPHIA — Center Vinny Lecavalier, a likely future Hall of Famer, said the Flyers are “Claude Giroux’s team,” but added he will try to bring his experience and leadership to his new team.
“I’ve been through some tough years and I’ve been through some really great years,” Lecavalier, 33, said in a conference call with reporters Saturday. “So I’ll bring that in the room, and definitely at my age, (as) older players, we have to bring that leadership. It’s not just having one leader — you need a lot of good leaders to make sure that the team goes in the right direction, and I’m going to try to do that.”
Lecavalier signed a five-year, $22.5 million free-agent deal with the Flyers. He is expected to center the second line, with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds as his wingers.
A four-time all-star, Lecavalier revealed that Flyers officials asked him if he could play wing if placed on Giroux’s unit, and he told them he would feel comfortable playing the right side.
If he changes positions, “it’s not something I really worry about, especially when you’re being told you might play with Claude Giroux,” Lecavalier said. “I’m really open to that and I’d be really excited about that.”
Lecavalier was bought out of his contract by Tampa Bay. He helped lead the Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 2004.
“I was part of an organization for 14 years so it was a tough few days,” he said, adding his parents and wife took the news of leaving Tampa “pretty hard.”
But after meeting with general manager Paul Holmgren and coach Peter Laviolette, Lecavalier said, “I really liked what they had to say and where the organization is going. So that made my decision a lot easier.”
Jaromir Jagr’s agent says three teams are “very interested” in his 41-year-old client.
Petr Svoboda, though, told The Associated Press on Saturday he expects it to take some time for the NHL’s active scoring leader to sign a contract.
Jagr might have company waiting for a new job.
J.P. Barry, who represents two of the top free agents available, Daniel Cleary and Mason Raymond, says he thinks decision-makers are taking a breath after a frenzy of activity Friday.
Day 1 of the free agency flurry included Jarome Iginla signing a one-year deal worth as much as $6 million with Boston, which almost acquired him last season from Calgary. Nathan Horton cashed in on his postseason performance for the Eastern Conference champions Bruins with a $37.1 million, seven-year contract in Columbus.
Derek Roy has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the St. Louis Blues, pending a physical for the veteran forward.
The Blues have been looking for a top center since before the trade deadline, and they hope they found one in Roy. The pending deal was announced by the team Saturday.
The 30-year-old Roy split last season between the Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks and finished with seven goals and 21 assists. The 5-foot-9 playmaker spent the bulk of his NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres, with whom he had a career-high 81 points in the 2007-08 season.
The Dallas Stars have signed top draft pick Valeri Nichushkin to a three-year entry-level contract.
The 18-year-old Russian winger was the 10th overall pick in the draft last weekend. He played 18 regular-season games and 25 playoff games last season for the KHL club in Chelyabinsk, his hometown.
Nichushkin scored nine points (six goals, three assists) in the playoffs and was the KHL’s top rookie.
Terms of the deal announced Saturday weren’t released.
Nichushkin scored the winning goal in the bronze medal game against Canada in the world junior championships in January. He also was on two other world junior teams with Russia, including one that took the goal medal in an under-17 tournament in 2012.
The Montreal Canadiens have signed free agent forward Stefan Fournier to a three-year contract.
Fournier had 35 goals and 72 points for Memorial Cup-champion Halifax of the QMJHL this past season. He added 16 goals and 13 assists in 17 playoff games, including three points in the tournament final in May.
The 6-foot-3, 212-pounder from Dorval, Que., also led Halifax with 100 penalty minutes in the regular season and maintained a +17 plus/minus differential.
The Winnipeg Jets have signed defenseman Adam Pardy.
The 29-year-old Pardy, who reached a deal with the Jets on Saturday, played in 17 games last season with the Buffalo Sabres. He had four assists and 14 penalty minutes.
Pardy also played in 21 games with Rochester of the American Hockey League and had two goals, seven assists and 22 penalty minutes.
In 200 career NHL games with Buffalo, Calgary and Dallas, Pardy has recorded four goals, 29 assists and 171 penalty minutes.